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Teaching English as a Second Language Masters Thesis Collection

Theses/dissertations from 2020 2020.

Teaching in hagwons in South Korea: a novice English teacher’s autoethnography , Brittany Courser

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

“Racism doesn’t exist anymore, so why are we talking about this?”: An action research proposal of culturally responsive teaching for critical literacy in democratic education , Natalie Marie Giles

Stylistic imitation as an English-teaching technique : pre-service teachers’ responses to training and practice , Min Yi Liang

Telling stories and contextualizing lived experiences in the Cuban heritage language and culture: an autoethnography about transculturation , Tatiana Senechal

“This is the oppressor’s language, yet I need it to talk to you”: a critical examination of translanguaging in Russian speakers at the university level , Nora Vralsted

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Multimodal Approaches to Literacy and Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the University Level , Ghader Alahmadi

Educating Saudi Women through Communicative Language Teaching: A Bi-literacy Narrative and An Autoethnography of a Saudi English Teacher , Eiman Alamri

The value of journaling on multimodal materials: a literacy narrative and autoethnography of an experienced Saudi high school English teacher , Ibrahim Alamri

Strategic Contemplation as One Saudi Mother’s Way Of Reflecting on Her Children’s Learning Only English in the United States: An Autoethnography and Multiple Case Study of Multilingual Writers at the College Level , Razan Alansari

“If you wanted me to speak your language then you should have stayed in your country”: a critical ethnography of linguistic identity and resiliency in the life of an Afghan refugee , Logan M. Amstadter

Comparing literate and oral cultures with a view to improving understanding of students from oral traditions: an autoethnographic approach , Carol Lee Anderson

Practical recommendations for composition instructors based on a review of the literature surrounding ESL and identity , Patrick Cornwall

One size does not fit all: exploring online-language-learning challenges and benefits for advanced English Language Learners , Renee Kenney

Understanding the potential effects of trauma on refugees’ language learning processes , Charis E. Ketcham

Let's enjoy teaching life: an autoethnography of a novice ESL teacher's two years of teaching English in a private girls' secondary school in Japan , Danielle Nozaka

Developing an ESP curriculum on tourism and agribusiness for a rural school in Nicaragua: a retrospective diary , Stan Pichinevskiy

A Literacy Narrative of a Female Saudi English Teacher and A Qualitative Case Study: 12 Multilingual Writers Identify Challenges and Benefits of Daily Writing in a College Composition Class , Ghassoon Rezzig

Proposed: Technical Communicators Collaborating with Educators to Develop a Better EFL Curriculum for Ecuadorian Universities , Daniel Jack Williamson

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017





An Autoethnography of a Novice ESL Teacher: Plato’s Cave and English Language Teaching in Japan , Kevin Lemberger



Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

"I am from Epifania and Tomas": an autoethnography and bi-literacy narrative of a Mexican American orchard workers' daughter , Brenda Lorena Aguilar

Technology use in young English language learners: a survey of Saudi parents studying in the United States , Hamza Aljunaidalsayed

Bilingualism of Arab children in the U.S.: a survey of parents and teachers , Omnia Alofii

College-level ELLs in two English composition courses: the transition from ESL to the mainstream , Andrew J. Copley

Increasing multimedia literacy in composition for multilingual writers: a case study of art analysis , Sony Nicole De Paula

Multilingual writers' unintentional plagiarism: action research in college composition , Jacqueline D. Gullon

Games for vocabulary enrichment: teaching multilingual writers at the college level , Jennifer Hawkins

Identifying as author: exploring the pedagogical basis for assisting diverse students to discover their identities through creatively defined literacy narratives , Amber D. Pullen

Saltine box full of dreams: one Mexican immigrant woman's journey to academic success , Adriana C. Sanchez

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Teaching the biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder: fostering a media literacy approach for multilingual writers , Kelly G. Hansen

Implementing a modified intercultural competency curriculum in an integrated English 101 classroom , Kathryn C. Hedberg

