Effective Systems

A Study of Arizona’s Teachers of English Language Learners


In this study a representative sample of 880 elementary and secondary teachers currently teaching in 33 schools across the state of Arizona were asked about their perceptions of how their ELL students were faring under current instructional policies for ELL students. Teachers were surveyed during the Spring of 2010. Overall findings show that most of these Arizona teachers have a great deal of faith in their ELL students’ ability to achieve at grade level but that the 4 hour ELD block to which they are assigned is not helping them to catch up with their English speaking peers academically and there is deep and overwhelming concern about the segregation they are experiencing as a result of this instructional model; 85% believe this separation from English speaking peers is harmful to their learning. Most also believe that the majority of their ELL students are not meeting grade level standards and more than half of teachers also note that their ELL students are stereotyped as slow learners by other students and that the 4 hour block program is harmful to their self-esteem. The study ends with a series of recommendations including that alternative modes of instruction need to be implemented to help ELL students to succeed academically.