The purpose of this study was to investigate pre-service teachers’ beliefs about and understanding of English Language Learners (ELLs). This study shows that, within one course, when given the opportunity to do so, students moved beyond narrow ideas and deficit thinking about ELLs. At the beginning of the semester, the students were quick to define the term English language learner. However, at the end of the course, students recognized their limited thinking and were able to expand the way they define the term English language learner. As students expanded their ideas about language learners, it became increasingly more difficult for them to write a definition that was sufficiently broad and specific at the same time. Students began to question the notion of a one-size-fits-all ELL label.