What Do Teachers Need to Support English Learners?

  •  Marjorie N. Gomez    
  •  Nagnon Diarrassouba    


This study explored K-8 teachers’ perceptions of their preparation and the challenges they encountered in delivering instruction to culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Using a mixed method research design, data were collected through a web-based survey from teachers in the state of Michigan. Researchers used chi-square tests to investigate the relationship between teachers’ preparation and their knowledge of their diverse learners’ learning needs. Qualitative comments were examined, organized, and summarized to illustrate key themes in each question under study. Findings revealed that teachers’ perceptions of their preparation to teach linguistically and culturally diverse students were correlated with cultural diversity or lack of cultural diversity in their classrooms. Whereas teachers stated they felt prepared to teach heterogeneous classes, they encountered challenges in delivering instruction to English learners. In addition, teachers stated that cultural awareness training did not adequately prepare them to integrate cultural elements in their daily instructional practices.

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