This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Project-Based Learning in Adult English as a Second Language Programs: A Multiple Case Study




Davis, Alexis

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Given the influx of internationals immigrating to the United States (US), English language learners (ELLs) are now the fastest growing group of students in the country with 65% of them being born in the US (DaSilva, Combs, & Moll, 2012). According to Kanno and Cromley (2013) the quantity of ELLs in the K-12 setting in the US is estimated to increase from 10% (currently) to 25% by the year 2025. The problem is the academic achievement of ELLs in the US reflects repercussions of a long history of educational inequity for students of racial/ethnic minorities (Iddings, Combs, & Moll, 2012). The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how elements of Project-Based Learning (PBL) align with the learning experiences of adult ELLs with English acquisition at the collegiate level. PBL provides opportunities for language learners to develop all four language skills in an integrated and contextualized way; it mirrors real-world language (Fleming, 2000). Due to the immense effect that immigrants and ELLs have on the US as a whole, this study is essential to the success of properly educating the growing population.