Increasing Usage of ESL Instructional Practices in a Rural County Elementary School

John J. Hoover, Julia S. Sarris, Raymond Hill


The study setting is one elementary school located in a remote rural county school district in a mountain western state. Implementing a specific set of procedures, ESL Instructional Improvement Process, educators examined and increased use of research-based ESL instructional practices in the education of English learners (ELs). A key feature of the piloted process is educator self-assessment of instructional practices, resulting in the development of workshop sessions and action items, and completion of classroom observations. Researchers found that the process proved effective in increasing rural educators’ knowledge and application of ESL best practices. Self-assessment was highly effective in helping educators examine existing instructional practices, leading to relevant workshop sessions and classroom implementation of ESL action items. Numerous examples of the use of research-based ESL instructional practices as a result of this project are provided, along with suggestions for further research to improve the education of ELs in rural county schools.


rural education; ESL instruction; educator self-assessment; professional development

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