Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Brad Washington

Abstract

This project takes a critical eye at the cultural biases in place in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) curriculum and the New York State (NYS) English Regents examination currently being used in the state of New York. Taking into account the diverse population of students currently attending secondary school in NYS, more culturally diverse lesson activities have been created. These activities take the Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis (Whorf, Lee, Levinson, & Carroll, 2012) and interlanguage pragmatics (Martínez Flor & Alcón Soler, 2008) into consideration to help English language learners (ELLs) learn the language in a manner that lowers anxiety and is effective in acquiring the language. Plus, through current English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers’ firsthand experiences with the CCSS curriculum, in the areas of Long Island, New York City, and downstate New York, a questionnaire was completed to better gauge progress in the classroom. It allowed for insight into the effects of the CCSS curriculum and performance of ELLs at the secondary level. It was discovered that although there are biases in this curriculum, it does not need to be completely rewritten. Many teachers compensate for a lack of cultural diversity in lessons by creating their own. This creates inconsistencies throughout the state and can have a negative impact on state testing scores. Instead, a supplementary reference guide has been developed to fit the needs of the diverse population of ELLs while allowing educators to learn more about their students. It allows for greater learning and understanding by giving culture consideration in core curriculum.