LESLLA Teachers’ Views of the Knowledge and Skills They Need: An International Study
It is recognized that skilled and knowledgeable teachers are key to facilitating student learning and promoting their success. However, those who teach adult immigrants who have limited education and literacy in their native/home language and are learning the language of their new country as a second or additional language (LESLLA learners) typically have limited to no specific training or professional development that prepares them to work with this population. This article reports on the work of the EU-SPEAK 2 project, which conducted two surveys of teachers and program managers in European countries and North America, to determine the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they believe they have and that they need. Results show that practitioners focus primarily on skills they need to teach effectively rather than on research and knowledge that undergird and support those skills. Skills that they indicated they need include: the ability to use specific teaching methods, conversational situations, materials, and instructional approaches to teach oral language skills and to guide learners in the process of developing reading and writing strategies that they can use independently in their daily lives. Desire for better understanding of the principles and the processes that underlie approaches/skills received lower scores.
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