Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Christine Sorensen

Abstract

There is a growing population of English language learners (ELLs) in elementary schools across the United States, and a current academic achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELLs. Researchers have found that integration of Web 2.0 tools has benefitted ELLs in language learning settings, outside of the general classroom. The research problem addressed in this study, based on TPACK, explored general education teachers' experiences with integrating Web 2.0 technology to support academic language acquisition by ELLs and revealed the successes and challenges the teachers encountered. The 6 female participants in this qualitative interview study were required to have experience (a) as a general education classroom teacher for at least 1 year (b) using Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom to support ELLs, and (c) teaching ELLs within the elementary classroom environment. Qualitative analysis of transcripts from 1-on-1 interviews involved a coding and recoding process, revealed that the teachers saw Web 2.0 technologies as effective in supporting student learning, building class community, and differentiating instruction. Challenges and needs they experienced included lack of access to technology, needs for professional development, and administrative support. Further research could explore integration of specific Web 2.0 technologies. Results of the study may lead to better informed decisions by policy makers and leaders about professional development, support needs, and language services. Addressing the technology needs of educators may potentially lead to equity for ELL students in general education settings that would empower ELLs to experience successful academic transitions through schooling, while decreasing the academic achievement gap.