Date of Graduation

Fall 12-12-2014

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 Dixon


Demographics in the US are changing rapidly. The current white majority will fall below 50% of the total population by 2060. This shift has already occurred in California, where Latino/as are the largest single ethnic group in the state. California community college student populations reflect this reality, as at least 65% are students of color and 25% are immigrants to the US. California community college ESL instructors are often involved in teaching immigrants and non-native English speakers of color. In contrast to the student body, California community college teacher demographics remain overwhelmingly homogenous, as over 82% of full and part-time community college instructors are Caucasian. These diverging trends present serious challenges to both the ESL teacher and learner. In spite of many teachers’ best intentions, immigrant and non-native English speakers face challenges in a US school system where non-dominant cultural identities and values are glossed over or ignored. Community college ESL teachers must, therefore, adopt a culturally relevant ESL pedagogy where student learning outcomes are improved and cultural capital is validated. However, there are limited education, materials and professional development opportunities designed to provide ESL teachers with the skills required to design and sustain a culturally relevant ESL classroom.

This project was designed to provide a sample syllabus, lesson plans, and course book for ESL teacher educators. These materials were developed based on research of culturally relevant pedagogy and critical TESOL practices. In particular, the materials draw on the critical language teacher education heuristics of critical awareness, critical self-reflection, and critical pedagogical reflection. Although research has indicated the efficacy of these approaches, there remains a tremendous need to build culturally relevant and critical TESOL pedagogies into ESL teacher training at nearly every level. It is hoped that additional research aimed at validating the efficacy of culturally relevant pedagogy in the community college ESL classroom will provide the impetus for an increased focus on the need for culturally responsive ESL teacher training programs and materials.