Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Long-term English language learners' experiences through an assets lens: A phenomenological study
by Pendleton, Veronica, Ed.D., University of La Verne, 2017, 178; 10256610
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to understand and, using an assets lens, systematically describe the essence of the experiences of long-term English learners when acquiring proficiency in English.

Methodology. A phenomenological design was used to explore the experiences of long-term English learners when acquiring proficiency in English. The researcher interviewed a purposeful sampling of 5 adults who identified themselves to be long-term English learners as students. Patton’s (2002) steps in phenomenological analysis including epoche, phenomenological reduction, bracketing, textural portrayal, and structural synthesis were used to analyze the data. Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) process for validity and reliability were utilized to establish alternative constructs of credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Findings. Fifteen formulated meanings were constructed from the significant statements, and 5 themes emerged. The 5 themes were explained and supported with the significant statements from the interviews. Finally, the essence of the experiences of long-term English learners when acquiring proficiency in English was described.

Conclusions. The results of the study support the key themes associated with critical developmental assets that impacted the acquisition of English of LTELs. The key themes included family communication preferences and challenges, parental involvement in helping youth succeed in school, experiencing high expectations, developing achievement motivation, and engaging in learning. The findings of this phenomenological study offer districts support to implement programs that empower parents how to become effective advocates in their children’s education.

Recommendations. This study was conducted with adults who identified themselves as LTELs. Further phenomenological research could be conducted to research the types and levels of parental involvement and the effects parental involvement has on the assets of achievement motivation and learning engagement. Additionally, a study could identify if Hispanic parents view their parental responsibilities and participation in the schooling of their children differently from mainstream America. Finally, future research could survey the developmental assets of ELs in middle school. As students become reclassified in middle school, research would identify the combination of assets in those students reclassified as compared with students who did not meet reclassification criteria within the same year.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fox, Shari L.
Commitee: Cox, Kathy, Valencia, Esmirna
School: University of La Verne
Department: LaFetra College of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Education
Keywords: 40 developmental assets, Long-term english learners
Publication Number: 10256610
ISBN: 978-1-369-56237-8
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