Teachers’ beliefs about english language learners

Tamara Lucas, Ana María Villegas, Adrian D. Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Increased migration resulting from globalization has helped transform the linguistic makeup of the P-12 student population in the United States and elsewhere over the past two decades (Ben-Peretz, 2009). In 2008, for example, an estimated 10.9 million children in the United States spoke a language other than English at home, up from 2.5 million in 1990, an astonishing 330% growth (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010). In fact, English language learners (ELLs), as these children are often called, have become the fastest growing segment of the U.S. student population (Calderon, Slavin, & Sanchez, 2011). Until recently, the goal was to place these students in bilingual or English as a second language (ESL) programs to be taught by teachers with specialized preparation. However, since the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which requires ELLs to be included in state testing programs and their scores reported to the public, schools have been placing a growing number of these students in mainstream classrooms to immerse them in English as soon as possible. As a result, mainstream or general education teachers, a group that traditionally has received little or no preparation for teaching ELLs, are now finding ELLs in their classes with increasing frequency. It is not surprising then that preservice and inservice programs are giving more attention to preparing general education teachers for teaching ELLs (Lucas, 2011). Nor is it surprising, given the critical role teacher beliefs play in teaching, that research on teachers’ beliefs about ELLs has emerged in the past 15 years.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Research on Teachers' Beliefs
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781136265839
ISBN (Print)9780415539227
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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