Effects of ESOL ServiceLearning Experience on
Preservice Teachers
Dr. Guichun Zong
Dr. Alice W. Terry
Kennesaw State University
What is Service-Learning?
 “…an innovative teaching
methodology that integrates
community service with academic
study to enrich learning, teach civic
responsibility, and strengthen
communities.”
National Commission on Service-Learning, 2002
Description of Study
 58 middle-grade-preservice teachers
participated
 Performed 6-15 hours of tutoring to ELL’s in
elementary schools
 Worked with Cobb County Schools
 Data Collected


Pre/Post survey
2-4 page formal reflection
ELL’s—English Language Learners
•8000+ ESOL students from 131 countries
•81 Major Languages
•Mostly Hispanic students, many lacking
native language literacy skills
Cobb County
School System
Initial Research Questions
 What is the impact of the service-learning
internship experience on middle grades
TOSS preservice candidates concerning the
knowledge about and attitudes toward ELL
learners?
 How does the amount of time spent in the
field experience impact the middle grades
TOSS preservice candidates’ knowledge
about ELL students, attitudes toward ELL
students, and self-efficacy in teaching ELL
students?
Added Research Question:
 What is the effect of the experience on the
English Language Learners (ELL’s) in the
schools?
Quantitative Data: Overview
• Data Collection
– Survey Instrument
• 20 items
• Attitude, efficacy, and
knowledge
– Pre-experience and
post-experience survey
• Data Analysis
– Paired-sample T-tests
Findings from Quantitative
Analysis
• T-test results item
by item (Handout)
• Directions of
changes
– Expected
– Unexpected
• Significance of
changes
•
Knowledge-all gains in expected
ELL students learn better if direction
they are not allowed to use their native
language at school
2.71
2.78
• Ell students should be expected to be fluent in English after one year of
ELL Instruction.
2.51
2.61
• I don’t know how to instruct-interact with an ELL student in my class.
3.62
2.99 *
• ESOL students should be put in special schools or classes until they have
orally mastered the English language.
____________________
*Statistically significant at .05 level.
2.36
2.51
Knowledge-gains that is statistically
significant
• I don’t know how to instruct-interact with
an ELL student in my class.
Mean SD
3.62 1.34
Mean SD
2.99 1.13
Difference
0.63
p value
.00*
Efficacy-gain in expected
direction
• I am confident as a teacher working
with ELL students.
Pretest Mean 3.40
Posttest Mean 3.61
Attitudes: Changes in the Expected Directions
Means
Pre-test Post-test
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
It is necessary that all teachers modify their lesson plans for ELL students.
5.09
5.13
Adding ELL students to my class will increase my workload.
4.73
4.71
ELLs should be proficient in speaking English before joining mainstream classrooms.
3.62
ELL students bring needed diversity to schools.
5.04
3.38
5.27
It is the responsibility of ELL students to adapt to American culture and school life. 3.29 3.1
My first response to ELL students would be to give them separate work.
3.14
3.13
Attitudes: Changes confusing us
Means
Pre-test Post-test
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am eager to teach English language learners.
4.24
4.11
I would teach my subject to an exclusively ESOL class.
3.35
2.94*
I am likely to complete the ESOL endorsement.
3.51
ELLs should remain in separate ESOL track during their
time at our school.
2.33
If I have students in my classroom whose 1st language in not English,
I will send him/her to the school’s ESOL teacher.
3.14
I don’t think that our school system should allow ELL students to
participate/attend unless they can speak/understand English.
2.05
___________________________________________________________
*Statistically significant at .05 level.
3.31
2.69*
3.52 *
2.2
Attitude: Changes that are statistically
significant
Pretest
SD
Posttest SD
p-value
________________________________________
3.35
1.37
2.94
1.29
.04
2.33
.904
2.69
1.27
.04
3.14
1.14
3.52
1.21
.05
I would teach my subject to an
exclusively ESOL class.
ELLs should remain in separate ESOL
track during their time at our
school.
If I have students in my classroom
whose 1st language in not English,
I will send him/her to the school’s
ESOL teacher.
Qualitative Results:
Emergent Themes
1. Opened My Eyes
2. Stares at Ceiling
3. Through the Looking Glass
Opened My Eyes
Their eyes were opened…
 As to how an elementary school
operates
 To younger students
 To cultural aspects of schools
 To feeling what an ELL experiences
 To misconceptions concerning ELL’s
 “ ELL’s need to be validated”
 To the need to help ELL’s
 As to how frustrated teachers are in
addressing the needs of ELL’s
Opened My Eyes
 Before: some thought ELL’s should be immersed in





