Exploring Mainstream Teachers’ Perceptions of ESOL Students




Goldstein, Christine Koenig

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The purpose of this study was to explore high school mainstream teachers’ perceptions of English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) students. Although research regarding English language learners has been present in the literature for some time, there is a paucity of research regarding high school teachers’ perceptions of ESOL students. The participant set for this study includes teachers from one suburban high school in the state of Maryland. In this mixed-method study, survey data were collected from 50 teachers and two rounds of interview data were collected from 7 teachers. This study explored high school mainstream teachers’ perceptions of ESOL students, high school mainstream teachers’ perceptions of themselves as teachers of ESOL students, and high school mainstream teachers’ beliefs regarding supports and services that should be provided to facilitate the instruction of ESOL students. Five key findings are identified: Teachers of ESOL students want and need instructional strategies training, must be provided access to a variety of resources, would benefit from gaining the tools needed to navigate cultural concerns, must be made aware of challenges faced by ESOL students, and would benefit from cultural immersion experiences as a means to inform their perceptions of ESOL students. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also presented.



Perceptions, Mainstream, ESOL, Teachers, High School, Beliefs