Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Stephen Kotok

Second Advisor

Randall F. Clemens

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley

Abstract

The number of English Language Learner students (ELLs) has increased within the United States while the number of qualified teachers for these students has decreased. Students’ outcomes are related to the quality of education they receive. A teacher’s knowledge of and preparation for teaching ELLs influences students’ performance. Previous literature found that most classroom teachers do not feel qualified to teach ELLs. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the readiness of classroom teachers in teaching ELLs. The sociocultural framework of Bruner (1960) and Vygotsky (1978) aided in the exploration of teachers’ perceptions about the adequacy of instruction provided to ELLs. A sample of 256 conveniently selected teachers with no experiences teaching ELLs, one to three years of experience teaching ELLs, and four years or more of experience teaching ELLs shared their responses to the Teachers’ Perceptions of Teaching ELLs Collective Efficacy Scale survey items (Téllez & Manthey, 2015) and the Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) (Ponterotto et al., 1998). Data was sorted, coded, and analyzed to understand differences in teachers’ perceptions of teaching ELLs based on years of experience working with these students. The participants’ responses helped design a professional development initiative that would address the needs of these teachers and improve overall student performance.

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