Resources and roadblocks that affect English language learners in urban high schools

María Fernández Hawrylak, Beth A. Wassell, Sarah Kate Lavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article describes a qualitative study that focused on the experiences of 14 English Language Learner (ELL) students in urban high schools in the United States. The study investigated the structures that affected the students' agency, particularly related to teaching and learning. After describing relevant literature related the experiences of ELL students in the USA, the research design, findings, conclusions and implications are presented. Specific structures within classrooms, schools and the community impacted students' ability to access resources necessary to meet their academic and social needs and to learn effectively. Using a narrative inquiry framework, the findings revealed that resources included space, time, and a sense of caring created by teachers. The barriers included ineffective Esta investigación fue financiada mediante una beca interna no salarial de aptitud patrocinada por la Universidad de Rowan. instructional practices, a lack of empathy toward the students and their experiences, and fewer opportunities to access the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalPorta Linguarum
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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