Fall 2020


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Patty Born Selly

Content Expert

Emily Schmitz


As the COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures across the United States,, education continued at a distance, often through an online platform. The motivation driving this project was concern regarding the disproportionate ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected English learners and their families. English learners often belong to populations more likely to live in poverty and the CDC discusses how these groups have challenges accessing quality healthcare ( COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups , 2020) . In addition, UNESCO reports that school closures negatively affected the experiences of students worldwide (2020). As English learner students make up a significant portion of American K-12 students, the research question addressed in this project was how can educators improve English learners engagement and success in distance learning. The literature demonstrated that teachers have an effect on student motivation, which is tied to student success; and discussed the unique ways English learners experience schooling, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted populations to which English learners often belong. The project aimed to educate classroom teachers on the experiences of English learners, and ways to support their learning via an easily accessible website. The website includes research-based best practices and links to resources to support their online teaching. The website focuses on what teachers can control within the online learning setting, and provides information needed to effectively teach English learners in all settings. Implementation of this website will lead to classroom teachers’ deeper understanding of the experiences of English learners, and provide tools and information that can immediately be applied to instruction. Recommended future research includes studying the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all learners, and investigating best practices for other populations of learners.

Project Type

ESL/ ELLs, Motivation, online learning, distance learning


Website Creation








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