Opportunity to Teach: Push-In and Pull-Out Models of English Learner Instruction

Laura Baecher
Angela B. Bell

Abstract

As the number of US English Language Learners (ELLs) increases, elementary educators struggle to make decisions related to curriculum and instruction. This research fills an important gap in the research on program models for ELLs by presenting a two-part investigation of push-in and pull-out English Language Development (ELD) instruction from the vantage point of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. The first part of the investigation uses nationally administered surveys to capture the practices, beliefs, and challenges of ESL professionals working in these models. The second part highlights the concerns raised by those ESL teachers regarding the extent to which a cohort of 175 ELL students received their ELD instruction. We explore the implications for the academic achievement of ELLs in the primary grades when their access to consistent ELD instruction is curtailed. We illuminate the problematic aspects of both models and call for greater attention to the implementation and monitoring of services for young ELLs.