Teaching English as an Additional Language In The Global Classroom: A Transnational Study In The United States and United Kingdom


  • Gail McEachron The College of William and Mary
  • Ghazala Bhatti Bath Spa University


language support, social justice, comparative education


Global research has shown the persistence of inequality with regard to accessing curriculum with a view to obtaining suitable work and making useful contributions to society.  The intersection of race, gender, language and low socio-economic levels creates situations which often marginalize ethnic minorities in school settings (Freire, 1968; Nieto & Turner, 2012).  The graduation rates in the United States for Native American, African American and Hispanic students are lower than the graduation rates of Whites and Asian Americans.  In addition, Bangladeshis and African Caribbeans currently living in the UK are under-represented in higher education, particularly young men in those communities.  The research questions that guide this inquiry are:  (1) According to databases, how does the academic performance of language minority groups compare to the academic performance of non-linguistic minority groups at the elementary and secondary levels of education?  (2) According to language support teachers and university students, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the instructional practices for language minorities who are learning English in the United Kingdom (UK) (Bristol) and the United States (US) (Henrico)?  Participants were: five UK teachers, four UK university students, five US teachers, four US university students.  Data collection supervised by lead researchers included interviews, focus groups, classroom observation, and performance documents.  Data analysis utilized a mixed-methods approach. Overall, linguistic minority groups performed lower than their English proficient peers.   Culturally, UK teachers provided a greater emphasis on religious instruction, whereas US teachers addressed patriotic topics more frequently.  Teachers in the United States and the United Kingdom were culturally supportive with slight variation in the encouraged use of the students’ heritage languages.

Author Biographies

Gail McEachron, The College of William and Mary

Professor, Curriculum & Instruction

Ghazala Bhatti, Bath Spa University

Lecturer, Educational Studies