Promoting English language learners' school success through models of partnership between parents and teachers

Tracy M Bullard, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to qualitatively evaluate the opinions of limited English proficient (LEP) parents and school staff and examine school documents in order to create an effective LEP parental involvement plan for elementary schools in Williamson County, Tennessee. A survey was used to gather demographic information from LEP parents; however, it was the interviews from a total of 24 LEP parents, mainstream teachers, ESL Specialists, and principals that provided the major source of data collection for this study. The sample for this study was taken from school staff from four K-5 elementary schools in different sections of the school system and from LEP parents in four of the top five language backgrounds, which included Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Russian. Translators were used in all interviews with the parents. The researcher was interested in finding out what barriers prevented parents from becoming involved in school activities and school staff from involving parents, solutions to those barriers, misconceptions LEP parents and staff have concerning each other, and how to comfortably include limited English speaking parents in the schools. Interviewees shared their visions, desires, and limitations from a unique point of view. The qualitative data were analyzed using triangulation. The methods used to ensure credibility included interviews, examination of documents, and the literature review. From this research, eleven different models were developed that could be implemented in elementary schools to increase LEP parental involvement. Furthermore, from these models, there are possibilities that other activities and training could be developed. The findings from the project suggested that parents and school staff alike want LEP parents more involved, and they provided in-depth information about how to best accomplish this task. It was recommended that some of the models outlined be implemented in the district and/or elementary schools, and that school staff take the lead to establish a parent involvement plan that includes all families in the teaching and learning of their children.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Tracy M Bullard, "Promoting English language learners' school success through models of partnership between parents and teachers" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3307310.