Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Kerry Burner

Abstract

Instructors of English as Second Language (ESL) at a private community college had raised concerns regarding Hispanic ESL students not developing sufficient English proficiency. The purpose of this single exploratory case study was to explore the phenomenon brought forward by ESL instructors and share the results with the ESL program and the college. The conceptual framework for this qualitative study was based on the classroom learning motivation theory suggesting that the environment in which a student is learning a new language also plays a major role in second language learning. Data collection was conducted through 3 ESL classroom observations and interviews with 15 community college students. A focus group with 7 different students was used to understand Hispanic ESL students' perspectives about their experience in the college-wide ESL program and issues students face in the ESL program. Data analysis consisted of thematic content analysis, constant comparison, and concurrent data collection and analysis until concept saturation occurred. The findings were that Hispanic ESL students were satisfied with the ESL program. Data triangulation formed 4 themes: students would like to use technology in the classroom, more instances for in-class conversation, to be corrected when they mispronounce a word, and have instructors who spoke Spanish. The recommendations include the creation of a policy to institutionalize professional development to help ESL teachers become aware of the issues that Hispanic ESL students face in the classroom in order to help students achieve English proficiency. This case study served as an example for other institutions to take the initiative learn how Hispanic ESL students perceive ESL instruction and filled the gap in research regarding Hispanic ESL students' perception of ESL programs.