Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Wassell, Beth

Second Advisor

Ieva, Kara

Third Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth


Limited English-proficient students


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine, through a social justice lens, how teachers, counselors and administrators describe their roles when working with English Language learners (ELLs). The study was conducted with four (N = 4) general education teachers ranging from grades 9-12, one ESL teacher (N = 1), one counselor (N = 1), and three administrators (N = 3) in one suburban school with a culturally and linguistically diverse student population. Qualitative data was collected through interviews. Results indicated that teachers lacked the necessary pedological skills and training to effectively instruct ELLs. Furthermore, the study revealed that current practices at the school and district level provided minimal supports and attention to ELLs. Drawing on the findings, the areas that demand attention include: the challenges faced by teachers; current school practices; and the types of supports teachers need. The study concludes with practical suggestions for serving ELLs, providing them with trained teachers and creating an inclusive environment that incorporates a fair and equitable educational experience for ELLs.