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Reclassification of English Learners: What does it mean to be an English Learner?
Villanueva, Froylán Delgado
Frey, NancyEscobedo, Francisco
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perspectives, responses, and thoughts of English Learner (EL) experts when addressing the lived experiences of ELs. Additionally, the impact of ELs on the California educational system, the state with the largest number of ELs in the United States, was reviewed. Furthermore, the study sought to explore what it means to be an EL and what it means to no longer be an EL. The main data were derived from structured interviews of 16 EL experts. In this study, constant comparative analysis was utilized to identify themes and perspectives for each of the 14 questions asked of the experts. Five findings were also identified from the data. These findings included the following: the differing definitions for ELs that exist, concerns about the current system of identifying ELs, lack of uniformity in the reclassification system, the thought of what objective criteria teachers should include as part of reclassification process varied, and the existence of no clear definition for Long-Term English Learners. Recommendations include having one set of clear criteria for reclassification in California, as well as increasing parent understanding and involvement in the reclassification process. Furthermore, increasing opportunities for two-way communication between the public schools and the home environment. Lastly, recognizing the benefits of learning a second language can help increase the support for ELs and reduce the academic and social hurdles, as well as the negative stigma, this student group faces.
San Diego State University
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) San Diego State University, 2019
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