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ERIC Number: ED557462
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-4786-5
English Language Proficiency and Teacher Judgments of the Academic and Interpersonal Competence of English Language Learners
Freberg, Miranda E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The purpose of the study was to investigate how English language proficiency is related to teacher judgments of students' academic and interpersonal competence. It was hypothesized that English Language Learner (ELL) students would generally be perceived as having weaker academic and interpersonal skills than their non-ELL counterparts regardless of race/ethnicity. Additionally, it was proposed that teachers' ratings would be more predictive of the performance of non-ELL versus ELL students. Data were obtained from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K). Participants were 260 third-grade students whose academic and interpersonal skills were rated by their teachers on the Academic Rating Scale (ARS; Atkins-Burnett, Meisels, & Correnti, 2000) and Social Rating Scale (SRS; Atkins-Burnett, Meisels, & Correnti, 2000), respectively. Teachers' academic ratings were compared to students' actual performance on the reading and math sections of the ECLS-K direct cognitive assessment and teachers' interpersonal ratings were compared to students' self-ratings on the Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ; Marsh, 1990). Multiple regression analyses were used to assess the effects of language status and race/ethnicity on teacher ratings. Additional regression analyses were conducted to investigate whether teacher ratings were predictive of students' academic performance and students' self-ratings of interpersonal skills. Results showed that, in contrast to what was hypothesized, teacher ratings were not significantly related to language status, but race/ethnicity was found to be a significant predictor of both academic and social ratings. Specifically, teachers rated African American students as having weaker reading and interpersonal skills than their Hispanic counterparts. As hypothesized, teacher ratings were found to be more predictive for non-ELL students on math and reading skills than ELL students. These findings suggest that race/ethnicity may be more of an influential factor than language status when teachers make academic and interpersonal judgments and support previous research (e.g., Hodson, Dovidio, & Gaertner, 2002; Jussim & Eccles, 1995) that teachers may have pre-existing biases towards students of different races or ethnicities. Additionally, given the lower predictive accuracy of teacher ratings of ELL than non-ELL students, teachers may need more training to work with and to ensure a fair assessment of ELL students' academic capabilities. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey