Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Shaoan Zhang

Second Committee Member

Chia-Liang Dai

Third Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

Margarita Huerta

Number of Pages



The rapid growth of the K-12 English Learner (EL) student population in the United States raises concerns related to their learning and growth in schools. Teachers are central figures in their students’ achievement. The influence of teachers’ attitudes on student learning and development validates the need to examine these in research studies. What influences teachers’ attitudes is an important part of understanding teachers’ attitudes towards their EL students. Certain individual characteristics including teachers’ training, may be associated with their positive attitudes. Studies have shown that effective teacher preparation programs can change preservice teacher attitudes in general and specifically towards their EL students. The majority of studies are survey-based. The surveys have consistently shown that teachers do not have adequate training and skills to meet the needs of their EL students. The studies have shown that attitudes make a difference in teacher actions and students learning. This study builds on the past research using surveys to continue to extend our knowledge of teacher attitudes towards ELs to a new context and populations of preservice teachers. The purpose of this dissertation study was to examine the preservice teachers’ attitudes toward ELs. This study collected 162 surveys on undergraduate preservice teachers’ attitudes towards ELs. Analysis of survey data indicated that undergraduate preservice teachers at a diverse, public university reported positive overall attitudes towards ELs and supporting their learning in mainstream classrooms. Participant degree program membership showed differences in attitudes, but most demographic variables did not. Taking courses in teaching ELs (ELAD) was not strongly related to differences in preservice teacher attitudes. Results also showed that teacher preparation programs need to directly address preservice teacher attitudes towards ELs.


Attitudes; Beliefs; Emergent Bilinguals; Survey


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


File Size

1678 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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