Term

Spring 5-5-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Ann Mabbott

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Judy Behrens

Abstract

A major challenge that elementary ESL teachers face is that of helping students achieve reading competency. There are many factors that play a part in learning to read in a first language. English Learners have additional challenges as they learn to read in a second language. These factors and challenges are investigated and reviewed within this study. The author was curious about a few Somali students in her school who achieve high levels of reading proficiency. The research question for this study was, what factors lead to reading success for Somali elementary students and how do we support these students? This study consisted of interviews with the parents and teachers of three Somali elementary students, as well as classroom observations and review of data, to determine possible factors that promote second language reading success.

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