"Don't wake me, my desk is far too comfortable": an autoethnography of a novice ESL teacher's first year of teaching in Japan , Delaney Holland

ESL ABE, VESL, and bell hooks' Democratic education: a case study of four experienced ESL instructors , Michael E. Johnson

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Using Media to Teach Grammar in Context and UNESCO Values: A Case Study of Two English Teachers and Students from Saudi Arabia , Sultan Albalawi

A Double Case Study of Latino College Presidents: What Younger Generations Can Learn From Them , Sara Aymerich Leiva


Academic Reading and Writing at the College Level: Action Research in a Classroom of a homogeneous Group of Male Students from Saudi Arabia , Margaret Mount

Reflections on Teaching and Host Mothering Chinese Secondary Students: A Novice ESL Teacher’s Diary Study and Autoethnography , Diane Thames

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Peer editing in composition for multilingual writers at the college level , Benjamin J. Bertrand

Educating Ana: a retrospective diary study of pre-literate refugee students , Renee Black

Social pressure to speak English and the effect of English language learning for ESL composition students in higher education , Trevor Duston

Poetry in translation to teach ESL composition at the college level , Peter M. Lacey

Using media to teach a biography of Lincoln and Douglass: a case study of teaching ESL listening & viewing in college composition , Pui Hong Leung

Learning how to learn: teaching preliterate and nonliterate learners of English , Jennifer L. Semb

Non-cognitive factors in second language acquisition and language variety: a single case study of a Saudi male English for academic purposes student in the United States , Nicholas Stephens

Teaching English in the Philippines: a diary study of a novice ESL teacher , Jeffrey Lee Svoboda


Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Video games and interactive technology in the ESL classroom , Melody Anderson

English as a second language learners and spelling performance in university multilingual writers , Nada Yousef Asiri

The communal diary, "... " (Naljeogi), transformative education, and writing through migrations: a Korean novice ESL teacher's diary and autoethnography , S. (Sangho) Lee

The benefits of intercultural interactions: a position paper on the effects of study abroad and intercultural competence on pre-service and active teachers of ESL , Bergen Lorraine McCurdy

The development and analysis of the Global Citizen Award as a component of Asia University America Program at Eastern Washington University , Matthew Ged Miner

The benefits of art analysis in English 101: multilingual and American writers respond to artwork of their choice , Jennifer M. Ochs

A novice ESL teacher's experience of language learning in France: an autoethnographic study of anomie and the "Vulnerable Self" , Christopher Ryan

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English language - Study and teaching - Foreign speakers.

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Learning English as a second language is of utmost critical, and the need to guide the educators to contribute to successful teaching seen to be a vast necessity. Therefore, this article discusses the challenges faced by educators to deliver English as a second language in the classroom, exploring possible ways to overcome the challenges, theoretical perspective of students’ difficulties in learning, and proposed future research to explore evidence-based strategies. Hence, this article is known to be impactful for more educators to be aware of the limitation that lies within themselves, the source of motivation, the appropriate skills required, and most importantly the strategies to restructure the teaching process to be proficient in the teaching of English as a second language. In conclusion, the effectiveness of integration between the educators and desired learners leads to the ideal outcome.

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Professional Characteristics and Concerns of Instructors Teaching English as Second Language to Adults in Non-Credit Programs in Ontario

A survey was conducted to describe professional characteristics of instructors teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults in non-credit programs in Ontario. This province-wide survey was the first data-gathering phase in a three-phase project leading to the establishment of a protocol and uniform standards for the certification of instructors teaching non-credit Adult ESL in Ontario. The study was initiated by the Teachers of ESL Association of Ontario (TESL Ontario) and conducted in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. Findings provided detailed descriptions of professional characteristics of1,196 respondents, including their age and gender, educational backgrounds and professional qualifications, teaching experience, employment, conditions of employments, and opportunities for professional development. Professional issues of concern to the instructors and their recommendations for addressing these issues were also summarized.

