Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Applied Linguistics (M.A.)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Shinian Wu

Second Advisor

Amy Masko

Third Advisor

Dan Brown

Academic Year



This research investigates the perceptions of administrators and specialists in one diversely enrolled Michigan secondary school. Particularly, the purpose was to determine to what extent English learners (ELs), especially those of non-Western backgrounds, are being accommodated and considered by educators and policy. To examine this, three participants were successfully recruited- a language acquisition administrator, a language acquisition specialist, and an assistant principal. They were then each interviewed once to learn of their perceptions and beliefs on these topics. This research finds that although administrators and specialists may be knowledgeable and advocate for their ELs in creative and culturally competent ways, various factors such as convoluted policy and precedents, along with pedagogical beliefs held by some mainstream teachers, can impact the learning of ELs. This in turn can impact the goals and intentions of those in administration. This research concludes optimistically that in the future, all educators who are not trained on how to teach and accommodate ELs effectively will be supported by tangible policy and explicit protocol on what to do, as a bare minimum.