Fall 2022


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Betsy Parrish

Content Expert

Sharon Balani


An overwhelming number of English Learners (ELs) are motivated to learn English because it can act as a tool to help them achieve career success. However, textbooks, which form the backbone of many General English (GE) courses, do not provide enough information in a number of areas related to success at work. Notably, few textbooks offer models for the language needed in job searching, including complex noun phrases. Since textbooks are not providing this material, teachers have to fill that gap themselves. In order to help teachers fulfill this task, my capstone project investigates the following research question: “How can teacher trainers instruct teachers on how to narrow the gap between noun phrases adult ELs are typically able to produce in GE classes and types of noun phrases necessary for ELs to produce effective resumes and cover letters in English?” The project includes a formal paper that contains a review of related literature, and a website that contains all of the information necessary to run three two-hour teacher professional development sessions that equip instructors to teach about noun phrases for cover letters and resumes. This paper explores the noun phrases that ELs need for writing effective and professional resumes and cover letters. The paper introduces research on the connection between EL needs and complex noun phrases, and documents the creation of a series of professional development workshops for teachers. The workshops are aimed at raising teachers' awareness of noun phrases, and helping teachers integrate more noun phrase work into their courses. The workshops offer teachers support in supplementing curricula and textbooks that may not address noun phrases, and provides material and activities to help learners write effective resumes and cover letters.

Project Type

Professional Development


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs, Staff Development, Teachers/ Teaching








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