Term

Summer 8-10-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Anne DeMuth

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Michal Moskow

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Chad Miller

Abstract

Despite increased access to higher education for female students in Ethiopia, gender inequality in universities persists. The present study investigates a group of sixty first-year female students in the natural science fields who were attending an Ethiopian university and who voluntarily participated in an English mentoring pilot program. This research uses a mixed methods approach with qualitative data from participants’ writing samples and quantitative data from grade point averages, English language proficiency (ELP) levels from the British Council’s International Language Assessment (ILA) placement exam, and academic confidence ratings from the Academic Behavioral Confidence (ABC) survey. Results show differences between groups based on academic status (dismissed, warning, or promoted). Findings indicate that twothirds of participants have an A2 ELP level using the Common European Framework scale. Writing samples suggest that participants perceive their own ELP levels are not sufficient and they would like to improve their English language skills.

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