Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Norma Hafenstein

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec

Third Advisor

Denis Dumas


Correlation, General intellectual ability, Gifted identification, Language proficiency, Underrepresentation


This study examined the persistent problem of practice that ELLs are not identified for gifted programs at the same rate as their native English-speaking peers. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the relationship among English language proficiency levels and general intellectual ability of English language learners for gifted identification. In this study English language proficiency and general intellectual ability were defined as the performance on the ACCESS for ELLs language proficiency test and the performance on the NNAT Nonverbal Ability Test respectively. A Pearson product moment correlation was used to examine the strength and direction of the relationship between variables. An ex post facto design was used to collect existing data for investigation of the research questions.

This study had three main goals. The first was to examine the fairness and inclusion of the gifted identification system in Colorado. This study also intended to contribute to the body of knowledge around developmental theories (Cummins, 1979, as cited in Lewis et al., 2012; Krashen, 1982, as cited in Lewis et al., 2012; Piaget, 1952; Vygotsky, 1978). Another intention of this research was to fill in the gap in current research investigating the relationship between English language proficiency and general intellectual ability to supplement the parallel studies that exist to examine the relationship between either general intellectual ability and another measure, or English language proficiency and another measure.

The results of this study suggest that there is a relationship between the variable of general intellectual ability and the variables of English language proficiency, English language growth, and the domains of language. Results of this study will inform gifted educators, policy makers, and researchers around the appropriateness and effectiveness of considerations made for gifted identification.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Emily Kathleen Coggin


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

181 p.


Gifted education