Date of Graduation

Winter 12-11-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

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


School of Education


Teaching English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal

Second Advisor

Dr. Luz Navarrette García


Adult immigrants face many challenges before they can successfully function in a new country. Beyond learning the new language, adjusting to a different and confusing culture can be difficult and discouraging, often eroding the immigrant’s confidence. These interrelated problems are recognized by the English as a second language (ESL) community, and modern approaches to ESL teaching integrate popular culture and the use of authentic language. It also recognizes that an alert and eager mind is important to learning, so the emphasis is put on developing student interest and confidence by making the class relevant, contemporary, and fun. To accomplish these goals, I developed an eight-lesson ESL teaching handbook which is designed to teach adult immigrants American English. At its core is the use of short video clips from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other sources. By being fun and engaging, the lessons lower affective barriers while introducing authentic American language and culture. The first lesson introduces Ellen DeGeneres and her show, which is followed by a four-lesson unit on Thanksgiving and a three-lesson on the Pride celebration. Each lesson uses an engaging 3-5 minutes video clip. A few simple exercises and some discussion precede viewing to focus student thought and develop interest. A short vocabulary of words on interesting and culturally relevant subjects is introduced. Discussion exercises listening and speaking skills. The video is then played several times with increasing demands on learning, and always with discussion. Subjects are chosen on aspects of American culture, which promotes engaged and lively discussion. Speaking and reading exercises follow, making use of repetition and more conscious-level thinking to reinforce learning.

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