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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities




School of Education and Human Services


English Language Learners (ELLs) experience care in the classroom based on prior experiences, teacher and student relationships, academic support, health support, and safety. The purpose of this study was to understand how ELLs experience care in the classroom with their classroom teacher as described by six ELL participants. A positive teacher-student relationship rooted in care, comfort, safety, and trust enhanced ELLs' engagement with their classroom teacher. The findings of this qualitative narrative study revealed that unconditional support and individualized quality time contributed to ELLs’ well-being in the classroom. Interpretations of care from the ELLs’ narratives depicted how experiences in the classroom informed wellness and motivation for learning. Daily classroom practices enabled ELLs to feel comfortable and safe and develop a sense of belonging. Teacher and student relationships can positively affect ELLs, allowing them to be engaged in their own learning. When teachers carefully consider ELLs’ needs and support them unconditionally, ELLs can attain positive well-being. Further development of the teacher-student relationship can benefit all stakeholders because it provides a foundation for ensuring positive well-being for ELLs and academic success. Implications suggest that planning time, professional development, allocation of resources, and enhancing the home and school connection are crucial for educating ELLs and providing them with equitable opportunities. Nodding’s Care Theory and Krashen’s Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory were two theoretical frameworks used to support this qualitative study.

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