Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences

First Advisor

Norma L. Hafenstein, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Julia Watson


English language learners, ELL, Preschool, Gifted, Identification


This research study addresses the problem of practice of the underrepresentation of English language learners (ELL) in gifted and talented (GT) services. The literature provided several reasons for the underrepresentation of ELL students being identified as gifted. One reason cited in the literature was teachers’ lack of referrals or understanding the characteristics of ELL students who may be gifted (Barkan & Bernal, 1991; de Wet & Gubbins, 2011; Esquierdo & Arreguín-Anderson, 2012; Ford & Grantham, 2003; Harris, Rapp, Martínez, & Plucker, 2007). The literature also stated assessment play a major role in identification practices (Anguiano, 2003; Barkan & Bernal, 1991; Ford & Grantham, 2003; Harris et al., 2007). Another reason stated was that parents or families might be unaware of the referral process for gifted identification (Harris et al., 2007). Preschool teachers were the focus of the intervention for this research project, which was performed through a professional development day and professional learning community (PLC) meetings. Data were collected through electronic surveys before the intervention and after all interventions were completed. Exit tickets were collected and meeting notes from the three PLCs were recorded and listened to for overarching themes. The research data were analyzed utilizing a mixed-method approach and conclusions were drawn in regards to this population’s underidentification in the GT community. It was found that professional development and PLCs were effective in increasing the iii knowledge of the characteristics of ELL students who may be gifted. However, an increase in referrals was not observed during this research project.

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