Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2017

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

Luz Navarrette Garcia


Presently, there are about 2,664,921 English Language Learners (ELLs) and Fluent English Proficient (FEP) speakers in California public schools who speak a language other than English at home (CalEdFacts, 2016). Some of these students have immigrated to the United States from other countries, while others were born and have been raised in the United States. According to the California Department of Education, the vast majority of ELLs (83.5%) in California come from low-income families and speak a language other than English at home. 73% of ELLs attend English Language Development (ELD) classes kindergarten through grade six, and 27% are in these classes from grades seven through twelve, due to a different language being spoken at home (CalEdFacts, 2016). The objective of ELD classes is for students to become proficient in English, while learning content is the goal of core subject matter classes. However, due to various reasons, including the difficulty of learning content, not fully addressed EL needs in content classes, as well as incomplete correlation between ELD and content classes, the objectives of ELLs are not always met (Hill, Weston, & Hayes, 2014; Pope, 2016). According to the 2015 National Assessment of Education Statistics, ELLs tend to have more difficulties and are usually behind their peers in academic achievement, which leads to higher risks of school drop-outs (Kena, et al., 2015). For instance, in 2014, 7.6% of U.S.-born Hispanic young people did not finish high school, while 20.8 % of foreign-born Hispanic youth dropped out. Similarly, in 2014, there was a 7.1 % of U.S.-born Pacific Islander youth dropped out of high school, compared to 23.4% of foreign-born Pacific Islander youth (Kena, et al., 2016).