Author(s)

David BarberFollow

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Joan Fitzpatrick

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, Bilingual and Multicultural; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, General; Language, General

Keywords

CLD achievement gap, culturally and linguistically diverse learners, English language learner, Hispanic parental involvement, Second Language Acquisition Theory

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | First and Second Language Acquisition

Abstract

I examined the home environment and the amount of academic support non-English speaking parents are able to provide for their English Language Learner (ELL) children in the United States school system. In particular, the focus is on the families of children who struggle academically in the state of Georgia, where non-English speaking children are mainstreamed into regular education classrooms with limited support. Although there has been a great deal of research on how ELLs learn and what type of program can be used to best facilitate mastery of academics as they are learning the English language, the focal point of this study is the ELL parents' perspective on what the staff of the school system can do in order to assist them as they seek to help their children succeed in school. The parents interviewed in this study had children who attended a Title I Distinguished School in a small, rural town in Georgia. Selection was based on the academic status of the children, specifically targeting students who: (a) did not read on grade level, (b) struggled in mathematics and language arts, and (c) generally did not experience success in school. Through the use of focus groups, interviews were conducted with individual parents and teachers, and students' academic records were examined. From the collected data, five major themes were identified, which addressed the key issue of the study: how to assist non-English speaking parents help their children achieve academic success in school.