Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of a peer-led conversation group for English Language Learner (ELL) university students. Class discussions and interaction among classmates are common requirements in US university classrooms, yet ELL students experience many obstacles with oral communication. Prior research has revealed peer strategies as one way ELL students can improve oral communication. This study evaluated how peer-led conversation groups affect self-efficacy and investigated how ELL students could benefit from these groups by using a convergent mixed methods design. A self-efficacy pre-test and post-test was used, and the groups were observed for five weeks. Participants were given short questionnaires, and data sources were reviewed by independent researchers to triangulate findings and to provide additional reliability. Only four participants completed the pre-test and post-test, and the results did not support the hypothesis. However, open and axial coding of the qualitative data revealed three main themes of benefits to the participants, and these findings suggest conducting future qualitative research for ELL oral communication and peer-led conversation groups.