Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Chue Vang

Abstract

This project study addressed the problem of 3rd grade English language learners (ELLs) not passing the state mandated reading test at the same rate as other students between 2009 and 2013 in Georgia. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of an elementary school's afterschool program (ASP) on ELLs' reading achievements and to investigate 3rd grade afterschool teachers' perceptions of the reading curriculum using a mixed methods explanatory sequential design. Schema theory, the framework used to guide this study, indicated prior knowledge and experiences are necessary to comprehend new ideas or concepts. Prior knowledge and experiences can be gained from the instruction provided during ASPs. During the quantitative phase, a paired-samples t test was conducted using archived data from 2014 on 43 ELLs. The result was a significant increase in reading from pre- to posttest. In the qualitative phase, two 3rd grade ASP teachers were interviewed about their perceptions of the reading curriculum and those interviews were then analyzed using In Vivo coding and 2 cycle analysis. Themes revealed were professional development (PD), curriculum presentation, instructional strategies, and ASP modifications. A 4-day PD was designed for teachers providing plans to teach ELLs academic content and literacy. PD would provide teachers with reading instructional strategies to teach ELLs, which may increase their achievement on state tests to decrease the ELL reading achievement gap. Implications for positive social change include using an ASP and PD to increase ELLs' reading achievements and to increase success on state mandated tests.