Date of Graduation

Spring 5-16-2019

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

International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal

Second Advisor

Dr. Luz Garcia

Abstract

This field project seeks marry students’ desire for classroom collaboration with a shift to student-centered instruction. It demonstrates how such collaboration can increase student engagement and motivation while lowering their anxiety and inhibitions toward foreign language learning. Potential opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration are also highlighted to better satisfy students' academic and emotional needs. This project includes an interest-based language acquisition manual designed to elicit an authentic exchange of language and culture between ESL/FL students working in pairs.

Nearly 20% of the entire LHS student body, accounting for the struggles of ELL students – low graduation rate and high chronic absenteeism rate – and FL students -increase in plagiarism, less than 3% of students qualifying for the California State Seal of Biliteracy - enrolled at Liberty High School (LHS, Brentwood, Contra Costa Country, CA), and drawing on the experience that I have in working with both student populations, it is evidently clear that collaboration between the English Language Development and Foreign Languages departments and their respective groups of students can effectively, and economically, address the affective factors - anxiety, low level of motivation, low level of engagement - that greatly determine ELL and FL students’ academic achievement, and can serve as a catalyst in the overall improvement of our school as a safe and inclusive institution for higher learning.

Without a collaborative pedagogical framework and working partnership between ELD and FL faculty/students, both student populations continue to labor and struggle parallel and unbeknownst to one another. Consequently, it is imperative that we as teachers, and language educators in particular, come together to devise cross-curricular, student-centered instruction that calls for increased peer-to-peer collaboration and cooperative learning strategies among and between both groups of students. Such cooperative-based learning will empower our students with agency to help one another achieve their respective personal and academic goals in second language acquisition, while affording them greater learner autonomy, thus holding them more accountable for their own education.

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