Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 20, Number 4 / August 2009, p. 385-402.
This survey study investigated high school science teachers’ challenges and needs specific to their growing English language learning (ELL) student population. Thirty-three science teachers from 6 English as a Second language (ESL)-center high schools in central Virginia participated in the survey. Issues surveyed were
(a) strategies used by science teachers to accommodate ELL students’ special needs,
(b) challenges they experienced, and
(c) support and training necessary for effective ELL instruction.
Results suggest that language barriers as well as ELL students’ lack of science foundational knowledge challenged teachers most. Teachers perceived that appropriate instructional materials and pedagogical training was most needed.
The findings have implications for science teacher preservice and inservice education in regard to working with language minority students.