Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Crissie Jameson


The number of culturally and linguistically diverse students at an urban elementary school in a southern state has greatly increased since the 2014-2016 school year. Corresponding low state achievement test scores have also been observed for English language learners (ELLs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the instructional strategies that general education teachers implement in their classrooms to support the academic needs of ELLs and teachers perceptions of their own abilities to instruct ELLs. The conceptual framework for this study was Bandura's theory of self-efficacy. The case study research design included interviews and observations with a sample of 10 general education teachers at the school in grades 1-5 who had ELL students in their general education classrooms. The data were transcribed, coded, and analyzed for emerging themes which included the following; teachers' beliefs in their abilities to support ELLs, their educational background, their professional development (PD) and training, their perceptions of English as a language barrier, their lack of ESL instructional resources, and their beliefs about an appropriate education and positive classroom environment. Based on the findings of this doctoral project study, a PD program was created to increase teachers' knowledge, skills and perceived competence for teaching ELLs. The study has implications for positive social change which includes a PD program for general education teachers to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence about teaching ELLs that might enhance students' learning and achievement