The number of English learners (ELs) in our schools continues to increase, and at the same time, the academic achievement of ELs consistently lags behind the achievement of native-English-speaking peers (Goldenberg & Coleman, 2010). These second language learners bring with them a set of special needs for teaching and learning, especially for mainstream content area teachers, who often have little or no specialized training for meeting these needs (Bunch, 2010). Although there is not yet extensive empirical work focused on how mainstream content teachers at the secondary level typically teach ELs or how they learn to more effectively teach these children in mainstream classrooms, scholars have begun to address the importance of linguistic knowledge for mainstream classroom teachers (Fillmore & Snow, 2000; Harper & de Jong, 2004; Lucas, Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008; Walqui, 2000). These scholars have argued that teachers need to provide rigorous, content-rich academic course work integrated with language development strategies to meet the instructional needs of ELs. This push for mainstream teachers to teach all students high-level content, including all levels of ELs, creates a challenging instructional environment, especially for novice teachers.
Teacher Education Quarterly