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

Dr. Luz Navarrette Garcia


ABSTRACT As only one-third of all degree-seeking California Community College English as a Second Language (ESL) students successfully complete transfer-level English within six years, new approaches ought to be considered to better meet the needs of these students. As most ESL classes are skills-based, offering more Content-Based Instruction (CBI) may be one solution to increasing successful student outcomes in ESL classes and pathway programs. The purpose of this project was to develop a content-based curriculum for community college and adult education students who are interested in the culinary arts as a way of engaging learners who may not be as inclined to take a traditional skills-based ESL course. A document analysis of existing culinary arts-integrated programming was conducted to identify ways in which culinary arts CBI can be expanded to meet the objectives and standards of ESL departments in post-secondary institutions. This field project was informed by the theoretical frameworks of John Dewey’s Progressive Education Theory of Learning by Doing, Diane Larsen-Freeman’s Complex Dynamic Systems Theory, and Zoltan Dörnyei and Sarah Mercer's recent research on engagement as it applies to second language learners. The project form is a student workbook that combines recipes, cooking and food vocabulary, and supplemental authentic materials with complementary ESL grammar instruction, pronunciation work, conversation prompts, and writing exercises, including a cumulative writing project in which each student writes a recipe for inclusion in a class cookbook. This project can serve as a resource for ESL teachers who would like to teach a content-based curriculum with the perspective that when students are interested in what they are learning about in English, they are much more likely to stay motivated and reach their broader language learning goals.