Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donna Brackin


Teachers’ language modeling skills are important for children’s language development and school readiness. However, 34% of pre-kindergarten (pre-K) classrooms score in the low range on the language modeling dimension of the CLassroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) observation tool within the instructional support domain in a southern state. For this basic qualitative study, the purpose and research questions explored pre-K teachers’ perspectives on the challenges of implementing language modeling and the type of support they need to improve language modeling skills in a southern state. The conceptual framework that guided the study was Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, specifically the concepts of the zone of proximal development and the more knowledgeable other. Thirteen pre-K teachers with at least 3 years of teaching experience and who had completed a specialized early childhood program participated in semistructured interviews. A priori, open, and axial coding were used to find common meanings and organize codes into categories and themes. The key findings related to challenges on implementing language modeling, challenges with professional development for language modeling, support needed for pre-K teachers, and language modeling activities and strategies being used in the classroom. Results have implications for positive social change by providing a deeper understanding of teachers’ perspectives on the support they need to improve language modeling interactions with children that will help development of children’s communication, vocabulary, and language skills. The findings are significant to administrators by showing the needs of the teachers to successfully implement language modeling.