How do Newly Credentialed Teachers Conceptualize English Learners?

Our population and education system is continuing to grow and change. Over a quarter of the students enrolled in California’s public schools are English learners. These students enter the school system from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, languages, academic and English language ability levels that can impact their learning. The new generations of teachers entering the workforce are expected to be trained to teach in the general education classroom and properly educate their students, including English learners. This research explored the how newly credentialed teachers conceptualize English learners and the factors that influence those perceptions. Perceptions are formed based on a person’s attitudes, beliefs, previous education, preparation to work with English learners, and their ideals of how English learner education should be handled in the school system. A teacher’s perception can impact how they educate their students and in turn affect the students’ academic success. This study investigated the perception of newly credentialed teachers to gain an understanding of how it could affect the education of English learners today.