Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Charles McElroy

Abstract

With the growing English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) population in the United States, English instruction is becoming vitally important in schools. Despite this growing need, many schools are eliminating ESOL support services that promote English learning, and some schools are eliminating ESOL support services in primary grades. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether providing ESOL support in kindergarten improved students' reading level, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Vygotsky's social learning theory and theory of proximal development provided the theoretical framework of the study. The research questions concerned differences in comprehension scores, vocabulary scores, and reading levels between students who were provided ESOL support services (n = 55) and those who were not (n = 51). A quasi-experimental pre/posttest control group design was used. Due to violations in homogeneity of variance and normality, the Kruskall-Wallis test, the nonparametric equivalent of the 1-way ANOVA, was conducted. Results indicated no statistically significant differences between the groups. Recommendations include replicating the study with a larger sample size to increase statistical power. This study may promote positive social change, as leaders in the local school district may use the findings and recommendations to make decisions on future services and continued evaluations to contribute toward ESOL student achievement.