A Study of Factors Responsible for Low Motivation level for Learning English as Second Language Level in Saudi Female Students

Correcting mistakes in teaching english as a second language.

The article deals with the problem of finding out the most effective techniques and strategies of correcting students’ mistakes in the English language teaching process. The research is aimed at the analysis of the concept “mistake” and defining its role in teaching English. It is stated, that communicative approach views mistakes as an inevitable and necessary aspect in studying a second language. Three types of mistakes have been singled out: slips, errors and attempts. It has been found out, that errors are indicators of what should be taught. It is also defined, that the main reasons of making slips are hurrying and carelessness, attempts are caused by students’ desire of achieving the communicative goal, and only errors are viewed as gaps in students’ knowledge. There also have been found out the most productive strategies of correcting mistakes by teachers. Nonetheless, according to the observation, teachers do not use all types equally often, a large number of correction cases is taken by recasts and elicitation, accounting for over a half of all feedback. It is stated, that peer correction and self-correction are not widely used, though the last should be taken into consideration by teachers as the productive and efficient strategies for successful English language acquisition.


Special Autonomy Law (UU OTSUS Provinsi Papua) Chapter XV; article 52, verse 2, confides the implementing of English as a second language in Papua (West Papua province and Papua province). However, some complexities are faced to implement English as a second language in Papua. The complexities are; the difficulty in teaching English at school, lack of motivation to study English by student, different level of student’s English competence, and lack of good English teacher. This article aims to give contribution to solve the complexities above, especially in English teaching- learning process at senior high school level in Manokwari regency, west Papua province. The concept offered to solve the problems in teaching – learning English process is by using <em>Student Centered Learning </em>(SCL) concept. This concept is recommended by experts and suitable to be applied in senior high school level. There are some steps to implement SCL concept, they are; designing the project, implementing the design and evaluating the project. By implementing SCL concept, the teaching- learning English process in senior high school in Manokwari regency is expected to be useful for students and English teachers.

A Theoretical Perspective on Running-Related Injuries

The etiology of running-related injuries remains unknown; however, an implicit theory underlies much of the conventional research and practice in the prevention of these injuries. This theory posits that the cause of running-related injuries lies in the high-impact forces experienced when the foot contacts the ground and the subsequent abnormal movement of the subtalar joint. The application of this theory is seen in the design of the modern running shoe, with cushioning, support, and motion control. However, a new theory is emerging that suggests that it is the use of these modern running shoes that has caused a maladaptive running style, which contributes to a high incidence of injury among runners. The suggested application of this theory is to cease use of the modern running shoe and transition to barefoot or minimalist running. This new running paradigm, which is at present inadequately defined, is proposed to avoid the adverse biomechanical effects of the modern running shoe. Future research should rigorously define and then test both theories regarding their ability to discover the etiology of running-related injury. Once discovered, the putative cause of running-related injury will then provide an evidence-based rationale for clinical prevention and treatment.

Perception on the Effectiveness of Method in Teaching English as a Second Language to 21st Century Learners

Numerous studies revealed to us that rote memorization is an ineffective learning approach and the teacher-centered or traditional instruction, versus student-centered instruction, may not provide the most efficient outcomes for students‟ learning. The focus of this study was to assess the Perception on the Effectiveness of Method in Teaching English as a Second Language to 21st Century Learners. Using the descriptive-correlational research design, the study utilized a survey questionnaire as the main data gathering tool and a semi-structured open-ended questionnaire for the focus group discussion. It was revealed that the teachers are using Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) due to its effectiveness in managing large classes. The preference of 21st-century learners on CLT strengthens their use of the target language. Twenty-first century ESL students highly exposed to CLT improve their fluency, accuracy, and competence. The fundamental role of education is to prepare the 21st century learners to become assets and responsible members of our society. With the changes and improvements which come with time, this importance of education‟s role remains. Recommendations for future research were proposed.


