Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Foreign language learning for students with disabilities can be different from that of their nondisabled peers because of their special needs. Understanding the perspectives of language immersion teachers regarding their challenges and the support needed while working with students with disabilities in language immersion programs is important because such programs are growing rapidly nationwide. In addition, there is little research on the perspectives of these teachers in elementary school settings. The purpose of this qualitative study was to develop a deeper understanding of foreign language learning needs of students with disabilities from language immersion teachers' perspectives. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior served as the theoretical framework for the study. The research questions focused on language immersion teachers' perspectives of behaviors, needed support, and academic performance of students with disabilities. Data collection included interviews that were coded and themes developed to answer the research questions. Findings through individual interviews with the 12 language immersion teachers who were employed in the district indicated that students with disabilities needed extra support in learning a foreign language, behaviors affected their academic performance, and language immersion teachers needed additional support to learn appropriate strategies to handle behaviors in order to effectively serve students with disabilities. This study might contribute to a positive social change in education by furthering the knowledge of issues and support needed in inclusive environments for students with disabilities. Results might help foreign language teachers enhance learning for those students with disabilities in elementary school language immersion programs.