Capstone Project Title

Preliterate English As A Second Language Learners: The Study Of Somali Students’ First Experience In The U.S. School System


Summer 2017


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Maggie Struck

Content Expert

Karen Larson


This project explores a program for preliterate Somali speaking students with little or no previous formal education. In this project, I inform the reader about the Somali culture and the implications of acculturation that affect these refugee students. This qualitative study gives insight into the life experiences of the students, the strengths they bring with them, and the strategies needed to help the reader understand this population of students. As an educator and a researcher, my approach is centered on valuing these students while providing tools for administration, and all staff who have the privilege to work with them. I believe through my instructional experiences and by doing this research, I benefited not only the students, but also all educational staff members. Through in depth use and reflection of instructional strategies and reflection upon my personal and professional experiences the last four years, I hope to provide insight into authentic learning experiences for preliterate Somali speaking newcomers. Educators will understand the needs of these students, so that they can address them better in the classroom. I relied on published research, my coursework at Hamline University, as well as, my own observations over the years. I will offer insight into the daily instructional techniques used in my classroom. In addition, I will suggest instructional strategies to help students, and staff, with the transition of these students to mainstream.

Project Type

Professional Development


ESL/ ELLs, Learning Styles, Literacy

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