In countries where learning English as a Second Language (ESL) is made compulsory, yet it is actually a foreign language to many learners, problems occur among learners. Language is the reflection of culture itself as the language can shape the society. Problems in language learning may occur due to several barriers. Firstly, cultural barrier is one of the barriers that is difficult to resolve. The barriers may influence the motivations to learn. The aim of this study is to investigate cultural barriers and motivation issues that might influence the process of learning English. 69 respondents participated in this quantitative study. The instrument used is a survey and it has 3 parts; 1) demographic profile, 2) culture and language learning and 3) motivation and language learning. Findings reveal that cultural barriers and motivational issues do have influence on learners’ language learning. Findings of this study bear interesting implications towards the teaching and learning of English as second language. <p> </p><p><strong> Article visualizations:</strong></p><p><img src="/-counters-/edu_01/0629/a.php" alt="Hit counter" /></p>

Content and Language Integrated Learning in Teaching English as Second Language: A Systematic Review of Empirically Based Articles

Objectives of teaching english as a second language in uzbekistan.

The author of the article made an effort to analyse and illuminate the measures and efforts being done in the sphere of teaching foreign languages in Uzbekistan. In other words, the author endeavored to practically expose the presidential decree № 1875 on December 10, 2012 “On measures to further improvement of system of learning foreign languages.” along with the comprehensive importance of teaching and learning English in Uzbekistan.

The Role of Technology in Audio Text Comprehension for English as a Second Language

This chapter proposes to establish a starting point in the design of technology specialized in the development of listening comprehension skills from a theoretical perspective, when learning English as a second language. Therefore, an exploration about how technologies have evolved in the practice of learning English as a second language was required. Likewise, authors look at fundamental aspects of technology literacy and how this is rooted in users' contexts. From this, they conceptualize the symbolic competence through the ecological theory in order to design a computer-assisted language learning practice. Findings led to the conclusion that a guide on how to build specialized technology in English learning as a second language does not exist. What indeed exists is the application of recycled technology created for other purposes but used for English learning. Authors propose a practice where the meaning is explored through the understanding of what happens in the context by using 3D holograms as an optical illusion.

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The Impact of Using Technology in Teaching English as a Second Language

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  • Published 20 February 2013
  • Computer Science, Education
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thesis on teaching english as a second language

Teaching English as a Second Language in the Midst of a Paradigm Shift: An Exploration of Students’ and Teachers’ Perception of ChatGPT

  • First Online: 14 December 2023

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thesis on teaching english as a second language

  • Frankie Har   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1896-9421 7  

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In this qualitative study, students’ and teachers’ perceptions of ChatGPT in English Language Teaching and Learning in EAP and ESP courses at a Hong Kong university with English language instruction (EMI) are examined to determine what opportunities and challenges higher education may face when it comes to the teaching and learning of English language in EAP and ESP courses. In the study, fourteen university lecturers were interviewed along with sixteen students in Years 1, 2, and 4. In spite of the preferences of ESL students at the university level in terms of the use of ChatGPT, it is also evident that there are high barriers to its use among teaching staff at the front line. According to the results of this study, all stakeholders in higher education, including students, front-line teachers, and university policymakers, should use this study as a springboard for narrowing down the differences and recognizing the utility of Artificial Intelligence, particularly ChatGPT in higher education.

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Har, F. (2023). Teaching English as a Second Language in the Midst of a Paradigm Shift: An Exploration of Students’ and Teachers’ Perception of ChatGPT. In: TSO, A.W.B., CHAN, W.W.L., NG, S.K.K., BAI, T.S., LO, N.P.K. (eds) Critical Reflections on ICT and Education. Educational Communications and Technology Yearbook. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-7559-4_2

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thesis on teaching english as a second language

Writing Across the Curriculum

Supporting writing in and across the disciplines at City Tech

Thoughts on Teaching English as a Second Language

By Labanya Unni

In more than half a decade of my teaching English, one of the most profound challenges I have faced is the question of English as a second language. I encountered this problem in a more limited sense in India, when I first began teaching, where degrees of fluency varied on the basis of class-position and cultural capital. While this issue was definitely something that I navigated, the student body had enough cultural and contextual homogeneity to convey modes of critical thinking in the minds of students. In the US, this problem takes on more complex proportions, since much of the student body is composed of international exchange students, migrants, first- or second-generation English speakers, and even students whose English are infused with specific dialects.

