Date of Award

Winter 2003

Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)


College of Education


Not all Limited English Proficient (LEP) students receive English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in public schools across the nation. In the state of Michigan, ESL instruction for LEP students is not mandated. Therefore, districts can choose whether to service these students at all, and/or the degree to which they do so. Some districts provide bilingual education classes; some districts have ESL classes; while yet other districts have neither. Students are serviced by paraprofessionals for a limited amount of time during the school day, or simply not serviced at all and left to “sink or swim”. Research abounds on the boon that ESL instruction has on student achievement and progress. However, not all LEP students are receiving equity in their education in the state of Michigan.

This thesis examines the academic achievement discrepancy that exists between students in four western Michigan school districts receiving ESL instruction and those not receiving any. The study examines and analyzes the average annual grovyth in grade level proficiency of these students, their NCE scores on the Gates Maginitie Reading Test, and teaching strategies used in the regular education and ESL classroom. Based on this data, the study seeks to convince school districts of the necessity of providing ESL instruction to their LEP students regardless of the percent of LEP students in relation to the total student body. The intent is for administrators to recognize and validate the need for ESL and implement ESL instruction and support for all LEP students attending schools in their district.


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