Student and teacher perceptions of academic achievement of mainstreamed high school Latino English learners

This qualitative study sought to examine the perceptions of students and teachers about the academic achievement of main streamed Latino English Learners (ELs) at a medium-sized suburban California high school. A comparison of mainstreamed ELand non-EL transcript data revealed a larger percentage ofELs had at least one failing grade in an academic class. The study used Likert-scale and open-ended question surveys and follow-up interviews and focus groups to provide data to answer the following questions: How did the mainstreamed ELs think they were doing academically and how did they view their learning environment? If they failed classes, to what did they attribute their failing grades, and how did their perceptions compare to those of their teachers? Although mainstreamed ELs made up a third of the school's EL population, many of them received little direct academic support and their academic struggles were overlooked. The implications of this study are to help in making adjustments in instructional practices to better meet the needs of mainstreamed ELs, and at the very least bring the often-overlooked situation of these students to the attention of teachers and administrators. KEYWORDS: Academic achievement, Latino English learners, high school, mainstream, perceptions