Teacher Preparation, Professional Development, and Long-Term English Learners
This article presents a synthesis of research linking Long-Term English Learners (LTELs) and the underprepared schools and teachers they have encountered. The purpose of this article, though small in scope, is to explore the policies, practices, and conditions surrounding teacher preparation and professional development in relation to the growing number of LTELs. While the standards designed to guide curriculum have paid little attention to second-language development and differ only slightly from those designed for native English speakers, the number of LTELs in the United States has continued to rise therefore causing the factors which impact the failure of English Learners (ELs) to achieve reclassification as English Proficient students to become an issue of focus in education. Multi-cultural theorists have argued that diversity issues are central to the rest of the curriculum and must be infused throughout courses, field experience requirements, and professional development in order to strengthen preservice and inservice teachers’ multi-cultural relational capacity and knowledge of instructional strategies for ELs and LTELs. While other nations have taken the initiative to produce highly effective, experienced, and dedicated teachers there remains a desperate need for a general consensus to build a policy infrastructure that supports reform with the intention of preventing future harm to the diverse student population in the U.S.
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