Fall 12-10-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Margot Galt

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Megan Diediker

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Miranda Elder


There is agreement in the academic community that parent involvement is critical to the academic achievement of all students. With the student population of America rapidly changing, the collaboration between parent and teacher continues to be more challenging. This study aims to explore the obstacles that inhibit collaboration with ELL (English Language Learners) families. The author documents details related to the barriers that exist in these relationships and current strategies commonly used to help with parent involvement in an ELL setting. Given the rapid increase in the Somali population in recent years in the Twin Cities, the author used this ELL group as the focus for research. Interviews, parent discussion forums, and teacher questionnaires were all used to get a clearer picture of the relationships present between teachers and families. This study moved away from the traditional “expert” model of conveying information to ELL families and instead utilized families in the Somali community, who have experience in the US school system, as the experts. Experienced families that have gone through the transition to American schools act as a guide in helping those that are newcomer refugee families.

Research Methodology

Focus Group, Interview, Survey


ESL/ ELLs, Parent Involvement

Included in

Education Commons