Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

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


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Yi Guan


Non-native English learners often find it difficult to acquire adequate vocabulary knowledge. This can prevent them from making progress in other aspects of English learning, because learners have to understand most of the words that they hear or read to obtain comprehensible input. Fortunately, second language acquisition literature has long identified pleasure reading and spaced retrieval practice as effective in learning vocabulary. This field project examines the effectiveness of these two methods on vocabulary acquisition in adult English learners, and presents a handbook on how teachers can implement pleasure reading and spaced retrieval practice in the classroom. The handbook lays out how teachers can ease students into reading English books and introduces how to use digital flashcards to supplement vocabulary learning. By combining extensive reading and spaced retrieval practice, ESL teachers will be able to increase the vocabulary size and general English proficiency of intermediate adult English learners.