Arizona’s teacher policies and their relationship with English learner instructional practice
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In response to the passage of a state English-only policy and a newly mandated instructional model for English learners that focuses on English acquisition, Arizona introduced training requirements for all of the state’s educators related to English learners. This policy coincided with changes in the training Arizona teachers opted to pursue, where more teachers chose to complete state mandated training that focuses on English-only strategies rather than more extensive training in English as a second language or bilingual education. Using data from teacher surveys, this article examined the relationship between teachers’ training and their self-reported instructional practices. Findings revealed that, in every instance, holding a teaching endorsement in English as a second language or bilingual education had a positive, significant relationship with teachers’ reported use of effective instructional approaches for ELs, while holding the state mandated endorsement was never significantly related to teachers’ practices. These trends are cause for concern, as they indicate that Arizona’s teacher policy may be undermining teachers’ capacity to work with English learners and limiting English learners’ learning opportunities.
KeywordsArizona Educational language policy Teacher policy Teacher practice
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