Teaching English Language Learners: Culture, Theory and Methods

Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 quarters

Taught by

Leslie Flemmer
teacher education, critical pedagogy
Grace Huerta
educational policy studies, qualitative research methods
  • UG

In this program, we will explore the role of family and community in language acquisition and identity formation among K-adult English Language Learners (ELLs). We will examine how certain contextual factors such as history, political climate, school policies, and curriculum impact the education of language learners from adults to students in grades K-12. We will also study language acquisition theory, teaching methods, curriculum design, and implementation of theory to instructional practice relevant to Washington K-12 English Language Development standards as well as TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) standards for adult ELLs in local as well as international settings.

These ELL concepts will be analyzed through readings, group collaboration, workshops, student-led seminars, lectures, and multimedia/video. Students will lead discussions, complete reflective writing activities, conduct teaching demonstrations, and create a community ethnography project. Writing and research workshops will also be a focus of this program.

In the fall the program will survey the history of second language education in the United States, while introducing central issues in language acquisition research. We will also discuss the role of dominant and minority communities and culture in identity formation of English language learners, their lived experiences and how knowledge of both family and community can inform school policies, curriculum, and instruction. We will begin our research and tutoring activities in local K-12 settings.

In the winter the program will focus on study of language as a system with an emphasis on linguistic, literacy, and content-area K-adult instructional strategies. Among topics addressed will be English phonology, morphology, and syntax as well as implications for teaching the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We will also continue our K-12 ELL tutoring practices in the local schools with an emphasis on content-area instruction and academic-language development.

Reading topics will include the history of ESL/bilingual education, immigrant learners in the public schools, introduction to ESL/ELL teaching methods, language acquisition theory, literacy and linguistics for ELLs, assessment, sheltered instruction, as well as the practice of culturally relevant pedagogy.

Program Details

Fields of Study

community studies cultural studies education international studies language studies linguistics

Preparatory For

K-12 teacher preparation (Masters in Teaching) for ESL/English Language Learners, cross-cultural/international teaching of ESL K-12 and adults, K-12 and adult literacy instruction, and community-based organizations.


Fall Open Winter Conditional

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First winter class meeting: Monday, January 9th at 10am (Sem II C4107)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$150 in winter for transportation, registration, and entrance fees.


2016-11-17This program will accept new enrollment without signature. Students will need an understanding of language acquisition theory, ELL teaching methods, and curriculum planning.
2016-02-18Leslie Flemmer joins the teaching team.