Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


This capstone paper explores individual experiences of English learners in a South County Monterey academic environment in order to better inform future teachers. This qualitative case study explores seven English learners' individual experiences and focuses on addressing the following questions: What experiences impact English language learners’ (ELLs) academic development in the US? What are the primary factors that contribute to the achievement gap ELL’s face? How does society’s views impact ELL’s? What factors can provide a better academic experience? In order to further investigate the experience of ELLs in US schools, this study sought research and gathered information through different peer-reviewed articles, websites, books, journals, magazines, and interviews to gain a better understanding of the factors which impact the academic development of ELLs. After examining the factors contributing to ELLs’ achievement gap, this study encompasses different experiences of ELLs and approaches which may provide ELL students with a richer learning environment.