Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2015

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 C Dixon


The current philosophies underpinning TESOL higher education curricula and classroom practices still reinforce the essentialized narrative of the native speaker and teach English as an objective, disinterested, linguistic system of static signs (Blommaert, 2010; Kramsch, 2009; Larsen-Freeman, 2015; Pennycook, 1997). This has significantly limited the development students’ identities, and agency within English language speaking communities. To address this issue, this project contains a supplemental, online digital storytelling curriculum for intermediate to advanced adult learners at the university level in U.S. colleges as a means of scaffolding intentional identity development through multimodal, symbolic competence in the English language. Entitled Creative ESOL: Digital storytelling and English language development, the curriculum develops symbolic competence proposed by Claire Kramsch (2009) to promote positive student and teacher identity formation through greater ownership of and intentionality with the English language. The project offers a series of nine modules, scaffolding the basic skills to create a digital story within the first four modules and giving teachers of college ESOL courses, whether online, offline, or hybrid, the option to use any of the digital story projects in the last four modules as midterm or final assignments. Throughout the learning process, Creative ESOL offers learners an array of options to promote their agency within supportive virtual communities. As language development is a lifelong process, this project delivers a clear pedagogical framework that teachers and students can apply throughout their lifetimes to engage, reinforce, reject and transform the English language and develop positive identities of authorship and ownership.