Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Vickers, Caroline


Since California is the state with the highest number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in the nation (Abedi and Levine, 2013; Estrada, 2014), there is clearly a need for what Abedi and Levine (2013) call "accommodation" in educating ELLs in K-12 classrooms. This paper is an attempt to synthesize the current scholarship surrounding K-12 educational practices of ELLs nationally, but with special emphasis on key states: California and Arizona. It begins by describing the achievement gap between the growing number of ELLs and their native English speaking peers (NSP). The paper will first discuss possible reasons for this achievement gap, including: initial placements, pullouts and re-designation practices, unreliable and invalid testing, lack of access to rigorous content, remedial pullout programs, and the overall socioeconomic status of ELL students. It will then discuss successful teaching practices with ELLs and then recommendations for areas for further study.