Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of English: English Studies
This thesis focuses on U.S.-educated multilingual students as they transition from a community college academic English as a Second Language program to and through a semester-long first-year composition course. Research on non-native English speakers has indicated that U.S.-educated multilingual students have both similar and varied background and literacy experiences compared to native English speakers and international students; they also often present unique literacy needs compared to their peers. These various and shifting similarities and differences sometimes complicate placement and instruction in college courses.
My case study focused on three U.S.-educated multilingual students' experiences in the final semester of a community college academic ESL program and in the first semester of first-year composition. I analyzed data from observations, semi-structured interviews, and written artifacts, such as syllabi, assignment sheets, and students' written compositions, to locate themes that helped me answer my research questions: What are the experiences of U.S.-educated multilingual students in mainstream composition courses in community colleges? And, how can community college ESL programs better prepare U.S.-educated multilingual students?
The findings suggest that U.S.-educated multilingual students who successfully complete this community college's academic ESL program can be successful in first-year composition at this community college. The findings also suggest, however, pedagogical and administrative implications in providing U.S.-educated multilingual students with the necessary tools to succeed. Pedagogical implications include minor revisions to ESL program curricula to incorporate assignments that allow students to build upon their private literacy practices, the addition of more multimodal writing tasks and more lexically challenging reading tasks, and research to ascertain an institution's specific student population and literacy needs. Administrative implications for community colleges include increased collaboration among academic departments as well as cross-training first-year composition teachers to meet the needs of multilinguistic classrooms. Finally, the findings also call for more research on U.S.-educated multilingual students in community college ESL and composition courses.
Harrison, Melinda S., "U.S.- Educated Multilingual Students in Community College: Transitioning from Esl to English 101" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 217.