Summer 2022


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Tia Clasen

Content Expert

Douglas Ayega


The purpose of this research is to investigate the best practices and effective teaching strategies that teachers and other educators can use with English Language Learners (ELLs) to close the achievement gap. The research intends to illustrate that English language proficiency requirements should not in any way be a barrier to the academic performance and achievement of English Language Learners. ELLs are continuously lagging behind their native English speaking peers academically. Various reports indicate that ELLs continue to under-perform in state tests, course grades, and college placements tests. They face numerous challenges including lack of interaction with native speakers of English, feelings of embarrassment, being misplaced in education programs, being taught low-level academic content, being given little attention by teachers, and demands for use of English as the only language of communication. The research first lays out why it is important for teachers to have enough background information since it establishes the basis for making worthwhile relationships with ELL students that will foster their learning. This capstone sets forth the theories behind the underperformance of ELLs. I am hopeful that the understanding of these theories will enable teachers to plan to teach ELLs effectively in their classrooms. Several studies have shown that many mainstream teachers hold deficit views about ELLs in their teaching practices. The culmination of this research is to put forward the best practices and teaching techniques for teachers to use with teaching ELLs in their classrooms. This research will be used to create professional development sessions that will greatly benefit teachers. Finally, it is my expectation that the results from this research will form the basis for more research into the future on ELLs’ academic performance and achievement.

Project Type

Professional Development


Achievement, At-risk Students, ESL/ ELLs








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