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English Language Learner programs and services: A case study of Nebraska middle schools

Jenny M Powell, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this multi-site case study was to examine how middle schools in the state of Nebraska delivered services to students who were identified as English Language Learners or Limited English Proficient students. This case study focused on what middle schools in Nebraska were doing to assist ELL students and how personnel had been developed to meet the needs of these students. Key school personnel were interviewed from a set of 12 purposefully selected middle schools. Schools were selected for this study if they contained grades 5 through 8, or a combination of those grades. Schools also had to contain at least 3% of ELL students in order to be selected for this study. Five themes emerged from the interviews. These themes were: People Make the Difference; Training and Professional Development is Essential; Curriculum and Materials Vary; Thoughtful Programming for Student Needs is Critical; and, A Positive School Culture and Climate is Necessary. These themes were described in detail. The researcher found that a wide range of services existed for ELL students across the state of Nebraska. Types of services varied from school to school, and often depended on the size of the ELL population in the school. The informants also discussed training opportunities that existed for general education teachers, ELL teachers, and other support staff members. Training of personnel emerged as an area that each of the schools that participated in this study reviewed as an area for continued growth. In general, this study found that a wide variety of ELL programs, resources, and training opportunities are being utilized in schools across the state of Nebraska to meet the emerging needs of ELL students and families.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Powell, Jenny M, "English Language Learner programs and services: A case study of Nebraska middle schools" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3315207.