Teaching and learning challenges facing primary school teachers of students from non-English speaking backgrounds
Yukich, Courtney Ann-Marie
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Citation:Yukich, C.A-M (2013). Teaching and learning challenges facing primary school teachers of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2464
This study examined the teaching and learning challenges faced by teachers of students from non-English speaking backgrounds in three Auckland primary schools. A qualitative methodology was chosen for this research project. An interpretivist approach was utilised as the study drew on gaining understandings and insights from experiences of teachers and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) coordinators in the three primary schools (Bryman, 2008). Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The findings in this study highlight key challenges and strategies regarding the teaching and learning of their students from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) relating to three main themes: teacher professional development, learning and teaching issues and the importance of communication. Teacher professional development regarding second language learners varied in nature and relevance among schools. The findings implied positive effects on teacher practice when teachers opted to take on self-directed study in the area of Teaching English in Schools to Speakers of Other Languages (TESSOL). Resource availability presented a range of implications regarding the use and availability of Ministry of Education documents, funding and time issues. Literacy issues regarding learner proficiency in their first language were common. Helping NESB students meet National Standards for Mathematics, Reading and Writing was a concern for classroom teachers. The importance of communication between teachers, NESB students and their families was evident. The challenges experienced by participants and ensuing the strategies they employed to meet these challenges give rise to a number of implications for the teaching and learning of English language learners in primary contexts.