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Perspectives of ESL teachers, core-subject teachers and administrators on collaboration in a European international school Cook, Frances Jane Anne


This research examines collaboration between ESL teachers and core-subject teachers in an English Medium European International School following a graduated supported immersion program for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. The research methodology includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study describes collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers and analyzes their perspectives on different aspects of the collaborative process. It seeks to increase our understanding of the factors which facilitate collaboration, with particular reference to what makes it a more positive and effective experience for teachers. Additionally, the viewpoints of two administrators are examined with regard to the role of the administration in facilitating collaboration between teachers. This study does not seek to determine or analyze the outcomes of collaboration in terms of student achievement. An examination of the data revealed that teachers collaborate to varying degrees, for different reasons and have a preference for different communication modes. Key issues identified by teachers included: the importance of a strong relationship with collaborating colleagues, time, administrative support, and the role of LEP students in the collaboration process. Additionally, it was found that teachers' perspectives on collaboration were linked with their perspective on the ESL program in place. Teachers also offered suggestions for how they felt collaboration could or should be improved. Perspectives shared by the administrators revealed that they value supporting collaboration between teachers, but are faced with constraints that affect the degree to which collaboration can be facilitated. The study has a number of implications for practice. Preliminary conclusions are drawn based on the data collected and suggestions are made for improving collaboration in terms of factors that facilitate an effective and satisfying collaborative process. These include re-prioritizing who collaborates with whom, the scheduling of common planning time, re-conceptualizing the issue of prep time, and effective support of collaboration. The study concludes with suggestions for further research in the area of collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers.

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