Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science


Center for the Advancement of Education


Whole Language, Natural Language, Natural Approach, Language Acquisition, Second Language Acquisition, First Language Acquisition, Curriculum Design, Analytical Curriculum, Synthetic Curriculum, Inductive Learning, Deductive Learning, Language Learning, Language Acquisition Device, ESOL Classroom, Holistic Classroom, Grammar Sequence, Communicative Approach, Meaningful Language, Input Hypothesis, Holistic Language Testing, ESGL Testing, Optimal Acquisition Activity, Commercial ESOL Materials, Roleplay in ESOL, Project Work in ESOL, Cartoons in Education, Newspapers in Education, Songs in ESOL, Life Experience Learning.


Many English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students live in areas in which the English language is not the principal means of communication in everyday life. However, because English is the principal language of the broader society, non-English speakers are motivated to attend ESOL classes in order to participate in the mainstream and to receive society's benefits. The classroom is the principal source of meaningful English input for these students. Opportunities for second language acquisition are limited once the students are outside the classroom. This reality makes the quantity and quality of language presented in the classroom a crucial factor in students success in acquiring English as a new language. This practicum explores 1) the nature of language acquisition and its affect upon the roles of the teacher, student and classroom and 2) the use of whole language materials in the classroom. Alternatives to commercial ESOL materials are suggested in order to aid the English language acquisition process and to enhance student exposure to real language. The adult education center at which this practicum was implemented has been offering a language learning ESOL program based on the use of publisher textbooks. The problem which this study addresses is that these ESOL materials have not provided sufficient English language input and that as a result, students lack contact with English as a whole language. This practicum suggests the means through which students may be exposed to natural and whole language through the development of language acquisition procedures and activities. Implementation was carried out in a beginning ESOL classroom with the use of whole language materials. The level of student success was determined by measuring the increase in student writing and oral language production through classroom and non-classroom activities. The results indicate that the use of whole-language materials in the ESOL classroom promotes language acquisition and language production at a faster rate than the use of commercial ESOL materials in a language learning environment. Appendices include step-by-step procedures 1or using whole-language materials in the ESOL classroom, sample student progress charts, and a student interests survey.

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