Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type



English Language and Literatures

Director of Thesis

Nina Levine

First Reader

Lara Lomicka


The purpose of the study was to comprehend how two French teachers understood their roles in teaching immigrant students. To achieve this goal, I observed classes at a middle school in Pau, France over the course of three months. I recorded extensive field notes and conducted two in-depth interviews with both of the teachers I observed. After returning to the United States, I coded my notes, identifying and analyzing patterns in the data. Among other conclusions, I discovered that these teachers emphasized students’ individual identities, including their diverse national and cultural backgrounds, while at the same time pushing the students towards eventual integration into mainstream classes with native French-speakers. This case study is pertinent to my future career as a high school English teacher, during which time I am bound to encounter immigrant students whom it is my job to encourage and educate.