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Case Studies

Study Guide developed by Teresa Loper, M.Ed.

The content of this web page was developed as an aid to either student or entry level teachers who have immediate need in their classroom for information related to ESL or for anyone wishing to further understand this general topic area.

This web site is being evaluated and updated during this development phase. Please contact the WSU Development Team Coordinator, Dr. Vicki Napper, with comments or suggestions for this web page. All contacts and comments welcome.

WSU Development Team


The following case study is presented to give students practice in critically assessing teaching situations and applying appropriate solutions to complex situations involving students who are speakers of other languages.

Read through the case study and then refer to the information provided. Write your plan for solving the case studies and present them to your instructor or mentor.

Case Study #3

Mrs. Clare was well prepared for her culturally diverse first grade students this school year. She was looking forward to learning more about the five different countries and cultures represented in her classroom. She had completed all of the required courses to successfully earn her ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching endorsement. She was very aware of how to enrich her lessons to accommodate second language learners. What Mrs. Clare was not prepared for was the uneasiness and fear that overwhelmed the parents of the students who were not ESL pupils. One parent in particular complained to Mrs. Clare that her child was being harassed by another student in the classroom. When Mrs. Clare inquired about the identity of the “bully,” the parent did not know the name of the student who was bothering her child. However, the parent mentioned to Mrs. Clare that the student causing trouble was one of the “foreign” boys with the dark hair and real dark skin. Mrs. Clare did not expect adults to react in this manner about a classroom of typical six year old students.

Reflection Questions:

1. How can Mrs. Clare prepare herself for the challenges involved in teaching culturally diverse students?

2. Is it possible to convey to parents the importance of being open minded in their outlook of the culturally diverse world?

3. How can Mrs. Clare ease the tensions of the concerned parents?


Go to ESL Index and information




Comments or Suggestions:
Bruce Schroeder, Project Coordinator
or Vicki Napper, WSU Development Team

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