Constructivism in Practice: The Case for English Language Learners

Nyaradzo H. Mvududu, Jennifer Thiel-Burgess


A classroom of diverse learners with diverse language backgrounds can be a great challenge for a classroom teacher.  English Language Learners (ELL) present a particular challenge to teachers as they represent such a wide range of academic abilities, English language abilities, and academic background. Constructivism is widely touted as an approach to probe for children’s level of understanding and the ways in which that understanding can be taken to higher level thinking. Constructivism is a way of learning and thinking. It is how students make sense of the material and how they can be taught most effectively. Constructivism as an educational theory holds that teachers should take into account what students know.  Teachers then build on this knowledge and allow students to put their knowledge into practice. This paper will explore how the theory of constructivism may benefit ELL students in an inclusive classroom.

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