Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Felcia Lincoln

Committee Member

Michael Wavering

Second Committee Member

Mounir Farah

Keywords

Education; Affective filter; Best practices; Comprehensible input; ESL students; Formative assessment; Metacognition; Reading skills

Abstract

This study explored what themes of best practices teachers report using in real classrooms to teach reading skills to ESL students across curricula. It examined teachers’ applications of the following five themes in their instruction as a regular routine described as best practices in the literature for teaching diverse students: (1) providing comprehensible input, (2) teaching learning strategies of metacognition to bridge the gap between school literacy practices and home literacy practices (3) lowering the affective filter, (4) implementing formative assessment, and (5) cooperating between teachers and ESL facilitators. The study involved teachers from two high schools in one school district in Northwest Arkansas. This school district was selected because it involved a large number of ESL students. The data were self-reported and collected by the Literacy Instruction Questionnaire constructed by the researcher. Based on teachers’ self-reported responses, teachers’ alignment were aware of the need of to implementing the first four themes in their teaching routines: (1) providing comprehensible input, (2) teaching learning strategies of metacognition to bridge the gap between school literacy practices and home literacy practices (3) lowering the affective filter, and (4) implementing formative assessment. However, not all the mentioned ESL strategies under each theme were frequently used. For example, the majority of teachers never integrated online communication ‘blogs’ as an assessment technique. Also, the fifth theme, teacher and ESL facilitator cooperation, rarely occurred and happened only for specific questions regarding student achievement. Teachers mostly depended on their knowledge of second language acquisition when they wanted to differentiate instruction to deal with diversity in classrooms.