Building Background and Forward Thinking:
Examining the ways that teachers know and build upon students' backgrounds and cultures to support English Language Learner Success with career and college focused standards
Effective teachers are constantly learning, reflecting, and adapting. Teachers learn, reflect and adapt to new standards, new strategies, and new students. The growing number of ELL students in Oregon, up 200% between 1993-2003, requires teachers to learn as much as they can about their students (Echevarria, 2013). Teachers must be both learners and teachers. Within the last few years, many K-12 teachers nationwide have been incorporating new Common Core Standards (CCS) into their curriculum.
Beginning in Spring 2014, K-12 students will be assessed on these standards on national standardized tests. These new CCSS are designed to help prepare students for career and college readiness. Local teachers are responding by incorporating CCSS into their curriculum using Rigorous Curriculum Design.
Professor Kena Avila's research agenda examines how teachers learn about and utilize ELL students’ backgrounds and cultures to build a strong foundation that supports ELL success with these career and college focused standards. A qualitative approach of collecting data will allow the rich stories of the participants to emerge through interviews.
Benefit to Linfield Students
Student researchers Alyssa Carano, Tanika Finch, Micaela Craig, and Criselda Lopez will follow the research phases of a literature review, IRB approval, data collection, analysis, and dissemination. This research promotes a habit of learning that will inform teaching. This research results not only in an important set of knowledge but also establishes a way of thinking, reflecting, and learning for the students involved, a strategy that they can then share with other student teachers and teachers in our community during their student teaching experiences and throughout their careers.