English
After: all conceded their minds had been changed
School systems need more resources especially in
regular classroom
Best support system ELL’s had was each other
Misconception: believing students don’t want to
learn
All recognized what a huge barrier language is in
learning even if students speak English fluently
Stares at Ceiling
 The ELL’s would stare
off at the ceiling, “able
to fade”
 The most used English
phrase of the ELL’s,
according to one
participant, was, “I don’t
know.”
 “I could see the blank
stares on their faces.”
Stares at Ceiling
 “The students are
frustrated with
learning and the
teachers.”
 “He [ELL] would
tune out and turn
off.”
 “[Enrico] didn’t want
to learn and nobody
noticed.”
Stares at Ceiling…
 What happened when
the participants began
interacting with the
ELL’s is remarkable.
Eyes left the ceiling and
the ELL’s warmed up,
sharing enlightening
conversations, “lighting
up” when asked about
their own culture.
Lewis Carroll’s Through the
Looking Glass
 There are many mirror
themes, including
opposites, time running
backwards, general
confusion.
 Alice ponders what the
world is like on the other
side of a mirror.
 She discovers a book with
looking-glass poetry,
"Jabberwocky," which she
can read only by holding it
up to a mirror.
Jabberwocky
`Twas brillig, and the
slithy toves
Did gyre and
gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the
borogoves,
And the mome
raths outgrabe.
According to Alice,
“Somehow it fills
my head with
ideas—only I don’t
exactly know what
they are!”
Through the Looking Glass:
What the TOSSers Saw
The experience differed widely from school to
school.
 Some TOSSers worked with the students in the
regular classroom; some only in the ESOL
classroom; some worked one on one with the
students; others only were allowed to observe.
 Some worked with experienced tutors; others
worked with inexperienced tutors.
 Some worked in schools with mostly Hispanic
ELL’s; others worked in schools with more
diverse ELL’s.
Through the Looking Glass:
What the TOSSers Saw
 Tutors worked on vocabulary development-



point/flash cards (method).
In schools with strong ESOL tutors, tutors provided
connection to ELL’s culture and helps ELL’s adjust to
challenges.
Generally the TOSSers did not see much if any
modification for students in regular classroom. They
weren’t critical of the regular classroom teachers for
the most part; they seemed to understand their
frustration in dealing with the ELL’s.
No differentiation or culturally-responsive teaching
strategies in classroom.
Students were immersed in English in regular
classroom
Through the Looking Glass:
What the TOSSers Felt
 The TOSSers’ feelings ran the gamut, from
positive and worthwhile to frustrating and
discouraged.
 One student related that she was “torn over
the experience.”
 TOSSers felt frustrated on many levels:
finding the time to do the experience; getting
set up in the schools
 Nervous about how ELL’s will succeed in their
own classrooms one day.
Through the Looking Glass:
What the TOSSers Felt
 On the positive side, TOSSers found the
experience worthwhile and beneficial.
 They enjoyed interacting with the ELL
students.
 The experience promoted empathy and
compassion in the TOSSers.
 For the most part, the students felt sad about
leaving at the end of the experience; they
were sad for the ELL’s and worried that they
might not succeed.
Through the Looking Glass:
Impact of Experience on TOSSer
 The experience had mainly a positive impact
on the TOSSers
 For a few there were negative influences.



Concern about not having an impact on the
ELL’s.
Feeling unclear about the best way to teach
ELL’s
Feeling unequipped to help the students.
Through the Looking Glass:
Impact of Experience on TOSSer
 Expressions of having a positive impact were
more prevalent.
 Will spend extra time helping ELL’s
 More familiar with how to break down
information for ELL’s.
 Will modify things for ELL’s
 Some planned to learn Spanish and become
ESOL certified.
Through the Looking Glass:
Impact of Experience on TOSSer
 Got over “little kid phobia” working with
elementary students.
 Will incorporate culturally responsive things
 Positive about service-learning as a
pedagogy.
 “Feel overwhelmed but encouraged and
hopeful that I can reach any student!”
Question:
List a few things you know about ELL students




Pre Survey
Student 04 Response:
They pick up oral language
faster than written language
Many live in homes where
only one language is spoken
Many are stereotyped (all
Asians are smart, etc.)






Post Survey
Student 04 Response:
ELL students are often
frustrated in class
ELL students are sometimes
made fun of by their peers
They have the hardest time
writing in English
They can often hear and
speak English before they
can write and read it
They often have to translate
questions/ directions in their
head in their native tongue.
Question:
List any strategies you know that can help ELL’s in a
classroom
Pre Survey
 Student 35 Response:
 Using more diagrams or
pictures that show step
by step procedures
Post Survey
 Student 35 Response:
 Explaining assignments
to them one-on-one,
rather than
embarrassing them in
front of the class
 Provide pictures and
demonstrations to
explain items more
clearly
Question:
What factors do you think make an ELL ready to join
mainstream classrooms?
Pre Survey
 Student 10 Response:
 Some have ability to
communicate the
spoken and written
language
 Desire and motivation
to learn English





Post Survey
Student 10 Response:
Passing certain ESOL
checkpoints
Improvement in English
LA skills, i.e.. Spelling,
speaking, writing,
grammar
Enthusiasm and desire
to learn and improve
Approval by ESOL
supervisor teachers.
Quantitative Results
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Effects of ESOL Service-Learning Experience on …