Developing English Language
and Literacy through Teacher
Achievement
(Project DELTA): survey findings
Ester de Jong, Ed.D. (PI)
Maria Coady, Ph.D. (Co-PI)
Candace Harper, Ph.D. (Co-PI)
University of Florida
Overview
 Project DELTA is a five-year US DOE
grant-funded research study.
 The study broadly seeks to
 (a) understand the relationship between
teacher preparation pathways and
achievement of English language learners
(ELLS); and
 (b) use information to inform teacher
preparation programs / professional
development
The Florida Context:
Demographics
 Florida has the third largest population of
speakers of languages other than English in
the U.S. (24% of 5-17 year olds are ELL)
 In Florida about 8.7% of K-12 students are
identified as ESOL/ELL (2006-2007)
 Districts report about 239 languages, though
Spanish dominates (~77%) (2000-01)
 Geographical differences among groups
between north and south Florida
Background
 The majority of ELLs are taught by un- or
under-prepared teachers (Gándara,
Rumberger, Maxwell-Jolly, & Callahan, 2003)
 Few states have guidelines for general
education teacher preparation to work with
ELLs (changing in response to No Child Left
Behind reforms)
 Florida is an exception with a mandate since 2002
The Florida Context:
Legal Requirements
 1990 Florida Consent Decree - Professional
development requirements for practicing teachers
 Five areas:





Applied Linguistics
Cross-Cultural Communication
Language Assessment
Methods
Curriculum and Material Development
 Number of hours required varies according to assignment:
 Elementary teachers: 300 hours (equivalent of five (5) 3-credit
university courses)
 Secondary content teachers: 60 hours (equivalent of one (1) 3credit university course)
The Florida Context:
Teacher Preparation
Programs
 In 2001, new mandate that all candidates in a
teacher preparation program must graduate
with an ESOL endorsement
 Guiding documents: 25 ESOL Performance
Standards & (later added) 11 ESOL
Competencies
 Florida Department of Education allows options
 Full endorsement - all five courses
 Endorsement through Infusion
 Minimum of two ESOL courses
The Florida Context:
Teacher Preparation
Programs
 Main “Infused Program” requirements
 Demonstrate where and how ESOL
Performance Standards are addressed in an
approved teacher preparation program in a
matrix (syllabus)
 Qualified ESOL faculty for ESOL courses
 45 hours Professional Development for
faculty teaching “infused” courses
Our Context
 Two-course ESOL Infused elementary
teacher preparation program
 Course I TSL 3526: Foundations of
Language and Culture in the Elementary
Classroom
 Course II TSL 5142: Curriculum, Methods
and Assessment
 Infusion across the program (ProTeach)
Project Delta
Rationale
 Despite several years of ESOL-Infused
program graduates we do not know
whether Infusion effectively prepares
mainstream teachers to work with ELLs
 Studying Teacher Education: The Report of
the AERA Panel on Research and Education
(Cawthorne & Cochran Smith, 2005)
Theoretical Model of Survey
Teacher
Preparation,
Background,
Experiences
Teacher
Efficacy
ELL Student
Achievement
Project Delta
Research
 Education Warehouse Database
 Teacher Variables
 Student Variables
 Survey of Elementary Teacher Preparation
Program Graduates currently teaching in
Florida
 Case Studies (n=12) of Elementary Teacher
Preparation Program Graduates across north
Florida
Project Delta
Activities and
Accomplishments
 Survey
 Development fall – spring 2007-8
 Distributed late spring to all graduates
contacted (n=1,200; 70% in Florida)
 September 2008 – 85 viable respondents
Survey Design
 Five sections of the survey with 10-12
items each section:
 Social and cultural dimensions of
teaching ESOL students
 Content area teaching for ESOL students
 Language and literacy development for
ESOL students
 Curriculum and Classroom organization
 Assessment Issues in teaching ESOL
students
Survey-Preliminary
Findings
1. In what instructional areas related to ELLs do teacher
education program graduates feel most and least
prepared?
2. In what instructional areas related to ELLs do teacher
education program graduates feel most and least effective?
3. Is there a significant difference in teacher education
program graduates’ ratings of their effectiveness and
preparedness?
