Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methodological study was to explore factors that impact English Language Learners’ (ELLs) reading comprehension in middle school and strategies for improvement. The independent variables were Oral Language Skills, Reading Motivation, Cultural Relevant Pedagogy, Teacher Instructional Strategies, Students’ Self-Efficacy in the use of English, Academic Peer Support, and Student Socialization/Involvement; the dependent variable was Reading Comprehension. This study took place at one private school outside the Atlanta Metropolitan area in which 99% of the population are ELLs. The participants included 60 students and 3 teachers of different content backgrounds.

The quantitative data collected included a survey of 60 students and students’ Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs) scores were analyzed. Pearson r 2-tailed correlation, descriptive statistics, and a regression test were used to test the significant relationship between variables. The qualitative data collected included interviews of 6 students and classroom observations of teachers’ lesson plans. To analyze the qualitative data, the researcher interpreted statements from the interviews, classroom observations of teachers’ lesson plans, and document analyses into themes.

The findings of this study revealed that there are significant relationships between the dependent variable, reading comprehension and the independent variables oral language skills, students’ reading motivation, culturally relevant pedagogy, student socialization/involvement, and students’ self-efficacy in the use of English having the greatest impact on ELLs reading comprehension.