Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kim Nisbett


The education reform that took place in the emirate of Abu Dhabi set the standard that all students attending state-governed schools would be literate in their native language of Arabic as well as English, which was being taught in schools as a second language. However, school data documented achievement gaps in English reading among English language learners (ELLs) at a primary school in Abu Dhabi. The purpose of this study was to investigate the best approaches used by English medium teachers to teach reading to ELLs in order to provide recommendations for student improvement. Guided by Krashen’s monitor model, this study included an examination of the best approaches used by English medium teachers that help ELLs achieve success in English reading. This was achieved by examining how English medium teachers approached teaching reading to ELLs with the guiding question of asking what do English medium teachers perceive as being the best approaches for improving the English literacy passing rate among ELLs. In this qualitative case study, data were collected by conducting interviews with teachers; then, thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. It was concluded that reading assessments, phonics instruction, use of visuals, small group instruction, and vocabulary instruction were the perceived best practices used by teachers to approach teaching English to ELLs. It was also concluded that teachers were not receiving consistent training in teaching ELLs, and they did not have access to effective ELL resources. A white paper was created to highlight the problem of low reading achievement and to make recommendations to the school district. The results from this study could lead to improved instructional standards for teaching ELLs, which could positively impact social change by increasing English reading proficiency levels among ELLs.