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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Getting "Unstuck": Supporting Long-Term English Learners' Access to Challenging Curriculum
by Cotto, Luz, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 184; 10824230
Abstract (Summary)

The achievement gap and educational equity have been major concerns in the United States for many years. While many groups are impacted by educational inequities, one population of growing concern is Long-Term English Learners (LTEL). LTELs continue to be “stuck” at the intermediate level of English proficiency limiting their access to rigorous curriculum. One program developed to specifically address the linguistic and academic needs of middle school LTEL students is AVID Excel.

This qualitative case study explored the ways in which the implementation of AVID Excel at the middle school level, in a single district, sought to provide linguistic, academic and cultural supports for LTEL students. The study approaches this issue from an implementation perspective, based on the practices and perspectives of the adults who are enacting the program. Utilizing multiple data sources, the results included four key findings: intrinsic motivation, parental support and Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills are strengths the adult participants perceived LTEL students have that help them succeed in school; academic language, navigating American schooling expectations and redesignation are perceived challenges keeping LTEL students from achieving academic success; a combination of specific AVID Excel strategies and external ELD strategies were used to address language acquisition; despite citing parental support as a strength, participants identified family-connections and American school cultural development as LTEL students’ needs.

There are implications as to the importance of providing continued explicit focus on English Language Development skills as well as academic language. In addition, ? Implications for further research, policy and practice should focus on the role of culture and promoting teacher’s cultural competencies in supporting LTEL students’ academic success. As well as supporting teachers in implementing the cultural funds of knowledge students (and parents) bring from their homes in order to bridge students’ culture with the American schooling context and focused language development found in programs like AVID Excel.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hsieh, Betina
Commitee: Biolchino, Erin, Gamboa-Brooks, Ruth
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle School education, Education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Academic language development, Advancement Via Individual Determination, Cultural support, English language development, Excel, Long-Term English Learners, Specially designed academic instruction in English
Publication Number: 10824230
ISBN: 978-0-438-20953-4
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