Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teacher Perceptions of Their Preparation to Meet the Needs of Secondary English Learners with Limited Formal Education

Term

Spring 5-12-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jill Watson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Julia Reimer

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Amy Hewett-Olatunde

Abstract

As more immigrants and refugees make the Upper Midwest their home, many English Learner (EL) teachers are struggling to meet the various needs of students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE), especially at the secondary level. The purpose of this study was to examine secondary teacher perceptions of their preparation to meet the unique needs of SLIFE and to examine what types of preparation would have been helpful to them. Sixteen secondary EL teachers who work with SLIFE were surveyed and four were interviewed to share their perceptions of their preparation. The overall result of the survey was that teachers generally did not feel prepared to meet the academic, literacy, emotional, physical, and cultural needs of their SLIFE students. Teachers shared many recommendations for ways that teacher education programs can integrate and address SLIFE needs, from second language acquisition, to literacy, to EL methods classes.

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