Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jerita Whaley


In a suburban high school, an average of 50% of limited English proficient (LEP) students did not meet the required standard on the 9th grade literature and composition end of course test (EOCT), and an average of 46% of LEP students did not meet the required standard on the American literature and composition EOCT in the years 2008-2011. LEP students were expected to meet the same standards as their native-born peers in order to pass courses and ultimately graduate. Using the professional learning community (PLC) model and the concept of differentiated instruction, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate how 7 regular education English teachers from 2 different schools described the ways they differentiated instruction for LEP students in their regular education classrooms. Data were collected by using open-ended questions, member checking, and reviewing documentary data they related to professional development on differentiation and then analyzed by transcribing and coding for emerging themes. Findings revealed that the participants wanted to have meaningful professional development where differentiated instruction is modeled for them in their content area with the time to implement and collaborate on the effectiveness of the lessons. Results of the project study will be shared at the local schools to encourage teachers to see the benefits of differentiated instruction with LEP students. This study has the potential for social change for English teachers, by revealing how to integrate differentiation, help students increase scores on required standardized tests, and thereby maximize their students' learning potential.