Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wilkins, Elizabeth A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


English language--Study and teaching (Middle school); Second language acquisition--Methodology; Education; Bilingual--Methodology; Reading (Middle school)--Methodology; Academic achievement--Methodology; Educational leadership; English as a second language; Middle school education


The current research on second language acquisition suggests that it takes between 5 and 7 years of schooling in a bilingual education program for full academic proficiency in a second language to be attained. This quantitative study focused on students who, after more than 7 years in a bilingual education program, had yet to meet the criteria for being considered fully English proficient. This study examined middle school English language learners' perceptions of their teachers as authentic and trustworthy leaders in an effort to identify two variables that might contribute to the students' continued status as limited English proficient. Additionally, this study examined the relationship between the participants' scores on a test of English language proficiency and scores on a test of reading skills in an effort to identify whether better English language skills necessarily predicted better reading skills. Although results did not show a statistically significant relationship between the participants' perceptions of their teachers as authentic and trustworthy leaders and the participants' English language proficiency scores, a positive statistically significant relationship was found between the participants' English language proficiency scores and their reading skills scores. Considering the strong link between English language proficiency and reading skills, the findings suggest that future research needs to be done to identify ways to support the English language development and academic success of limited-English-proficient middle school students.


Advisors: Elizabeth A. Wilkins.||Committee members: Kelly Summers; David Walker.


155 pages




Northern Illinois University

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