Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Jenna Shim


Some people are able to look at language in its entirety, seeing all of its facets—the multiple versions of ourselves expressed in different discourses. Some see it as a tool in communication while, unfortunately, others experience it as a barrier. Wenying Jiang (2000) declares, “Language and culture makes a living organism: language is flesh, and culture is blood. Without culture, language would be dead; without language, culture would have no shape” (328). Here, Jiang (2000) explains that without language, a culture ceases to exist. Language pumps the blood throughout bodies of culture, but interestingly, their interdependency often goes unnoticed. This issue is prevalent for children and adolescents who do not speak English in the United States. Many students with diverse backgrounds and who are English language learners (ELLs) face insurmountable challenges through their schooling and are often mislabeled as unintelligent or disabled. As a future educator with an English-as-a-Second Language endorsement, I aim to advocate for these students and integrate more effective and inclusive teaching strategies for the ELL population. In this portfolio, I will present and reflect my observations from my 45-hour practicum in Natrona County School District, current research on ELLs and examples of effective teaching methods. Overall my portfolio contains 1) reflective journal entries regarding my observations and correlating research topics, 2) lesson plans I have created or adapted and their evaluations, 3) a reflection on professional development and strategies to support colleagues and improve ELL learning, 4) a report on teacher-family relationships and suggested improvements.