Language Policy

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 81–99 | Cite as

Arizona’s teacher policies and their relationship with English learner instructional practice

  • Megan HopkinsEmail author
Original Paper


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.


Arizona Educational language policy Teacher policy Teacher practice 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alamillo, L., & Viramontes, C. (2000). Reflections from the classroom: Teacher perspectives on the implementation of Proposition 227. Bilingual Research Journal, 24(1–2), 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. Arellano-Houchin, A., Flamenco, C., Merlos, M. M., & Segura, L. (2001). Has California’s passage of proposition 227 made a difference in the way we teach? The Urban Review, 33(3), 221–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arizona Department of Education. (2010). 2009–2010 state report card. Retrieved May 27, 2011, from
  4. Arizona Department of Education. (2011a). Arizona State Board of Education approved SE endorsement training. Retrieved May 25, 2011, from
  5. Arizona Department of Education. (2011b). Unpublished data compiled by T. Petersen.Google Scholar
  6. August, D., & Shanahan, T. (Eds.) (2008). Developing literacy in second-language learners Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth. New York: Routledge, the Center for Applied Linguistics, and the International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  7. August, D., Goldenberg, C., & Rueda, R. (2010). Restrictive state language policies: Are they scientifically based? In P. Gándara & M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden language: English learners and restrictive language policies (pp. 139–158). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  8. Berry, B., Fuller, E., & Williams, A. (2007). Stemming the tide of teacher attrition: How working conditions influence teacher career intentions and other key outcomes in Arizona. Hillsborough, NC: Center for Teaching Quality.Google Scholar
  9. Combs, M. C., Evans, C., Fletcher, T., Parra, E., & Jimenez, A. (2005). Bilingualism for the children: Implementing a dual-language program in an English-only state. Education Policy, 19(5), 701–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research, 49(2), 222–251.Google Scholar
  11. Cummins, J. (2003). BICS and CALP: Origins and rationale for the distinction. In C. B. Paulston & G. R. Tucker (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: The essential readings (pp. 322–328). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Darling-Hammond, L. (2000). Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of state policy evidence. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8(1), Retrieved March 9, 2010, from
  13. deJong, E. J., & Harper, C. (2005). Preparing mainstream teachers for English-language learners: Is being a good teacher good enough? Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(2), 101–124.Google Scholar
  14. deJong, E. J., Arias, M. B., & Sánchez, M. T. (2010). Undermining teacher competencies: Another look at the impact of restrictive language policies. In P. Gándara & M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden language: English learners and restrictive language policies (pp. 118–136). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  15. Echevarría, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. (2008). Making content accessible for English learners The SIOP model (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  16. Fillmore, L. W., & Snow, C. E. (2002). What teachers need to know about language. In C. T. Adger, C. E. Snow, & D. Christian (Eds.), What teachers need to know about language (pp. 7–54). McHenry, IL, and Washington, DC: Delta Systems Co., Inc.,and Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar
  17. Francis, D. J., Lesaux, N. K., & August, D. (2006). Language of instruction. In D. August & T. Shanahan (Eds.), Developing literacy in a second language: Report of the National Literacy Panel (pp. 365–410). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  18. Gándara, P., & Maxwell-Jolly, J. (2006). Critical issues in developing the teacher corps for English learners. In K. Téllez & H. C. Waxman (Eds.), Preparing quality educators for English language learners: Research, policies, and practices (pp. 99–120). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Gándara, P., & Orfield, G. (2010). A return to the “Mexican room”: The segregation of Arizona’s English learners. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. Retrieved December 3, 2010, from
  20. Gándara, P., Maxwell-Jolly, J., & Driscoll, A. (2005). Listening to teachers of English learners: A survey of California teachers’ challenges, experiences, and professional development needs. Santa Cruz, CA: The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.Google Scholar
  21. Gándara, P., Losen, D., August, D., Uriarte, M., Gómez, M. C., & Hopkins, M. (2010). Forbidden language: A brief history of U.S. language policy. In P. Gándara & M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden language: English learners and restrictive language policies (pp. 20–33). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  22. García, E. E., Lawton, K., & de Figueiredo, E. H. D. (2010). The education of English language learners in Arizona: A legacy of persisting achievement gaps in a restrictive language policy climate. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. Retrieved May 25, 2011 from
  23. Goldenberg, C., & Coleman, R. (2010). Promoting academic achievement among English learners: A guide to the research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.Google Scholar
  24. Greene, J. P. (1997). A meta-analysis of the Rossell and Baker review of bilingual education research. Bilingual Research Journal, 21(2/3), 1–22.Google Scholar
  25. Herrera, S. G., & Murry, K. G. (2010). Mastering ESL and bilingual methods: Differentiated instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  26. Hopkins, M. (2011). Building on our teaching assets: Bilingual educators’ pedagogy and policy implementation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  27. Kotterman, P. (2008). Ensuring teaching quantity and quality: State and federal policy for teaching. In W. Doyle (Ed.), Who will teach our children? (pp. 49–90). Phoenix, AZ: 92nd Arizona Town Hall.Google Scholar
  28. Lillie, K. E., Markos, A., Estrella, A., Nguyen, T., Trifiro, P. K. A. et al (2010). Policy in practice: The implementation of Structured English Immersion in Arizona. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from
  29. Mahoney, K., MacSwan, J., Haladyna, T., & García, D. (2010). Castañeda’s third prong: Evaluating the achievement of Arizona’s English learners under restrictive language policy. In P. Gandara & M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden languages: English learners and restrictive language policies (pp. 50–64). New York: Teachers College.Google Scholar
  30. Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & González, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31(2), 132–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Monzo, L. D., & Rueda, R. (2003). Shaping education through diverse funds of knowledge: A look at one Latina paraeducator’s lived experiences, beliefs, and teaching practice. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 34(1), 72–95.Google Scholar
  32. National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Common Core of Data. Retrieved February 1, 2010, from
  33. National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. (2009). The growing number of English learner students. Retrieved November 30, 2009, from
  34. Orellana, M. F., & Eksner, H. J. (2006). Cultural modeling: Leveraging bilingual skills for school paraphrasing tasks. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(1), 48–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ovando, C., Collier, V., & Combs, M. C. (2011). Bilingual and ESL classrooms: Teaching in multicultural contexts (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  36. Pérez, B., & Huerta, M. E. (2011). Dynamic biliteracy: Teacher knowledge and practice. In B. B. Flores, R. H. Sheets, & E. R. Clark (Eds.), Teacher preparation for bilingual student populations: Educar para transformar (pp. 115–130). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Rios-Aguilar, C., González-Canche, M., & Moll, L. C. (2010). A study of Arizona’s teachers of English language learners. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from
  38. Rolstad, K., Mahoney, K., & Glass, G. (2005). The big picture: A meta-analysis of program effectiveness research on English language learners. Educational Policy, 19(4), 572–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center.Google Scholar
  40. Slavin, R., & Cheung, A. (2005). A synthesis of research on language of reading instruction for English-language learners. Review of Educational Research, 75, 247–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stritikus, T., & García, E. (2003). The role of theory and policy in the educational treatment of language minority students: Competitive structures in California. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(26), Retrieved October 31, 2005, from
  42. Valdés, G., Bunch, G., Snow, C. E., & Lee, C. (2005). Enhancing the development of students’ language(s). In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do (pp. 126–168). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  43. Valdez, E. O. (2001). Winning the battle, losing the war: Bilingual teachers and post-Proposition 227. The Urban Review, 33(3), 237–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Willig, A. C. (1985). A meta-analysis of selected studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education. Review of Educational Research, 55, 269–317.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Personalised recommendations