Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Shane P. Martin

Second Advisor

Manuel Aceves

Third Advisor

Betsy Hamilton


English learners are expected to acquire academic language and content simultaneously. Long Term English Learners (LTELs), a growing English Learner subgroup, struggle academically and do not have the necessary academic vocabulary proficiency to achieve academic success in our current educational system.

This mixed-methods study examined the implementation of Academic Vocabulary Instructional protocols in the upper grades in a small urban elementary school district. Semistructured interviews, focus group, observation protocol, and data analysis methods were used as primary methods for data collection. Overall, four key themes emerged in this study. First, all 4th- and 5th-grade teachers implemented the new Academic Vocabulary Toolkit and protocol to address the academic language needs of English learner students. Second, teachers consistently used the academic vocabulary and grammatical frames. Third, teachers regularly modeled the use of an academic register. Finally, there was an increase in the use of grammatical sentence frames and academic vocabulary by students across the content areas. Language Acquisition and Sociocultural Theory in Language conceptual frameworks were used.

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