Language Development Through a Cycle of Inquiry

The English language learner population in the United States and more importantly in California is a fast-growing population.  Currently, we are not equipped or prepared to meet the needs of this diverse group of students.   The responsibility, therefore, is placed on the school district or individual schools to properly train all teachers, not just novice teachers, to be able to skillfully, appropriately meet the needs of these students to accelerate learning and thrive while meeting the demands of the CCSS, NGSS, and ELD standards.  A review of the literature revealed that to change teacher practice and improve student outcomes, a comprehensive approach to professional development must be implemented to achieve this goal.  Language learners need access to high quality, rigorous curriculum and plenty of time to engage in academic discourse. The goal of this action research project was to increase teacher knowledge on best practices for teaching English language learners so as to consistently use effective language development strategies that allow students to fully access the curriculum and be able to perform at the high levels of demand that are outlined in the CCSS, NGSS, and ELD standards.  To achieve this goal a comprehensive professional development plan was created to be implemented over a six-week period. The new input for the teachers was around the deconstructing sentences strategy.   The findings of this action research project indicate that comprehensive professional development can change teacher practice in a positive manner while increasing teacher knowledge of how to effectively meet the needs of English language learners.

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