Teacher efficacy of special education teachers of English language learners with disabilities

Oneyda Maria Paneque, Florida International University

Abstract

This research examined the perceived teacher efficacy of special education teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) with educational disabilities by surveying 202 elementary special education teachers using the EXCEL Teacher Inventory. EXCEL consists of 20 teacher efficacy items, three open-ended questions, and participant demographic items. ^ Overall participant teacher efficacy scores were high. Of the variables assessed, a statistically significant difference in perceived efficacy was found with self-reported proficiency in the language of the target students. No statistically significant differences in teacher efficacy scores were found for (a) levels of teacher preparation; (b) number of years of teaching experience; or (c) socioeconomic status of the students. A multiple regression analysis indicated that, of the variables listed above, proficiency in the language of the target students accounted for significant variance in predicting the level of teachers' perceived efficacy. ^ Responses to the open-ended questions about what was most helpful when working with ELLs with disabilities yielded two major themes: organizational issues and teacher issues. Participants wrote numerous comments about the value of support from educational professionals and parents. Many participants recommended individuals in preservice programs take ESOL content specific courses. ^ The results demonstrate the positive correlation between proficiency in the language of the target students and teacher efficacy. This suggests that teachers of ELLs with disabilities have proficiency in the ELLs' native language (or have support from others who are language proficient) that allows them to distinguish between language difference and language disability and provide instruction in the native language when needed. Further, results from open-ended questions suggest that special education teacher preparation programs should include courses related specifically to strategies for teaching ELLs with disabilities, not just ELLs. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Paneque, Oneyda Maria, "Teacher efficacy of special education teachers of English language learners with disabilities" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3128611.
https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3128611

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