Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Bogiages


Purposefully selecting text is a longstanding challenge for teachers of multinational, adult learners enrolled at language schools. International students come from diverse cultural backgrounds, have been educated in different academic systems, are of different ages, and have separate interests; therefore, it is difficult for teachers to effectively select text to meet this disparate student group’s needs. The purpose of this action research investigation was to identify an effective strategy to select reading material that fosters student engagement through a shared reading interest.

This action research investigation used exploratory qualitative methods in a constructivist grounded theory approach. I conducted semi-structured interviews using a modified Delphi method protocol. Four English language teachers participated in a series of interviews to develop a model that aligns fictional literature with an ESL curriculum. I uncovered the literature characteristics multinational students’ teachers identify as important when selecting texts for adult English language learners: (a) ESL level, (b) the curriculum, (c) using modern, American English, (d) acculturation, (e) cultural sensitivity, and (f) student interest. I explored these characteristics regarding student learning and fostering community and discovered acculturation played a crucial role in connecting multinational sojourning students to texts. Upon identifying acculturation as a key result, I proposed how it could be used as a framework for several school initiatives.


© 2021, Michael Robert