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Constructivist Grounded Theory: Studying Exemplary Teachers of English Language Learners

Case
By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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Abstract

In 2002, I began a PhD program in curriculum and instruction to study second language literacy development, with a particular interest in students who don't speak English as their first language. Having been an elementary classroom teacher and English as a Second Language specialist, I became increasingly interested in how state mandates regarding the elimination of bilingual education impacted classroom teachers and English Language Learner students alike. These mandates would require English Language Learners to receive less instruction in specific English as a Second Language support and more time in the regular classroom. Classroom teachers who were not prepared to work effectively with English Language Learner students were becoming increasingly overwhelmed by how to best instruct these students since they had not been prepared to do so. Therefore, I decided to study classroom teachers who were particularly effective at working with English Language Learners to determine what made them so effective and why. Based on my research questions, I decided to use constructivist grounded theory as my primary methodology. This case study describes how I used constructivist grounded theory in my research, why it was suited to my work, and the challenges it posed.

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