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Abstract

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) content and English as a Second Language (ESL) strategies can be organically incorporated to create a successful education for an English Language Learner (ELL). The first objective of this research project is to discover how prepared Family and Consumer Sciences teachers feel to work with English Language Learners in the classroom. The second objective is to identify practical and effective methods and strategies that are useful for Family and Consumer Sciences teachers instructing English Language Learners. The rationale for this project is that by identifying the challenges faced by English Language Learners in education, teachers in this field can better address the needs of these students with proven methods.

A three-part approach was taken to gather insight from all relevant stakeholders. This paper examines research gained from a forced-choice survey of Family and Consumer Sciences teachers across the country along with field observations of both high school and college English Language Learners in the Midwest. The purpose of the survey is to gather the perspective of the educator, specifically within Family and Consumer Sciences. The first level of field observation aims to study the struggle of the English Language Learner in the high school setting over a semester of classes. The second level of field observation is a one-day instruction of a lesson aimed towards college-age English Language Learners as a method of understanding the difficulties shared by the instructor and student.

In the conclusion of this study, a lack of current research surrounding Family and Consumer Sciences and English as a Second Language was discovered, along with the need to address how teachers are supported in their endeavor to instruct English Language Learners with life skills, and the need to embrace students’ cultural diversity and use multiple teaching styles.