Document Type

Honors Thesis


Secondary Education


Timothy Reagan

Committee Members

Christopher Mares, Tammy Mills, Kendra Rand, Maria Sandweiss

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


English language learners are an underserved population within the public school system, and there is not enough being done to prepare future teachers to teach these students. The University of Maine College of Education and Human Development is one of the leading teacher preparation programs in Maine, but they no longer offer undergraduate courses on how to teach ELL students. The classes offered at the University address ELLs within the special education context and teaching multiculturalism in a mainstream classroom. Teaching ELLs is different than teaching native English-speaking students, therefore the instructional strategies used within a mainstream classroom are not always effective when teaching ELLs. This thesis analyzes and determines how the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development should best prepare future teachers to meet the needs of English language learners.

After reviewing the empirical literature and instructional practices, I developed a one-semester course that addresses the language acquisition process and teaching methods for ELLs to be used within the UMaine undergraduate education preparation programs. This course would be required for all education students regardless of major and specialization. As a result of this course, future teachers may be better equipped to teach ELLs.