Factors that Contribute to Adult ESL Students Classroom Participation in Oral Language Activities in Oral Language Activities in a Family Literacy Program


Summer 8-4-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Kimberly Johnson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Betsy Parrish

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Elizabeth Nunez


Research addressed factors affecting adult ESL student participation in oral communication activities in a high-intermediate level family literacy ESL class. The motivation for this capstone was to understand why adult ESL students in a family literacy program willingly choose to go to class with the goal to speak better English, yet don’t make an effort to participate in oral language activities. Research focused on the construct of Willingness to Communicate (WTC) and factors associated with WTC to determine if they play a role in adult students choice to participate in oral language communication activities. Three data collection tools were crafted to explain this phenomenon and to discern if any themes were congruent with prior research in WTC or if new themes emerged. Results were congruent with previous WTC research suggesting that fear of negative evaluation, self-perceived competence and perfectionism were factors. Results also suggested that student inclass groupings affect participation.


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs

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