Date of Award

Summer 6-10-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.


The enrollment numbers of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. high schools continue to grow. This trend is not exclusive to public schools; many of the Midwest Lutheran Synod’s (MLS) high schools are increasingly enrolling international students. As such, if preservice programs do not prepare teachers to instruct this student population, individual schools must provide the in-service professional development in ELL. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding of how a group of teachers at one MLS high school that enrolls international students describe how well prepared they were to teach their ELL student population. One research question guided this study: How do a select group of MLS teachers describe how well they were prepared to teach ELL students in their in-service training at their place of employment? The purposeful sample consisted of 10 teachers at one MLS high school who graduated from Midwest Lutheran College and had been teaching at this high school for at least one year. Data collection instruments included two rounds of face-to-face interviews and documents provided by the participants or the school. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze the data collected from the interviews and the interpretive analysis model was used to analyze the collected documents. The results indicated the participants were displeased with their undergraduate ELL training but pleased with the professional development provided at their school. However, teachers sought additional in-service professional development that specifically addressed the technical pedagogy associated with instructing ELL students.

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