Professional Development For Teachers With English Language Learners

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Professional development for teachers that promotes English language acquisition and literacy proficiency for English language learners is the cornerstone of literacy reform in the United States. In this assignment, I define teacher knowledge. I then identify three areas of professional development that, by increasing teacher knowledge, would translate to increased learning gains for English language learners.
Teacher Knowledge Carlisle, Kelcey, Rowan, and Phelps (2011) distinguished between teacher academic knowledge and teacher content knowledge. Academic knowledge, they wrote, is that which is gained through completion of academic courses, or earning diplomas and certificates. Academic knowledge is fundamental to teacher content
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However, pre-service teacher training programs do not prepare teachers to meet the needs of these learners (Samson & Collins). For those few states that do mandate teacher coursework in English language learner pedagogy, teacher preparation courses are underdeveloped, focusing on oral language development (Samson & Collins). In his seminal work in second language acquisition, Cummins (2000) identified two domains of language proficiency, basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP). CALP is the indicator of true biliteracy. Biliteracy models that support a child’s first language lead to faster academic proficiency in a second language (Escamilla et al. 2014). Teachers who do not understand second language acquisition will be unable to provide content knowledge to support biliteracy (National Research Council, 2010). Professional development that increases teacher academic and content knowledge of second language acquisition is the first component of literacy reform.
Teacher Knowledge and Reading Once teachers acquire second language academic and content knowledge, they will need professional development in how to teach reading to English language learners, from phonemic awareness to comprehension (Hoover & Gough, 2014). Teachers can then differentiate
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