Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

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. Onllwyn C. Dixon


The US is widely recognized as a nation of immigrants; however, when an estimated 70,000 unaccompanied child migrants arrived from Central America in 2014, unauthorized immigration became a full-blown humanitarian crisis. Unauthorized immigrants, 71% of whom come from Mexico and Central America, make up an increasingly significant portion of the population. This is particularly true in California, where 28% of unauthorized immigrants reside. However, despite the overwhelming consensus that command of English is paramount to a successful life in the US, an alarming 51% of unauthorized immigrants speak English “not well” or “not at all”.

Unauthorized immigrants face unique challenges that prevent them from attending schools to learn English. A combination of impacted work schedules, added financial pressure in the form of remittances, and acculturative stress greatly limit their educational options. As a result, there is an over-dependence on non-credit programs and public adult schools, many of which have been forced to discontinue their services due to a lack of funding.

The project was designed to provide a sample curriculum and lesson plans to be used in a non-credit course than transitions unauthorized Latina/os in California from adult school to community college. The materials were developed based on research on the gradual release of responsibility model and Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition. The course has three objectives: to inform students about the resources available at community colleges, to assist them in the application process, and to create peer-peer and peer-teacher relationships through collaborative learning.