Negotiating the ESL Facilitator Policy: Consequences for Teacher Learning and Instructional Services for English Learners
English, Bonnie T.
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As districts across the nation see increasing numbers of English learners, there is an increased interest in supporting classroom teachers to provide quality instruction for English learners. The purpose of this study was to critically analyze the implementation and negotiation of a district's ESL policy that attempted to increase mainstream classroom teachers' capacity for teaching English learners through site-based coaching. Using a Hornberger and Johnson's (2007) guidelines for ethnography of language policy to examine the multiple discourses used to construct, interpret and transform the policy across multiple settings. Data collection was guided by the conceptual framework which focuses on the role of the ESL facilitator negotiating discourses across contexts: the district, two school cultures, and in four relationships with classroom teachers. Two research questions guided the study: (1) what are the assumptions and expectations in the ESL facilitator model about teacher learning and instruction and services for English learners? (2) How do varied enactments, interpretations, and assumed responsibilities influence teachers' learning and instruction and services for English learners? Overall findings illuminate the multiple, conflicting discourses that defined the relationship between the ESL facilitator and classroom teacher, expectations for teacher learning, and criteria for ESL instruction and services. The four case studies of facilitation illustrate the varied enactments of the ESL facilitator policy, leading to inequitable educational opportunities for English learners. In an analysis of the findings, I deconstruct the policy's key terms to reveal the discursive binaries used to negotiate and implement the policy. This critical analysis illustrates how certain discourses were reproduced and granted legitimacy, effectively undermining the positive intentions of the policy.
- Education - Seattle