Date of Award

10-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Second Advisor

Lavinia Draper

Third Advisor

Leslie Wasson

Abstract

The fast growing number of ELL students in the nation's schools creates a greater challenge regarding the education of this particular population, where most of the challenges were related to school performance. The achievement difference among ELL students and monolingual English speaking students was notably marked (NCELA, 2008). In addition, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 established several requirements, including that teachers use research-based strategies. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2007) reported that only 29.5% of all teachers had formal training in strategies for ELL students. Smith-Davis (2004) highlighted that ELL teachers were not adequately prepared to assist ELL students to reach the maximum academic potential necessary for raising student achievement. Studies which focused on self-efficacy highlighted how teachers' sense of self-efficacy strongly influenced instruction, as well as student performance

Standardized testing continues to be the tool of preference when assessing student achievement in American schools (Klein, 2000). The states also required little or no professional development and school districts across the nation were providing insufficient training for ELL teachers. Herrera and Murry (2005) found that ELL students spent the majority of school time in grade-level classrooms with teachers that may have had little or no training in the special needs of ELL students. Tucker, Porter, Reinke, Herman, Ivery, Mack, and Jackson (2005) found a positive correlation between (a) higher levels of teacher efficacy; (b) student engagement; and (c) academic achievement among culturally diverse students.

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