Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Amy White


English language learners (ELLs) need additional support to achieve academic success. The problem addressed in this study was the need to know if the sheltered instruction observation protocol (SIOP) support for ELL students was effective in improving their reading achievement. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to determine if there was a significant difference in reading achievement scores between ELLs who received the SIOP support and those who did not. SIOP provides a framework for teaching both language and content instruction. Krashen’s language acquisition theory was used as the theoretical framework for this study. The research questions compared grade 3, 4, and 5 ELLs from three urban schools on the dependent variables of test results on the state’s English Language Development Test (CELDT) for both reading and comprehension as well as the iReady Diagnostic assessment. The convenience sample included 50 ELLs from each school for the treatment group (n = 150) and 50 ELLs for the control group (n = 50). One-way ANOVA was used to analyze student scores from the CELDT and iReady Diagnostic administered in 2013 and 2015. The findings showed a statistically significant difference for ELLs who received SIOP support (p < .05) for all grades in all tests, except the CELDT comprehension, where the third grade mean differences were not statistically significant (F = 0.016, p = .889). A professional development project was created to help teachers use SIOP strategies with fidelity. Positive social change can be facilitated when ELL instruction improves fluency and academic outcomes for students whose primary language is not English.