Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Linda Houts-Smith



The purpose of this project was to discover what the research says about the role a student’s first language (L1) plays in their second language (L2) literacy development. As immigrant populations increase across the United States, some districts are perpetuating or implementing programs with little knowledge of best practices. Many districts fail to realize the value of a student’s L1 in their ability to acquire another language and be successful in an academic situation. This situation is perpetuated by district policy, teachers, and families themselves, and the results hinder the educational system’s actual goal of helping students from immigrant communities achieve proficiency in reading and writing in English, their second language.



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