Honors Theses


Novea McIntosh


Teacher Education

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Honors Thesis


It is projected that there will be 1.9 billion English learners in the world by 2020. Research has also shown that there will be at least one English learner in every classroom by the year 2025. As English language learners continue to grow all across the world, so does the need for well-informed teachers who look at the holistic learning of linguistically diverse students. Adolescent students who are seeking to learn another language, need support in using language in a way that will grow their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Ideas from renowned theorists such as Lev Vygotsky and van Lier, and authors such as Zaretta Hammond and Sonia Nieto will be researched to see cause-effect relationships, strategies, and influences relating to second language acquisition in the classroom. Using the aforementioned works, I will compare and contrast the profound influence teachers have on adolescent English learners in two different socio-political contexts: an English classroom in a suburb in Santiago, Chile and an ESL classroom in a suburb in Ohio. This study will determine how social emotional techniques form the basis of increasing student agency. I will collect data by observing and interviewing faculty and students to determine students’ sense of agency. With respect to increasing agency in second language acquisition, differences in social-emotional affordances and/or barriers that students face in their respective countries will be examined to determine if they are attributed to one’s sociopolitical context. Similarities in social-emotional affordances and/or barriers will be examined to see if they can be attributed to classroom technique that transcends the confines of sociopolitical contexts in the United States and Chile. The basis of this thesis is building a global community and discerning strengths in two different classrooms.

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Undergraduate research