Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Daniella Hall Sutherland

Committee Member

Roy Jones

Committee Member

Noelle A. Paufler

Committee Member

Jacquelynn Malloy


South Carolina’s public education system is broken. For the past several years, the State of South Carolina and the nation have somehow managed to do the nearly impossible. Both have produced more English Language Learning (ELL) students to be proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) (i.e., reading, writing, and usage) than native English speakers. The issue of low black performance on state and national standardized assessments has always been a cumbersome task for America's public school system. Although Black students comprise more than 30 percent of the total student population in America, more Limited English students are demonstrating a higher degree of proficiency, thus creating a Black and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) achievement gap statewide. This research aims to address the achievement gap by studying the effect of the ESOL program on reading achievement for black students who speak African American Vernacular (AAV) in a South Carolina elementary school. 20 second-grade AAV-speaking students were a part of this study to determine the impact of the above-mentioned intervention. After five weeks of ESOL program instruction intervention, no significant statistical difference was noticed in AAV-speaking students’ reading achievement or AAV-speaking student’s reading growth according to the Welch’s t-test analysis of pre and postiREADY reading assessment. However, other data sources showed significant growth in reading ability for participating students. While the findings did not reach the rigorous threshold of significant statistical difference, the research indicates the likely benefit of this intervention for AAV-speaking students. The dissertation concludes with recommendations for national, state, and local practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.



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