Date of Conferral

2021

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Michelle McCraney

Abstract

In a southeastern state, Grade 7 and 8 middle school general education teachers were not implementing cultural and individual instructional strategies consistently to support the academic achievement of the growing population of English language learners (ELLs). The purpose and key research questions of this qualitative study were designed to (a) identify what cultural relevant instructional strategies Grades 7 and 8 middle school general education teachers implement, (b) identify what individual relevant instructional strategies, and (c) understand what perceptions teachers have regarding strategies to facilitate consistent implementation of cultural and individual instruction to support ELLs. The conceptual frameworks guiding this study were sociocultural and self-efficacy theories. The nine participants were middle school (i.e., Grade 7 and 8) general education teachers from a school district in a southeastern state. Data were gathered through semistructured interviews, which were transcribed and analyzed for emerging themes. The identified themes included teachers' beliefs in their abilities to provide consistent instruction to support ELLs, use of varied individual instructional strategies to support ELLs, use of varied cultural instructional strategies to support the needs of ELLs, and their want of preparation and relevant professional development to instruct ELLs. A position paper was created for presentation to district leadership outlining a course of action intended to increase teachers' knowledge, skills, and perceived ability for supporting ELLs. The project study findings have implications for positive social change, including identifying areas where professional development and focused instruction on the cultural and individual needs of ELLs increase teachers' knowledge, skills, consistency, and perceived ability to support ELLs in the local school district.

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