This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining Teacher Qualifications, Characteristics, and Practices Related to English Learners in the State of Alabama: An Exploratory Study on Teacher Quality




Goertzen, Heidi

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to explore how general classroom teachers report their qualifications, characteristics, and practices related to teaching English learners (ELs) academic language. It was also the purpose of this study to explore whether these reported qualifications and characteristics predicted teacher reported instructional practices. This research design used a survey questionnaire to measure how general classroom teachers reported (a) knowledge and skills using practices that support the development of academic language of EL students, and (b) their teaching qualifications and characteristics. Descriptive statistics were used to assess how general classroom teachers reported on qualifications, characteristics, and practices to teach EL students academic language. Multiple linear and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to assess certification, hours of training in EL professional development, preference teaching the EL population by size, and experience teaching EL students as predictors of teacher reported knowledge and skills teaching academic language. Findings from this study revealed most survey participants have had limited training and reported low levels of knowledge and skill sets related to EL students, and that certification in English as a Second Language (ESL/ESOL), over 40 hours of EL professional development, preference teaching large populations of EL students, and experience teaching at least 5 EL students in the prior school year significantly predicted and positively related to how teachers tended to report knowledge and skill level in teaching EL students academic language.