Date of Award

Spring 11-26-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jill Bonds, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Donna Brackin, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of ELL teachers and language specialists who engage in parental involvement practices. A phenomenological research design was used to reveal and describe middle-school ELL teachers’ and language specialists’ experiences and perceptions of parental involvement and its influence on student academic success at one middle school in the Pacific Northwest. Purposeful sampling was used to select the study’s participants. The teachers and language specialists used for this study had a minimum of 2 years of experience to ensure they had basic knowledge about the phenomenon of parental involvement. Data were gathered using semistructured interviews, document artifacts and a reflective journal from November 2018 through April 2019. After each interview was transcribed, significant statements were extracted, and the analyzed statements were paired with six a priori key themes from Epstein’s (2009) parental involvement framework. Through axial coding three subthemes emerged from the data. Data analysis and results revealed that when ELL teachers and language specialists used parental involvement strategies, they were able to assist parents to be involved with their children’s education, which in turn could influence the children’s academic outcomes. Consequently, the participants also revealed the inherent challenges associated with the communication attribute of the framework. This research study is insightful because it contributes to the body of knowledge around how middle-school staff can use parental involvement strategies to influence academic success with their ELL student populations.

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