Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Joseph C. Rumenapp

Second Advisor

Audrey Figueroa Murphy

Third Advisor

Jordan González


The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the perceptions and practices of teachers providing effective feedback for early elementary-aged English Learners during reading instruction. The participants in this study were 9 elementary teachers who had English Learners in their class during reading instruction, from suburban school districts in the northeastern region of the United States. Guided by Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory (1978), in which learning occurs by interactions between teachers and students, the teacher mediates learning through social interactions with the use of learners’ Zone of Proximal Development (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Lantolf & Beckett, 2009). This study is led by three research questions regarding teachers’ practices of providing feedback toward English Learners during reading instruction, an investigation of the perceptions of teachers when they provide feedback specifically toward English Learners, as well as factors that influence their feedback practices. Two methods of data collection were used in this study. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to investigate elementary teachers’ perceptions and current practices of effective feedback toward English Learners. Additionally, a focus group interview was completed to investigate how the perceptions of teachers may influence their feedback practices as well as factors that influence their feedback in past, present, and future reading lessons. Both methods of data collection were then transcribed, coded, analyzed, and underwent triangulation to ensure consistency of the data. This qualitative study provided an understanding to fill in the gap in the literature to examine elementary teachers’ perceptions and practices of providing feedback to early elementary-aged English Learners in terms of what teachers view as effective for ELs in order to promote progress in reading skills. Furthermore, the findings from this qualitative study will assist administrators, curriculum developers, advocates for English Learners, as well as district leaders to find improved forms of professional development regarding the implementation of effective feedback for elementary-aged ELs. Lastly, administrators can provide effective professional development for teachers to better support ELs in reading as well as raise awareness for the need of updated professional development opportunities in the topic of providing feedback for ELs during reading instruction.