Erika Ayala


The purpose of this sequential explanatory embedded mixed methods study was to: (a) investigate and describe the academic performance of eighth grade students in the Falcon School District (FSD) who were designated as Long Term English Learners (LTELs) and participants in FSD’s reading intervention program during their fourth through eighth grade years from 2009-2013, (b) explore the insights of FSD reading intervention teachers as related to LTELs’ academic performance data, and (c) discern the strengths and weaknesses of the reading intervention program in general and as related to Olsen’s recommend components for a successful Long Term English Learner program. This study utilized a sequential explanatory embedded mixed methods design to gather quantitative and qualitative data. This study was sequential embedding because primary data (quantitative) were obtained prior to obtaining secondary data (qualitative). Quantitative data consisted of LTEL academic performance data and qualitative data consisted of 10 reading intervention teacher’s insights. The process for embedding data occurred when primary (quantitative) data were utilized when reading intervention teachers’ insights were explored to further explain primary data (student’s academic performance data) and then further obtaining their perceptions of the reading intervention program. Four conclusions resulted from this study. First, LTEL academic performance is affected by teacher expectations for students. Second, LTELs’ academic performance is affected positively by teachers’ instructional practices pertaining to implementation of differentiated strategies to support LTELs’ needs for maximum rigor in order to access grade level content and specialized academic language support (such as focus on comprehension, vocabulary development, and advanced grammatical structures needed to comprehend academic language). Third, LTEL academic performance is positively impacted if LTEL students are placed in a program that gives them opportunities to accelerate their progress by formally monitoring their academic progress and teacher practices. The fourth conclusion evolved when gathering the qualitative data; LTEL academic performance is positively affected by the inclusion of mixed grouping in the classroom environment if teachers are ready to support them for success in integrated settings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Leadership, administration, and policy; English language -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Foreign speakers; Literacy programs; Education, Elementary -- Colorado -- Evaluation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;