Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Amy E. White


A trending national concern is the increasing number of English language learners (ELL) who are being reclassified as long-term English language learners (LTELL) instead of progressing to the general education classroom. This trend is a local problem for the study elementary schools. Guided by sociocultural learning theory that outlined ESL best instructional practices, the purpose of this case study was to examine the instructional practices of elementary ESL teachers. Ten ESL teachers from each grade level from 1st to 5th grades were interviewed and observed. Analysis and organization of the data through its transcription and coding led to the emergence of 5 themes: sociocultural best practices, sociocultural deficiencies, other practices, district ESL program, and teacher needs. Findings included that the district ESL program was not executed with fidelity, there was a need for teacher think-alouds during instruction, and teachers were not consistently implementing decoding strategies with ESL students. A white paper was developed to share the findings with district leaders regarding maintaining fidelity of the ESL program by training teachers, providing necessary resources and other factors related to student success. Increasing the learning and language acquisition of the ESL students within the district may produce an overall positive social impact on society by increasing students' ability to contribute in their communities.