Challenges confronting teachers of English language learners

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The number of English language learners and limited English proficient students has grown exponentially in the United States over the past decades. Given the huge cultural and linguistic diversity among them, educating this population of students remains a challenge for teachers. This paper aims to review the types of challenges that educators face when teaching limited English proficient students in the US context. Findings from existing literature show the obstacles teachers confront are social, institutional, and personal in nature. Although some research has emphasised stronger teacher education programmes as a solution to problems related to the teaching and learning of these students, these programmes are insufficient for teachers to overcome all of the challenges they face. Concerted efforts by educators, local and central administrators, academics, local communities, and lawmakers are necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-225
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • English language learners
  • limited English proficiency
  • language minority
  • teacher challenges

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