Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


There is a sizable number of English Language Learners (ELL) that are not succeeding in schools and are academically “falling through the cracks.” The purpose of this thesis is to gather information that identifies reasons why students are not succeeding academically and which strategies individual teachers can implement to help these students attain academic success. The literature reveals that Long Term English Language Learners have lower levels of literacy and tend to drop out more frequently compared to native English speakers. This is a qualitative study using a focus group at a middle school. Data were collected from individuals in a focus group. This study found six key strategies that could be used by teachers teaching English Language Learners to improve their students’ proficiency in English. Implications for future research include continuing to explore effective ways to support ELL students in becoming proficient in English in the elementary grades.

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