Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The focus of this study was to learn about student perceptions of curriculum and teaching pedagogy in their Newcomer classroom. In order to research this topic I conducted a case study of the Newcomer class that I teach. During a six-week period I implemented four teaching strategies that I believed to be affective for second language acquisition. The data collected through parent and student interviews, student free writes, as well as my own observations, reflects on these four strategies. The research reveals that students are enthusiastic and motivated to learn when they are encouraged to incorporate their prior experiences. Data also reveals that students are supported in demonstrating their knowledge and understanding when their experiences, and those of their family are honored through the use of culturally relevant material. Recommendations of specific strategies that differentiate instruction by incorporating heritage and authentic voice have been suggested. These recommended strategies motivate English language learners while supporting them in acquiring language in a respectful and meaningful way.


Thesis (M.A.) School of Education