As a teacher, I find it difficult to see students struggling not just with ideas but also with the medium in which these ideas are expressed. From classroom interactions, it is clear that non-native English students sometimes feel inhibited and isolated, often without the space to express unique cultural and linguistic perspectives that they could bring to the table. It is difficult not to dwell on the profoundly hegemonic structure of English as a global language and the onerousness of teaching it to a non-native speaker, this thought process could potentially lead to defeatist modes of thinking or a tendency to shift or deny responsibility (the “abolitionist move” as David R. Russell puts it in his essay “Writing Across the Curriculum”).

These are strategies I have learned in my last few years as a teacher:

Modifying the rubric : The single-point rubric is not just a grading tool, but also a useful checklist for students to have while writing their essays. With English as second language students, teachers need to have awareness of the lexical and grammatical specifics that they bring to the table. This requires a careful perusal of student essays, as their textual analyses, evidence and thesis presentation might not be in a customary academic style. It might also be helpful to go over the rubric in class and carefully break down its contents, with detailed examples and illustrations.

Mindset : As someone teaching in the medium of the English language, it is perhaps useful to understand how English came to be historically constituted as a global language (David Crystal’s English as a Global Language is a good resource for that). A lot of what we understand as critical discourse/thinking reflects a majoritarian Western conception of knowledge, and it might be pertinent to communicate some of these ideas in class. Understanding some of this might help lessen the anxiety of a second language speaker who comes to class with the notion that English fluency represents the height of cultural and linguistic achievement.

WAC principles : The great thing about WAC is that it emphasizes thinking as well as writing. Ideas such as minimal marking, multiple drafting, scaffolding, low stakes writing, editing oriented towards revision rather than grammar correction, are very useful to keep in mind while dealing with second language speakers. John Bean in Engaging Ideas thoughtfully advises teachers to be forgiving of ‘accent errors’ – errors that come from not having naturally inhabited English speaking milieus.

Affective measures : It is clear that the question of English as a second language cannot just be tackled with a handful of linguistic and academic guidelines. There is, without a doubt, an affective component to this process, in which it is important for the teacher to make the student feel comfortable. This can be done by pairing them with peer study-partners (ideally with kind and thoughtful native speakers); encouraging creative and inclusive learning activities that are idea-based; taking the time to interact with them during office hours to try and gauge their cultural and rhetorical contexts and encouraging personal writing that lead up to academic writing/thinking

Utilizing writing centers : Writing centers have activities that professors might not be able to conduct in class due to limited time. Exercises likes conversation classes, dictionary-use, listening or audio-based learning can be useful supplements to WAC. According to Stephen Krashen in his Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, the most effective way to teach a language is to mimic as much as possible the natural methods of acquiring said language, which is through conversation, low-anxiety settings, and “comprehensible inputs” – the writing center, which is just an aid without the worry of grades might be a good place to implement these principles. Teachers across disciplines would do well to work closely with writing centers to provide extra support to second language speakers.

Works cited

John, Bean C. Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom , Jossey-Bass; 2nd Edition, 2011

Krashen, Stephen D.  Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning.  Prentice-Hall International, 1988.

Russel, David R. “Writing Across the Curriculum in Historical Perspective: Toward a Social Interpretation”, College English , vol. 52. 1990, pp. 52-73, JSTOR

One Reply to “Thoughts on Teaching English as a Second Language”

I was immediately drawn to Labanya Unni’s reflections and suggestions for teaching Standard English learners the conventions of academic writing. She states that, “a lot of what we understand as critical discourse/thinking reflects a majoritarian Western conception of knowledge”, this being, of course, tied to imperial histories and the position of English as a global language within contemporary capitalism. While I do not mean to “shift or deny responsibility” for teaching Standard Written English, I believe the WAC emphasis on “writing to learn” allows us the reconceptualize writing less as a space for performing hegemonic language ideologies and more of an experimental practice of thinking with and through other modes of complex expression.

