Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2022

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

Luz Navarette Garcia


As an increasing variety of cultures is represented in our adult ESL classrooms, and there is a growing need for instructors to employ culturally responsive teaching methods to bridge the gap between students’ cultural backgrounds and the current curriculum and instructional practices being used in our community college noncredit classrooms. The existing cultural dissonance between the mainstream culture and their own may cause learners to internalize negative individual and group identities resulting in low expectations for life changes. Without understanding the relationship between your home and your host country, the history of the new place, or a sense of connection to it, it is difficult to feel a sense of belonging to the larger community – especially when your culture is not regarded equally by members of the dominant culture.

In order for immigrants to be invested in the democracy of their new home they need to see themselves and their families as part of their new community’s history. To address this issue, “We Belong Here Together: A Handbook for Teachers of Adult Intermediate ESL,” intended to be used as a supplementary curriculum, provides opportunities for students to better understand the diverse groups of immigrants which have influenced California. The handbook is based on the theories of Culturally Relevant Teaching and Sense of Belonging. The focus is on immigration stories of people from diverse cultures and from different periods in California’s past, with the goal of encouraging students to make personal connections to the stories, thereby creating a sense of belonging to their host community. The handbook provides adult ESL educators with a tool that is designed to help students make cultural connections in the classroom by exploring some of the major themes that dominated California’s past with the hope of fostering a sense of global citizenship and social inclusion while building an understanding of complex social problems.

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Education Commons