Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 10-8-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Keywords

Latino, ELL students, performance, reading, student engagement

Abstract

Teachers who instruct Latino students face many instructional challenges. Latino students must learn a new language as well as grasp grade level content. Along with learning a new language, they struggle with not having enough background knowledge, not being sufficiently exposed to cultural content, low self-confidence, and lack of parental involvement. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding of Latino students’ academic struggles from the perspective of their teachers. This study was guided by the following research question: What experiences do educators teaching non-performing Latino students in reading encounter at elementary schools located in the Southern United States? The sample was obtained through snowball strategy and it consisted of eight participants who were Title I elementary teachers from the Southern United States. The data collection instruments were interviews and journal entries. An inductive analysis was used to analyze collected data. The key findings of this study were that teachers understand that Latino students lack background knowledge and they have to provide appropriate scaffolding to help students make connections to ease comprehension. The teachers expressed the need for them to include more cultural tasks in the classroom to increase student engagement.

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