Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timmothy Lafferty


Although British West Indian Caribbean (BWIC) immigrant students are considered to be English speaking students by U.S. public schools, many of them speak other languages. These students experience hardships and have unique remediation needs that many schools are not providing. The conceptual frameworks that guided this case study were sociocultural theory, acculturation theory, and leadership theory. These theories postulate that culture influences learning, second language acquisition is linked to adapting to a new culture, and leadership is important to implement system-wide changes. Qualitative data included interviews with 6 teachers and 3 administrators who work closely with BWIC students, New York City Department of Education English Language Test results of 512 students, and 26 BWIC student school enrollment forms. Data were analyzed through a coding process to determine emergent patterns and themes. Key findings indicated that participants identified the students' academic struggles with Standard English and that teachers experiment with various strategies to reach the students. Recommendations include development of identification and remediation programs for BWIC students and additional research on strategies to teach English to these students. Study findings may promote positive social change by encouraging school districts to work with the Caribbean-American community to help increase BWIC student retention rates.