Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jose Otaola


Despite language differences, English Language Learners (ELLs) in U.S. public schools are assessed by the same standardized tests of English Language Arts (ELA) skills as are their English-speaking peers. ELLs have routinely performed poorly on the New York State ELA standardized assessment. ELLs are a significant portion of the population in New York City public schools; therefore, their continued poor performance puts some of these schools at risk for closure. Guided by Thomas's and Collier's framework for understanding Dual Language Immersion programs, the purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental, archival study was to determine if significant differences in ELA standardized assessment scores exist for ELLs attending an English as a New Language (ENL) program when compared to those attending a Dual Language (DL) program. A mixed-model ANOVA (N = 24 ELLs tested in 2014, 2015, and 2016) indicated that scores increased significantly during the 3-year period, but there were no significant differences in scores for the ENL program students compared to the DL program students. An ANCOVA (N = 366 ELLs tested in 2016 evenly distributed in each program) showed that, when controlling student disability status, DL program students scored significantly higher than ENL program students. These findings formed the basis of a professional development curriculum designed to guide educators and administrators in the implementation of effective DL programs and teaching strategies to support ELLs' achievement. When supported with research-based programs in their schools, ELLs can achieve more academically, thereby fostering social change over time as more ELLs enter the workforce uniquely qualified to succeed in a diverse, global economy.