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ERIC Number: ED534703
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 292
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-8477-3
Finding and Understanding Talent among Elementary English Language Learners: Beyond Project Hope
Pereira, Nielsen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
The under-identification and underrepresentation of English language learners (ELLs) in gifted programs remains a severe and pervasive problem in the field of gifted education (Yoon & Gentry, 2009, VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2007). This study focused on ELLs in grades K-5 from four elementary schools in Midwestern school districts (a) to investigate the validity of the "HOPE Teacher-rating Scale" (Gentry & Peters, 2009) for identifying gifted ELLs and (b) to explore the experiences and perceptions of ELLs in general education and in enrichment programs. Seventy classroom teachers completed the "HOPE Scale" on 1469 students. Achievement scores, which were used to test the concurrent validity of the "HOPE Scale," were available for 882 of these students. Three ESL teachers and two ESL aides completed the "HOPE Scale" on 131 ELLs. Twenty-two students, 20 parents, and 22 teachers were interviewed. Confirmatory factor analyses were performed and correlations between the "HOPE Scale" scores and students' achievement scores were generated to determine whether the "HOPE Scale" yields reliable and valid data when used with ELLs. Correlations between the ratings of classroom and ESL teachers were computed as measures of the consistency of ratings for the same students on the "HOPE Scale." Student, teacher, and parent interviews were used to gain a better understanding of the experiences and perceptions of ELLs. Multi-sample confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the "HOPE Scale" yields non-invariant indicator intercepts across ELL and English proficient (EP) samples. However, model fit results for the ELL and EP samples supported the use of the "HOPE Scale" with ELL or EP students separately. Correlations between the students' "HOPE Scale" scores and English proficiency levels ranged from 0.10 to 0.25. Correlations among "HOPE Scale" and achievement scores ranged from 0.41 to 0.52. Correlations between classroom and ESL teachers' scores on the Academic and Social subscales were 0.57 and 0.58 respectively. ESL teachers' "HOPE Scale" scores were significantly higher than the classroom teachers' scores. Student interviewees enjoyed school, had positive interactions with peers and teachers, were committed to doing well in school, and were grade-oriented and future-directed. Student interviewees who attended the enrichment programs enjoyed their campus experiences, believed the enrichment programs were different from school, and described positive effects of their campus experiences. Caution is recommended when using the "HOPE Scale" and other teacher-rating scales to compare ELLs to EP students. Educators and administrators should be cautious if using instruments that have limited reliability evidence to make decisions on students' placement in gifted programs. Results of this study indicate that gifted ELLs can be well adapted, integrated in school, and can benefit from out-of-school enrichment programs. This study adds to the limited research concerning the identification of ELLs in gifted programs and also provides insights into these students' experiences in school and in out-of-school enrichment programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A