Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

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


College of Arts and Sciences


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Luz Navarrett Garcia

Second Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal



This field project is a handbook for educators that recommends effective ways of lowering Muslim refugee students' anxiety in ESL classrooms. Schools are challenging for refugee and immigrant students as they have to navigate school systems that do not accommodate their unique needs. As a result, Muslim refugee students are often discriminated against, marginalized, and bullied in schools. They suffer from low self-confidence, high anxiety, and lack of motivation. Research concludes that educational institutions in host countries are ill-equipped in creating an equitable education and school environment for Muslim refugee students due to the lack of educators’ training and the flawed association between assimilation and educational success. Among refugee students, anxiety is known to negatively affect learning and to impede academic success.

In this field project, educators are provided with (a) a brief description of Islam; (b) information on pre-settlement experiences of refugees; (c) recommendations on how to create a safe learning environment for these students; (d)a lesson plan designed to bring awareness to non-Muslim students in the classroom and honor Muslim students' culture. I hope this project assists educators in recognizing the impact of pre-settlement experiences on Muslim refugee students’ post-settlement academic success and their social mobility. Furthermore, I believe this project can be instrumental in addressing discriminatory practices and curricula in US public schools.