Date of Award

12-2017

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Carol Mohrbacher

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

English for Secific Purposes (ESP), Curriculum, Curriculum Design, ESP Curriculum

Abstract

The number of immigrants in the United States workforce has only increased over the past four decades. In fact, “[b]etween 1970 and 2015, the percentage of foreign-born workers in the labor force more than tripled, from 5 percent to 17 percent” (Batalva & Zong, 2017). This statistic brings into question the necessity of English classes for not only day-to-day English, but also specifically for the workplace. English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is a branch of English teaching that is designed to help prepare English Language Learners (ELLs) for a specific career path. This study aimed to analyze the General English (GE) skills for students who participated in an English as a Second Language (ESL) course designed for aspiring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Students were tested with the BEST Plus verbal and literacy tests before and after participating in the class. A survey with questions regarding students’ educational background and feelings about the CNA ESL class was also distributed. It was discovered that the majority of the students experienced increases in their GE speaking skills. Their literacy skills, on the other hand, did not show much improvement. Regardless of the lack of improvement in their literacy skills, many of the students reported seeing improvements in at least one aspect of their GE skills after taking this class.

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