The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Michael Schwartz

Third Advisor

Hsueh-I Lo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

ELL, perceptions, content teachers, beliefs, English, strategies


This study investigated the perceptions of content teachers about language teaching and serving EL students. Using survey instruments and semi-structured interviews, content teachers were asked to express their beliefs about best language teaching practices. Quantitative data from surveys were analyzed in order to determine where content teachers’ beliefs of language teaching practices coincided or differed with research-based TESL pedagogy. Content and EL teachers were both interviewed in order expand on teachers’ reported perceptions and allow for a comparison between the two population groups. Content teachers’ perceptions of effective teaching practices mostly coincided with educational and TESL theory especially on questions that were specifically related to SIOP and constructivist practices. Teachers did not have strong beliefs about corrective feedback, the role of grammar instruction, and procedures related to the natural acquisition hypothesis. Additionally, though content teachers reported their beliefs about the importance of parity in co-teaching relationships, data from the qualitative portion of the study directly contradicted content teachers’ reported beliefs. Implications for ELLs, teachers, and teacher education programs are discussed.