Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Browning Neddeau


Due to an increase number of English Language Learners (ELLs), teachers must implement strategies to help close the achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELLs. One way teachers can use to support academic achievement for ELLs is by building rapport with students using students’ native language in the classroom. For this project, first-grade teachers were surveyed to see to what extent they incorporate native language as a way to build rapport with ELLs in order to support academic success. One teacher deems using Spanish to build rapport unnecessary, but the rest of the teachers agreed with using Spanish in the classroom under certain circumstances. The author recommends that teachers build rapport with ELLs by using students’ native language so that they can achieve academic success.