Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Louis J. Traina

Committee Member

David Weintraub

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham

Abstract

This applied dissertation was designed to explore the experiences of faculty teaching L2s in bachelor degree courses at a private university in South Florida and to identify potential approaches and teaching methods that influence L2s’ learning and success. L2s comprise 10% of the nation’s college enrollment and are four times less likely to graduate with a bachelor degree than their socioeconomic peers who speak English as a first language.

The researcher examined the meaning of bachelor degree completion for L2s, perceived characteristics of successful L2s, and teaching methods influencing L2s’ success to understand how L2s succeed in bachelor degree courses. After conducting a purposeful sampling of five faculty members and interviews with open-ended questions, the researcher explored their experiences and perceptions of L2s’ academic success. A six step IPA protocol was used to analyze final data and answer three issue questions and one central research question.

The researcher identified that L2s succeed when graduation means achieving the American dream, when L2s have psychological grit, and when faculty accommodate L2s via student-faculty partnership. Teaching methods influencing L2s’ success included mediation of doubt, knowing, noticing, and responding to L2s, and student-faculty partnering.

This research can be a source of information for universities with L2 enrollment. This study fills the research gap of faculty perceptions of L2s in bachelor degree courses and contributes to literature concerning the academic success of L2s.

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