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ERIC Number: ED548476
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 214
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-1643-8
Talking to Learn: A Mixed-Methods Study of a Professional Development Program for Teachers of English Language Learners
Shea, Lauren M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
Most teachers of English language learners (ELLs) have had virtually no specialized, in-service training in adapting instruction for their students. Prior research fails to investigate the impact of professional development (PD) specifically designed for teachers of ELLs. This dissertation examines a PD program that attempted to prepare teachers of ELLs in content and oral language integration. This study investigates each step of Desimone's (2009) logic model of effective PD, in which teachers first experience PD, then increase their knowledge and skills, and subsequently improve their instructional practices to impact student outcomes. Over a three-year period, K-2 teachers from a high ELL district participated in math and science PD that changed each year based on teacher feedback, resulting in three distinct models. Each PD model had an increased focus on content and oral language integration. In examining the impact of the PD program, this dissertation (1) investigates how teacher participation in each model of the program was related to (a) teachers' understanding of the value of oral language production strategies, (b) teachers' instructional practices, and (c) their students' progress; (2) explores the benefits of an emerging blended (online-blogging and face-to-face) PD model; and (3) compares the models to determine effective learning environments for teachers of ELLs. Participating teachers perceived a greater understanding of the value of oral language learning in content lessons. They reported changing their content lessons to include the oral language production strategies demonstrated in the PD program. In interviews, teachers related students' growth in oral language to the program's instructional strategies. Classroom observations confirmed teachers' implementation of these instructional strategies. No statistical association was found between teachers' participation and increased strategy implementation or student state test scores in math and English language arts. However, over the three years of the PD program, students' math and English language arts state test scores showed significant increases at treated schools when compared with scores from similar, non-treated schools in the same district. In the blended model, additional benefits included increased ELL teachers' collaboration, professional reflection, and personal support. Recommendations about specific characteristics of effective PD for teachers of ELLs are presented. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A