An examination of standards for effective pedagogy in a high school bilingual setting

Date of Completion

January 2001


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Secondary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




American schools are confronting new challenges to provide quality schooling to English language learners (ELLs) (August & Hakuta, 1998; Garcia, 2000). While the numbers of Hispanic ELLs have grown exponentially across the United States, their level of academic achievement has lagged significantly behind that of their English speaking peers (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2000). ELLs at the high school level need to learn English and academics simultaneously in order to graduate (Faltis & Wolfe, 1999). ^ The purpose of this study was to conduct a detailed qualitative inquiry of the enactment of the five standards for teaching language and content (Marshall & Rossman, 1994; Tedlock, 2000). The standards, developed from research conducted in the area of sociocultural pedagogy, are grounded in a social constructivist approach. It recognizes that ELLs regardless of class, ethnicity, or language proficiency construct their knowledge socially through meaningful interactions with teachers and peers (Tharp, Estrada, Stoll-Dalton, & Yamauchi, 2000). ^ The participants were ninth and tenth grade Hispanic ELLs who are enrolled in Roseville High School. Interviews, videotaping, direct observations, tape recording, document analysis, and transcription of the lessons were used for data collection. ^ The analysis process resulted in the following conclusions. First, CREDE standards seem to be significant instructional tools to improve educational practices for high school ELLs. Second, Standards-based instruction provides positive and effective interaction among students and between students and teacher in the classrooms. Third, content-area standards integrated with CREDE standards create an instructional environment where academic language and content are taught simultaneously. Fourth, CREDE standards help to present content vocabulary necessary for ELLs to understand the lessons in a meaningful way. Fifth, the use of variety of supplemental material help ELLs to understand key components necessary to understand the concepts presented. Sixth, the classroom dynamics promote interaction and discourse among students in a non-threatening environment that enhanced language and academic learning. Seventh, CREDE standards promote students-centered activities that offer a greater potential for students' output in a non-threatening environment. Eighth, CREDE standards promote the use of modeling and conversation that served as scaffold to enhance academic concepts learning. ^