Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Philip O. Pendley

Second Advisor

Alan Enomoto

Third Advisor

Anne Marie Sharp


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the best practices of English language development programs in rural South San Joaquin Valley elementary schools in the targeted areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking and best practices in teacher professional development to prevent Long Term English Learners from the perspective of principals. An additional purpose was to identify and describe obstacles to the implementation of best practices of English language development in rural South San Joaquin Valley elementary schools from the perspective of principals.

Methodology: Through data analysis, rural elementary schools in South San Joaquin Valley were identified as high-achieving from the California Department of Education’s Five-by-Five English Learner Indicator based on the rate that English learner students within the school attain English proficiency. The primary focus of this study was to gain the perspective and lived experiences of rural elementary school principals in the implementation of successful English language development programs. In this study, data were collected through in-depth interviews and archived artifacts, which were analyzed to identify patterns, and draw conclusions based on the research questions of this study. A field-test was conducted.

Findings: Major findings include creating a culture of high expectations for all students, ensuring that designated English Language Development occurs daily, intentional teacher professional development, and a focus on students’ production of academic language.

Conclusions: Numerous conclusions were drawn based on the major findings, and from these findings, a list of implications for action were generated. One implication for action is that school boards create and enforce progressive policies that promote native language as a vehicle to proficiently developing academic English language, as well as literacy in the native language (dual-immersion programs).

Recommendations: Recommendations for further research are described in Chapter V, including the exploration of whether the change in local control with LCFF funding and the district created LCAP, has changed the implementation of ELD programs in rural elementary schools, hence improving academic achievement of English Learners.