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English Learners (ELs) attend community colleges at a greater rate than four-year schools, making community colleges primary sites of ESL education in American higher education. These institutions’ recent embrace of the corequisite structure – a pairing of a non-credit developmental course with a credit-bearing disciplinary content course in order to accelerate students’ progress in their coursework – has direct implications for ELs. As corequisites are enacted in a wide range of content areas, professors will need to attend to students’ language development in a wide range of disciplinary courses. This qualitative study applies Linguistically Responsive Instruction as a framework to understand corequisite instructors’ beliefs about students’ learning, knowledge of teaching language, and understanding of the broader contextual factors at community colleges, including institutional policies and definitions of students’ readiness and success. Drawing on ongoing interviews conducted with faculty members throughout one semester, it offers faculty members’ perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of teaching ELs in the corequisite structure and provides a framework for professional development and institutional support.


This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a work originally published in TESOL Quarterly, available at



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