Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


College of Education

First Advisor

Cheryl Serrano

Second Advisor

Cindy Skaruppa

Third Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky


The purpose of this case study was to explore, through naturalistic inquiry, the events that contributed to general education language arts teachers' attitudes regarding teaching mainstreamed ESOL students. Four sources of data were utilized to analyze five indicators which were: a) previous educational experience, b) specific ESOL training, c) personal contact with diverse culture, d) prior contact with ESOL students and e) demographic characteristics. This study employed a purposeful sample and included eight high school general education language arts teachers. The study's methodology included a demographic questionnaire, a self-assessment checklist, multiple observations and in-depth interviews. Participants in this study displayed and expressed favorable attitude regarding teaching mainstreamed ESOL students. The dominant themes revolved around previous educational experience, personal background, and prior contact with ESOL students and significant cultural exposure. Personal experience including the notion of being discriminated against influenced the way that the teachers perceived and treated the ethnically and linguistically diverse students. The dominant themes influenced the teachers' degree of empathy and receptiveness to other cultures. Conversely, specific ESOL training contributed the least to their attitudes due to lack of specific ESOL training provisions.

The results of this investigation have recommendations for professional development, teacher education programs and staff development trainers to enhance and strengthen their content and delivery. The conclusions of this research accentuate a call of action for the advancement of our pluralistic society as a whole, especially, with the increasing of mainstreamed ESOL students in the general education language arts classrooms. The first area involves the re-vamping of cultural immersion programs opportunities for both pre-service and in-service educators. The second strand demands an increase of comprehensive and specific ESOL training for the veteran teachers. The teachers in this study were self- empowered and self-reliant. They refined whatever cultural exposure or training they obtained to strengthen their personal and professional attitudes. Nonetheless, guided and specific ESOL training provisions and well-designed cultural immersion programs would enrich teachers' personal and professional experience and would, therefore, positively influence general education language arts teachers' attitudes with respect to teaching mainstreamed ESOL students.



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