Date of Graduation

Spring 5-31-2015

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

Dr. Onllwyn Cavan Dixon


Non-native speaker students in California community colleges face several challenges beyond the linguistic objectives they must achieve in their ESL courses. Many students come to the classroom with previous experiences of discrimination within the educational system. This is especially true of undocumented students. Income level is also often an obstacle to gaining access to an education, as is the previous educational experiences students have had in their own countries. While overcoming language barriers should be one of the main goal of ESL classes, attitudes toward non-native speakers can affect students’ learning because of perceived limitations in communication outside of the classroom. Schools that are underfunded and teachers who are sometimes unaware of these challenges their students face sometimes fall short in making campus resources accessible to students. This project aims to inform community college instructors of alternatives for content-specific topics for high intermediate and advanced ESL writers. It will provide a framework for creating a curriculum that combines student services, such as counseling, tutoring, financial aid, and clubs, as a content objective with writing and grammar objectives from a typical California community college. The main objective of this project is to provide community college ESL writing teachers with options for lesson plans that are student-centered and promote the inclusion and involvement of ESL students in the community college setting and advance their cultural capital by learning about the systems and resources of their educational environment.