Education & Certifications
BA, Calvin University, Linguistics (2018)
MA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Teaching of English as a Second Language (2020)
Literacy practices of Mexican and Ghanaian immigrant women with limited ESL literacy
Illinois Library IDEALS.
Scarce ESL literacy research exists on low-literate, immigrant learners over the age of sixty. Research on this underrepresented population is critical for increasing their participation and success in ESL programs. This study describes the literacy practices, perceived needs, expectations, literacy statements, and classroom dynamics of low-literate, immigrant learners over the age of sixty. Data was collected over a seven-week period using interviews, classroom observations, and drawing tasks at a U.S. ESL tutoring center supported by volunteer tutors. Two ESL students from Ghana and México participated. Data was analyzed using Norton’s (2013) investment model. Findings showed that participants desired autonomy; classroom dynamics influenced participants’ perceived needs and negative literacy statements; and English-speaking family members positively influenced participants’ engagement in English literacy practices. From a pedagogical perspective, increasing low-literate, immigrant learners’ active participation in ESL programs requires improved resources for tutor training, relevant content for learners’ needs, and learners to have strong social connections with English speakers outside of the classroom.