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Interactions and relationships between kindergarten teachers and English language learners

Presence of English Language Learners (ELLs) is ever-increasing in our kindergarten--Grade 12 sector. With this influx of students who may need specialised attention, it is essential for educators and teacher education programmes alike to focus on preparation for serving such a population. While research depicts lack of training, it also elicits an assumed responsibility to successfully educate these students. The aims of this study are to (1) examine relationships between native-English-speaking kindergarten teachers and ELL and non-ELL children within their own classroom and (2) examine if native-English-speaking kindergarten teachers differ in their interactions with ELL and non-ELL children within their own classrooms. Through theoretical application of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Bronfrenbrenner's ecological systems theory, classrooms in Eastern North Carolina were surveyed, using a demographic survey and the Student--Teacher Relationship Scale, and observed, using the Emerging Academics Snapshot, to determine the process quality of each classroom and the relationships that teachers maintain with their ELL students. Analysis found that differences in teachers' relationships with ELL and non-ELL students did exist; however, parameters of interaction were not significantly different. The implications of this study for the field of education and suggestions for future research are also highlighted. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
North Carolina

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