Community college goal exploration: A constructive-developmental study of English language learners
Originally Published In
Journal on Excellence in College Teaching
Understanding community college English language learner (ELL) goals may help educators better support ELLs to set and pursue those goals. One lens that has illuminated important differences in ELL goals is constructive-developmental theory (CDT). Using a CDT lens, this qualitative case study investigated the goals of six community college ELLs and their responses to goal-exploration assignments. Findings included diverse developmental perspectives and developmentally distinct goals and ways of responding to goal-exploration assignments. Specifically, learners with earlier developmental perspectives enjoyed goal exploration less than more abstract meaning-makers and would benefit from scaffolding. Implications for supporting developmentally diverse ELL goals are discussed.