Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2018

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)



ESL students in the United States avail the resources of community college to achieve their goal of academic excellence. However, many community colleges struggle to prepare their students for mainstream four-year institutions. Aside from reading, writing, and speaking, learning a second language requires the development of critical thinking skills which are not emphasized enough for many ESL students in contemporary American academia.

As such, there are two major problems that this project aims to address. The first is that English as a Second Language (ESL) and English instructors have different expectations for ESL students. ESL instructors do not focus on the teaching and development of critical thinking skills. Many English instructors, however, expect all of their students to have critical thinking skills, which includes ESL students that may find themselves in transfer-level English courses. Because of this, many ESL students struggle in transfer-level English courses they must take to achieve academic excellence. This leads in to the second problem: ESL students do not have the necessary critical thinking skills they need to succeed in transfer-level English courses. The purpose of this project is to develop a handbook for ESL faculty to help ESL students by teaching and developing their critical thinking skills in Advanced ESL Reading and Writing courses to better prepare the students for transfer-level courses, as well as any other higher education courses they may encounter.

The project is a pedagogical tool for ESL instructors at the community college level to utilize in the development of an Advanced ESL Reading and Writing course that emphasizes the teaching of critical thinking skills to ESL students. This handbook is centered around one course unit that consists of six lesson plans explored through the lens of human rights. It is also based on the combination of the Process Approach and TBSIR (topic, bridge, support, interpretation, return) to improve the writing skills of the students, while simultaneously developing their critical thinking skills.