Date of Conferral







Ellen Scales


Academic language is the key that promotes disciplinary reading, writing, speaking, and thinking. The novice teacher may not be prepared with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to effectively plan, teach, and assess for academic language achievement. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to understand the novice teacher’s experiences and perspectives of academic language development. The research questions focused on the novice elementary teacher’s practice of addressing academic language demands in teaching. The conceptual framework that guided the study comprised Bruner’s education theory that places teaching and learning within the culture and society and Rumelhart’s theory focused on vocabulary access supporting reading comprehension. Purposeful snowball sampling was used to select eight novice teachers who recently completed a teacher education program. Data from in-depth, open-ended participant interviews were analyzed using a thematic coding framework with concept-driven categories and data-driven subcategories relating to the conceptual framework and research questions. The significant key finding was the need for teacher education to consistently provide development of academic language knowledge and contextual understandings for planning, teaching, and assessing. Findings also indicated a need to provide disciplinary literacy academic language practices to fieldwork supervisors and coordinating teachers as stakeholders in the process of supporting student teachers. This study can lead to positive social change by providing teacher education programs with effective practices for preservice coursework and fieldwork that will enable novice teachers to provide equitable literacy learning and disciplinary literacy achievement for diverse students.