4. What experiences as part of their teacher preparation
program did teacher education program graduates
consider most effective in helping them work with ELLs?
5. Are there significant differences in responses based on
teacher background characteristics?
In what instructional areas related
to ELLs do teacher education
program graduates feel most
prepared?
 Sociocultural domain: grouping strategies to
facilitate student interaction
 Content area: provide sufficient wait time, use of
graphic organizers, grouping
 Language and literacy development: model the
use of English; differentiate reading instruction;
and teach reading comprehension strategies
 Curriculum and classroom: organize a ready-tolearn classroom environment
 Assessment: provide accommodations
In what instructional areas related
to ELLs do teacher education
program graduates feel least
prepared?
 Overall, lowest preparedness means
were in the sociocultural domain overall
 Particularly items related to teacher
knowledge of and use of ELLs’ home
language
 Language and Literacy: Teachers also
related their preparation in oral language
particularly low
In what instructional areas
related to ELLs do teacher
education program graduates feel
most effective?
 Sociocultural: making my students feel valued in
my classroom; using grouping to make them feel
comfortable; help them interact with other students
 Content area: providing wait time; pairing or
grouping students from the same language
background; supporting comprehensive oral
language by writing key words on the board
 Language and literacy: modeling the use of
English; differentiating reading instruction;
decoding skills and vocabulary strategies
In what instructional areas related
to ELLs do teacher education
program graduates feel most
effective?
 Curriculum: organize my curriculum so that my
students feel ready to learn; locate materials at
different reading levels to supplement
textbooks; teaching to grade level standards to
modify my instruction through demonstrations
and visuals
 Assessment: provide accommodations;
adjusting instruction based on assessment
results; assessing my students based on
intended meaning
In what instructional areas related
to ELLs do teacher education
program graduates feel least
effective?
 Sociocultural: using L1 as resource in teaching;
learning about students’ L1s; helping my students
with circumstances affecting their lives outside the
classroom
 Content: addressing grammatical demands; setting
language objectives; addressing vocabulary
demand of content area
 Language and Literacy: teaching pronunciation;
teaching key aspects of English grammar;
teaching pragmatics
In what instructional areas related
to ELLs do teacher education
program graduates feel least
effective?
 Curriculum / Organization: locating bilingual
materials; simplifying or adapting materials;
selecting activities to build background knowledge
 Assessment: simplifying or adapting assessments;
assessing students’ achievement by matching with
familiar classroom learning tasks; actively
monitoring comprehension during instruction
Is there a significant difference in
teacher education program
graduates’ ratings of their
preparedness and effectiveness?
 Yes. There is a statistically significant
difference on all but six (6) items on the
survey (n=49) p=<.01
What experiences as part of their
teacher preparation program did
graduates consider most effective
in helping them work with ELLs?
 The top three experiences were directly
related to ESOL: ESOL classroom
observations, direct teaching of ESOL
students, and tutoring ESOL students
Are there significant differences
in responses based on teacher
background characteristics?
 Yes. Overall, we found that teachers
who spoke a Language Other Than
English (LOTE) felt both more efficacious
and prepared to work with ELLs.
 Forthcoming are data from six case study
teachers , three of whom speak a
language other than English with some
fluency.
Interpretation and
Discussion
 Teachers feel most prepared and efficacious in creating
a welcoming and affirming (valued) atmosphere in the
classroom
 Teachers feel most prepared and efficacious using
graphic organizers
 Teachers feel less prepared in addressing specific
linguistic issues, such as grammar
 Teachers feel least prepared and efficacious in areas
related to using students’ first language as a resource
for learning (bilingual materials, home resource)
 Implications for the development of bilingualism and
learning theory (connecting background to new learning)
Implications for
Teacher Preparation
and Future Research
 The ProTeach program places emphasis on
cultural diversity and fostering learning in
diverse settings
 However, linguistic knowldege and issues of
the use of L1 as a resource for learning and
communicating with families has not been
sufficiently fostered (according to these
preliminary findings)
 This information can connect with ProTeach
and teacher prep programs in FL and
nationally
Contacts
Ester de Jong (PI)
[email protected]
Maria Coady (co-PI)
[email protected]
Candace Harper (co-PI)
[email protected]
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Developing English Language and Literacy through Teacher