Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Sherina Feliciano-Santos

Second Advisor

Jennifer Reynolds


This thesis offers a preliminary analysis into looking at the ways in which Arabicspeaking ESL students are inadvertently marginalized by state standardization, curriculum, and dominant forms of classroom interactions in a NJ recovery program. Specifically, this analysis addresses the absence of orthographic training and a reliance on teacher-fronted, textbook based classroom exercises as a problematic structure that limits opportunities for Arabic-speaking students to participate successfully in an ESL 1 classroom. This data was collected during six-weeks of preliminary research during the summer of 2016 in a Jersey City, NJ ESL classroom. Using transcriptions of recorded data from lessons that typify the types of exercises that were used in this classroom, this research identifies how ESL strategies can be deployed in effective ways for some ESL students while simultaneously working to marginalize others. This work contributes to broader consideration of ESL classroom strategies, and calls for further research into the linguistic practices and academic needs of a growing Arabic-speaking student population in the New Jersey/New York area. Even more broadly, this work allows for future research on the ways in which these microinteractional processes contribute to ideas about belonging, citizenship, and identity for students from minoritized linguistic groups.

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