Iowa High Schools: Meeting the Challenges of Educating Limited English Proficient Students
Murphy, Sachiko Tamura
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The recent influx of immigrants and refugees in Iowa has caused an increase in the population of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in the schools of Iowa. The condition of education of Iowa secondary LEP students in mainstream classrooms has not been studied extensively. Valid and reliable tools for studying the education of LEP students have not been developed. In this study, the author developed a survey tool that measures how much mainstream teachers perceive themselves to be following the best practices as suggested by research in the areas of school policies and organization, curriculum issues, and instructional techniques. The survey was sent to nine high schools in five school districts in Iowa. One hundred twenty-two teachers responded to the survey. The results of the survey indicated that the participating Iowa high school teachers perceive themselves to be making efforts to accommodate LEP students in the area of instruction, whereas some improvement needs to be made in the area of curriculum accommodation. Needed most in Iowa secondary schools are curriculum articulation and collaboration between mainstream and ESL teachers, staff development opportunities for mainstream teachers, and a school system and structure that allows for these practices. Content validity, parallel form reliability, and construct validity of the research tool were established in this survey. The results indicated that the survey tool is fit to be used for identifying the areas that need improvement in education of LEP students, and should be used in further educational research.
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