Date of Conferral







Robert H. Voelkel


AbstractResearch has shown that technology-mediated interventions in education can increase students’ understanding of academic vocabulary. However, it is not known how teachers provide opportunities for kindergarten English learners (ELs) to learn vocabulary using technology, and school leaders support teachers in this endeavor. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to understand teachers' and school leaders’ perspectives on opportunities for kindergarten ELs to use technology to develop vocabulary in an urban school in the southwest United States. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Cummins’s theory of basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency. Using purposeful sampling, 14 participants, who were kindergarten teachers, principals, assistant principals, and English language development coordinators in the southwest United States, participated in semistructured interviews and focus groups via Zoom. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s six-step thematic coding. Findings indicated that teachers implement five kinds of technology. Results also show that technology integration and educational leaders’ support are directly linked to ELs’ academic success. Recommendations included using a different study design, a larger sample size, and different student population. The results of this study may have implications for positive social change by helping education leaders and teachers understand the need for technology integration in instruction and its impact on ELs’ academic success, preparation for civic life, and competing successfully in the workforce in the 21st century.