Perceptions of ESL Teachers

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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has caused a shift on what will be focused on in the classroom. These shifts not only affect the mainstream classroom, but the ESL (English as a Second Language) classroom as well. The major change for the ESL classroom and for English Language Learners (ELLs) is a new focus on grade appropriate content area knowledge, instead of just English language proficiency. According to Coleman and Goldenberg (2012), there is little acknowledgement of support for English Language Learners in the CCSS. ESL teachers may or may not feel prepared to teach according to the CCSS. They may also have issues in understanding what the Common Core means for them. One main issue is that the CCSS will dramatically change how ELL and LEP (Limited English Proficiency) populations are taught. It is not the first, and will not be the last attempts to standardize education in the United States.
One of the first calls to standardize education in the United States was a report released by the National Commission on Excellence in Education in 1983 titled ‘A Nation at Risk’. This report spearheaded a nationwide effort to reform education in the United States from teachers’ education to the standards of education. Each Presidential administration has rolled out their own version of how to reform educational standards, but a key reform for English Language Learners was the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 under the Bush Administration. This act was a reform of the earlier Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) from the Clinton Administration.
There were three important pieces in the NCLB Act that affected English Language Learners. The first was the inclusion of limited English proficient students...

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