Effect of Class Size on Teaching Middle School English Language Learners

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Garcia, Carolina N.
class size; middle school; teaching; Education
thesis / dissertation description
Class size is an issue in American K-12 education that researchers have examined and debated for years. Documented research studies conducted on the impact of class size on student achievement have not come to concrete conclusions due to the minimal influence of federal class size reduction programs throughout the United States. Furthermore, despite the vast body of literature concerning the class size and its impact on student achievement, focusing primarily on students in the elementary grades, there is a distinct lack of scholarship focusing on the effect of class size on teaching English Language Learners (ELL) and attempt to fill this gap in the research literature. A qualitative research design was used to collect data from a sample from teachers currently employed in one Bay Area school district for this study. The results of the study suggested that class size did play a role in and affected the teaching of ELL students in large mainstream academic classrooms. In particular, this study indicated that certain elements of teaching, such as pacing and individualized student attention are affected.