Admittedly, many students pursue higher education precisely to acquire and successfully use Standard Written English, and as educators who have adequately and successfully used this dialect in our careers, we share in the responsibility of helping students reach their goals. However, from my perspective as someone teaching introductory courses in anthropology, college level instructors also should strive to engage with and legitimize “the dynamic linguistic practices of language-minoritized students while simultaneously raising awareness about issues of language and power” (Flores & Rosa 2015, 167).

I’m somewhat ashamed to write that before actually becoming a college instructor, my approach to how I imagined teaching writing when encountering non-standard varieties of English or multilingual forms of linguistic expression was heavily influenced by David Foster Wallace’s 2001 essay, “Tense Present: Democracy, English, and Wars over Usage”. There is section in the essay where Wallace discusses lecturing a group of Black students on what he calls Standard White English (“…it was developed by white people and is used by white people, especially educated, powerful white people.”) He acknowledges that the students’ minoritized linguistic practices are legitimate, but the reality of US American society is that Standard White English is the prestige variety of English whether or not he, you, or we like it (“This is How It Is”). Therefore, in his class, Standard White English rules the day. He means to be the sympathetic to the students and frames his lecture as pragmatic advice for succeeding in US American society, and potentially, after having mastered Standard White English, challenging its linguistic hegemonies (54). Nevertheless, as an instructor I could never bring myself to actually take that approach. The hurt it causes students learning to express complex ideas in writing is far too palpable; as Labanya points out, the affective dimensions to teaching writing are crucial. Furthermore, such an approach is completely out of sync with what my courses generally try to convey about the relationships between society, culture, and power.

Wallace’s approach to minorized linguistic practices is a particularly acerbic form of what Flores & Rosa (2015) call an “appropriateness” model to standardized forms of English i.e., pedagogical approaches that recognize the value of non-standard linguistic forms, while at the same time insisting that standard varieties are appropriate for academic contexts. Flores & Rosa assert that the flaw with “appropriateness” models is that often, despite the minorized language speakers’ best efforts to master Standard English, their language practices continue to be perceived in racialized ways by the white listening subject (149).

Franz Boas’s canonical “On Alternating Sounds” (1889) is not referenced by Rosa & Flores, but both texts’ arguments share a deep affinity. In a nutshell, Boas’ article refutes racist arguments that the indigenous languages of the North American Pacific Northwest are messy and illogical (i.e., their sounds alternated haphazardly) by showing that the problem was not in the languages themselves, but in the (white) listening subjects’ inability to hear certain unfamiliar phonemes. Importantly, Boas relates his own experience learning some of these languages and gradually apperceiving different phonemes he was previously unable to distinguish. As an educator constantly confronting non-standard varieties of English, what interests me about Boas short article is the implication that I may be the problem. What I take from this intellectual challenge is an openness to having students teach me and their peers alternative ways of thinking critically through writing that might push against the standard. Labanya offers excellent strategies for successfully addressing students’, often urgent, need and desire to improve their mastery of Standard Written English, but in highlighting the problem of “mindset”, her reflections prompted me to revisit the texts cited above and consider how I might differently position myself as an educator.

References Boas, Franz. 1889 “On alternating sounds.” American Anthropologist 2, no. 1: 47-54.

Flores, Nelson, & Jonathan Rosa. 2015. “Undoing appropriateness: Raciolinguistic ideologies and language diversity in education.” Harvard Educational Review 85, no. 2: 149-171.

Wallace, David Foster. 2001 “Tense present: Democracy, English, and the wars over usage.” Harper’s Magazine 302, no. 1811: 39-58.

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