Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
English language learners (ELLs) in a Midwestern urban elementary school have not been meeting the local school's adequate yearly progress (AYP) in reading in 3 consecutive years on statewide test scores. Meeting school standards is important because failing to meet AYP for 6 consecutive years can result in the restructuring or closing of any public school in the nation. The rationale for this qualitative case study was to examine the perceptions of stakeholders, 7 parents, teachers, and school administrators, all of whom have demonstrated knowledge of and proximity to the school's AYP decisions, to develop vocabulary strategies that may increase students' state test scores in reading. The conceptual framework was based on Gardner's multiple intelligences. The research questions focused on understanding stakeholders' perceptions of the proficiency of ELLs in reading, professional development for reading teachers of ELLs, recommendations for helping ELLs improve reading proficiency, and the challenges reading teachers face in ELL classes. Semi-structured interviews with each participant were transcribed, color-coded, and analyzed using holistic and typological analysis techniques to search for and develop themes and patterns. Findings revealed a need for teachers to receive professional development training related to improving ELLs' vocabulary to improve their reading proficiency. A 3-day professional development curriculum project was developed to focus on teaching effective vocabulary strategies. This study has implications for social change focused on improving teachers' capacity to work with ELLs and to improve their reading scores which have lasting impact on students' lives.