Supporting Educators to Meet the Needs of the Growing Population of English Learners in the Classroom

Abstract: English learners (EL) are a rapidly growing population in the United States public schools. Yet, as this population grows, not all educators are trained to support EL students’ academic and social needs. A lack of adequate training for educators has resulted in a glaring gap between the knowledge and skills of those supporting ELs and the students' unique needs as learners. To address this national issue, instruction is needed to provide educators with strategies and tools that could easily be implemented in the classroom to create an effective learning environment for EL students. This project’s instruction titled, Meeting English Learners’ Needs in Your Classroom, was designed to support secondary educators in Hawai'i’s Department of Education schools. The online module was created to teach educators how to create equitable lessons to meet the needs of EL students in their classrooms. The online module was evaluated both for usability and effectiveness. Two rounds of a usability testing were conducted with six participants (n=6) using data was collected during the study and through a post usability survey. After completing the usability study, the online module was deemed to have no major usability issues and was ready for the next evaluation phase. Twelve adults (n=12) completed the learning assessment and evaluated the effectiveness and quality of the instruction. Data was collected through pre- and post-surveys. Results showed participants felt positive about the online module's ability to teach them how to create equitable lessons. However, many participants commented that additional resources and examples would improve the project’s impact.
English Learners, Instructional Design, Online Module, Creating Equitable Lessons
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