Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Students with limited English-proficiency present many unique challenges for educators and schools. These challenges multiply as both the number of students requiring services and the diversity of languages spoken increases. In Iowa’s 335 public school districts, the number of students classified as English-language learners (ELL) has nearly tripled in the last 15 years, jumping from 2.1% of the student population during the 1999-2000 school year to 5.7% in 2015- 2016 (Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), 2013; IDOE, 2015). Individual districts currently range from 0 to 57.4% of students requiring ELL services, with 25 of Iowa’s districts identifying more than 10% of their students as English-language learners (IDOE, 2015). In Iowa, Spanish is the most common language amongst ELL students with about 67% of students reporting that Spanish is the primary language spoken at home (IDOE, 2016). However, the IDOE recognizes 32 other languages that are spoken by at least 50 students within the state of Iowa with 1,700 students speaking languages categorized as ‘other’ (IDOE, 2016). Because of this diversity, it is impossible to meet every student’s needs by simply providing translations, interpreters, and bilingual teachers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Science Education Program

First Advisor

Kyle Gray

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (62 pages)



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