Effective teaching practices in the linguistically diverse university classroom
Students whose first language is not English have been entering postsecondary institutions in the United States in increasing numbers. Most faculty members have not been trained in teaching these students, and when they realize that they have students with differing English proficiencies in their classes, they may search for effective teaching methods that enhance the learning experience for all students. This dissertation assists that search by examining the commonalties, best practices, and unique teaching approaches of distinguished teachers in addressing linguistic diversity among students in the university classroom. This dissertation should also be of interest to administrators who are concerned with the retention of language minority students in higher education. The research for this dissertation entailed a qualitative case study of 11 professors from a number of disciplines at one university who have won awards for distinguished teaching and who have had experience working with linguistic minority students. These professors' insights into teaching methods have been broken into the following categories: techniques for putting students at ease, facilitation of student-to-student interactions, uses of technology, evaluation of student writing, expectations of students, accommodations made for students, awareness of language as an element of cultural identity difference in the classroom, and the benefits of having students in the classroom whose first language is not English. In semi-structured interviews, these distinguished faculty identify strategies that they utilize to bring students with varying degrees of English language ability into classroom activities, thereby advancing the likelihood of their academic success.
- Education - Seattle