This qualitative design based research study examined the Connected Learning theoretical framework coupled with academic language scaffolds for Long Term English Learners (LTELs) in a secondary public school setting. The participants of this study were students that have been in the United States for more than six years and have yet to be reclassified as fluent in English, thus they are labeled as LTELs. The setting for this design-based research study was one ninth grade sheltered English class and one 12th grade sheltered English class in an urban high school in Northern California. There were two implementations of this design based curriculum and each cycle lasted four days. The first implementation took place in October of 2016 and the second implementation took place during November of 2016. Students created and shared media across digital platforms using paragraph and sentence frames. As a result of this design based curriculum several students were able to create video letters to the next president of the United States on an iPad and share them on a digital platform. The design and implementation of a connected learning environment included three design principles and three learning principles and can be a successful system in other classrooms structured to serve LTELs if enough time is provided to enact all components of the design.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; English language -- Study and teaching -- California (Northern) -- Foreign speakers; High school students; Educational technology -- Evaluation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Garcia-Ramos, Reyna;