Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education and Organizational Leadership Development

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Hans Klar

Committee Member

Dr. Noelle Paufler

Committee Member

Dr. Daniella Hall Sutherland

Committee Member

Dr. Bobbi Siefert


With the dawn of the new decade, English Language Learner (ELL) populations began to grow in states without structures and professional learning to equip teachers to face the changing demographic of the classroom. In response to the growth of the knowledge gap between classroom teachers in South Carolina and their diverse classrooms, I conducted a study based on improvement science principles. As a long-standing ELL program coordinator, I experienced the need to increase linguistic responsiveness in classroom teachers on a daily basis. The application of the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle utilized mixed methodology to gather data to increase classroom teachers’ use of linguistically responsive strategies through professional learning communities. The professional learning increased awareness among the teachers of strategies that support their ELL students, and facilitate their English acquisition and academic knowledge.

As a result of the PDSA cycle, three findings emerged: create professional learning opportunities, focus on teaching academic vocabulary, and promote scaffolds for teachers. The findings guided the recommendations that emerged from the study, which have local and state implications. Increasing the linguistic responsiveness of classroom teachers stands as a means to support classroom teachers’ ability to meet the educational needs of all students in public school classrooms.



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