How Do Teachers Who Were English Learners Make Sense of the English Learner Label?

This study explores how public school teachers who were classified as English Learners (ELs) in childhood make sense of the English Learner designation, and how it impacts their work with their own students who are designated as English Learners. This study listens to the stories of seven teachers, explores the lived experiences they had as EL-designated students, and considers how those experiences shape their understanding of the EL label as educators. By examining these stories through the lenses of identity, stigma, and sense-making, the study informs the work of educators who advocate for and teach students designated as English Learners on their school sites.