Teachers' Beliefs About English Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom: A Review of the Literature

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140 Scopus citations


This literature review on teachers' beliefs about English language learners (ELLs) in mainstream classrooms is organized into three sections: (a) inservice teachers' existing beliefs, (b) predictors of inservice teachers' beliefs, and (c) the connection between inservice teachers' beliefs and practices. This body of literature points to a clear need for increased professional development for mainstream teachers because, currently, teacher education possesses a "poverty of language learning." According to the research included in this review, a relation exists between beliefs and practices in relation to teaching ELLs in mainstream classrooms. Certain factors, such as training in teaching ELLs, years of teaching experience, and exposure to language diversity, have been identified as predictors of mainstream teachers' beliefs about English to speakers of other languages students. It is important for teachers who hold deficit beliefs toward ELLs to adopt a new set of beliefs for successful inclusion of ELLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-147
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ESOL
  • English language learner
  • literature review
  • poverty of language learning
  • teachers' beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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