Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

Teaching English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Luz Navarrette García

Abstract

Students who enter public schools in the United States in the latter part of their academic career may lack the English language proficiency or capital necessary to successfully participate in mainstream content courses. Students such as these, known as late arrivals, face even greater difficulties when they enter academic institutions that or not equipped to provide language supports that ensure students can access content. Arriving at a later age and grade level, places additional pressure on educators and students to enter mainstream language classrooms. With little control or access to be active participants in the new academic settings, these students often disengage from academic activities and the academic community as a whole. Students lack the knowledge of how their cultural wealth can be converted into academic capital, leading to low engagement and achievement. This project intends to address the problem of academic engagement of emergent bilingual students in secondary schools by providing teachers with curriculum that can be used to teach emergent bilingual students how their existing knowledge of language can be leveraged to access content in a new language. Therefore, this project intends to develop students sense of self-control through empowering them with tools to participate in the learning process even when English language support is limited.

The project takes the form of lessons to be delivered as a unit of instruction for students who are transitioning from sheltered English Language Development (ELD) classes into more mainstream classes. These lessons include detailed activities for teachers to help students identify the type of knowledge and cultural wealth they already possess and explicit ways students can use it to acquire content in mainstream language classes. The activities within the lessons also give students the opportunity to develop discussion norms and to practice producing written work similar to those expected in a mainstream content course. Through empowering students with tools to participate in the academic setting, this project will develop students’ sense of self-control because they become more invested in their academic coursework when they recognize that they can impact the outcome of their academic achievement.

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