Amanda Snell Abstracts

Amanda Snell

Ph.D. Candidate

Second Language Teaching & Acquisition GIDP


American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

New Orleans, Louisiana

November 15-18, 2018


Abstract for Lay Audience

This project examines the use of creative texts, including art and poetry, in community based

English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms for immigrant and refugee adults in Tucson. Community-based classes tend to take place in libraries, churches, and public schools, are taught by volunteers, and are offered free-of-charge to learners, who do not receive formal credits for the course. Typically, classroom materials for immigrant and refugee learners at beginning levels focuses on "survival" themes, but this project uses data from a community-based classroom to argue that literacy based approaches involving poetry and art engage adult learners as critical thinkers, even at beginning stages of language learning. Furthermore, I argue that learners interact with creative texts to make meaning in complex ways which go beyond their measurable grammatical proficiency. Data include learner surveys as well as student-produced texts which show the unique and varied ways adult learners creatively make meaning in ways that are not typically recognized in language learning assessments.

Last updated 4 Jun 2019