Kansas Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge and Preparedness in Creating Lessons Driven by Kansas English Language Proficiency Standards
University of Kansas
Curriculum and Teaching
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This study explored Kansas pre-service ESOL endorsement seekers’ knowledge and preparedness in creating lessons driven by Kansas English language proficiency standards. It elucidated the extent to which Kansas pre-service teachers consider Kansas English language proficiency (ELP) standards in their lessons, how well prepared they perceive they are to create ELP standard-driven lesson plans, and what challenges they face in planning for SDAIE (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English). In addition, this study examined to what extent pre-service teachers align Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to Kansas ELP standards in their thinking, planning, and practice, as well as their preparedness and challenges in aligning those two sets of standards. The participants of this study were 17 pre-service ESOL endorsement seekers who were enrolled in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis procedures were implemented to investigate the research questions of this study. There were three main sources of data: lesson plans, a questionnaire, and interviews. Inferences based on data collected led to several conclusions: 1) The state ELP standards limitedly inform pre-service teachers’ lesson plans; 2) Pre-service teachers experienced difficulty to understand the ELP standards and to meet unique language needs of ELLs with wide range of English language proficiency levels. Those factors contribute to the limited usage of the ELP standards. 3) Pre-service teachers are not sufficiently prepared to create lesson plans that derive from the ELP standards due to lack of exposure to the standards and lack of practice on the standards. 4) Pre-service teachers do not align the CCSS to the ELP standards in their lesson planning. On the contrary, pre-service teachers show strong confidence in their abilities to create lesson plans that derived from the CCSS. 5) Pre-service teachers mostly cited two factors as primary challenges when creating lesson plans that align content and language objectives: a) lack of knowledge about language objectives and the ELP standards and b) lack of practice in writing and using language objectives. 6) Pre-service teachers need to learn about and practice on creating effective and supportive content objectives to promote ELLs’ academic success. The findings of this study suggested that more emphasis should be placed on the ELP standards and language objectives during the preparation of pre-service teachers seeking ESOL endorsement. TESOL program educators in pre-service teacher programs need to reflect on the consistency and quality of both content and training opportunities available to pre-service teachers, in particular, ascertaining adequate knowledge and practice relevant to the ELP standards and language objectives; the alignment between the ELP standards and CCSS; and supportive and effective content objectives for ELLs. Although areas to be improved were identified, the results of this study revealed that pre-service teachers seeking ESOL endorsement through the university perceived the program as a worthwhile investment to become effective teachers of ELLs.
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