A Qualitative Study Investigating High School Teachers' Perceptions of Strategies Used to Involve Hispanic ELL Parents in One School Division in Virginia

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Virginia Tech


The number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in U.S. public schools are increasing yearly. More than 75% of ELL student's home language is Spanish. Their academic performance and graduation rates are lower than their non-ELL peers. Parent involvement contributes to student success in school, and urban leaders must examine how they involve ELL students and parents in school. The purpose of this study was to identify perceived strategies urban high school teachers use to involve ELL parents and to identify whether perceived barriers exist. School leaders can benefit from this qualitative study to address the achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students. Five ESL teachers, six content teachers, and three Graduation Coaches participated in three focus group interviews. Seven findings arose from the interviews. A few findings include 71% (10 out of 14) of participants perceived that all educators in the building are responsible for ELL students, 93% (13 out of 14) of participants perceived there are practices and policies established to aid teachers with communicating and involving ELL parents, and 80% percent (4 out of 5) of ESL teachers interviewed believed parents are more trusting of the school when schools partner with other community agencies to host events. Teachers perceived barriers exist that inhibit them from involving and communicating with parents. Ninety-three percent (13 out of 14) of participants noted time as a barrier. Almost 43% (6 out of 14) participants noted parents being unaware of their rights as a barrier.



English Language Learners, Parent Involvement, Parent Engagement