Dissertation

An analysis of a K-12 grammar-based English language development program

The purpose of this study was to analyze a K-12 grammar-based English language development program’s effectiveness in facilitating English acquisition for second language learners. The role of leaders who facilitated the program was also examined, along with the students’ perceptions of the program’s impact on their high school success and college and career readiness. A mixed methods approach was utilized to collect the data for the study; district and state databases allowed the researcher to gather test scores for analysis. Interviews with site administrators were conducted to identify trends pertaining to leadership approaches and characteristics utilized when implementing and sustaining the program. Finally, a student survey was administered, which included questions pertaining to the cognitive and social effects of the program in preparing them for career and college readiness. From an analysis of the data, the researcher found the district’s mean growth from one year to the next was much higher than both its county and its state mean growth. The results indicate the ELD program had some impact on this higher success in language acquisition. With regard to the role of administration, the findings indicate the district administration lead the way through the initial implementation; however, a more collaborative approach was used through sustainability measures. This finding suggests that using a transactional style of leadership initially then moving to a more transformational style after implementation benefitted this district’s implementation and sustainability. Analysis of students’ perceptions of the program’s impact on their cognitive and social abilities showed they were overwhelmingly positive, indicating they felt the program enhanced their ability to successfully achieve academically and socially. Overall, the findings of this study propose the implementation of the grammar-based ELD program was one factor that helped enhance students’ English acquisition. From the findings, it is suggested future research look into leadership’s impact on the implementation and sustainability of the program as well as into other factors that may have impacted the success of the program.

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