Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Carol Rodgers


From 1984 through 1986, I worked as an ESL Supervisor in the Intensive English as a Second Language component at Galang Refugee Processing Center in Indonesia. My job was to train locally hired teachers, and to provide them direction and support through classroom observation and individual teacher evaluation. In 1985, I and the other ESL supervisors perceived a great concern among refugees about their ability to interact with Americans in the United States. To meet that need, we wrote the Social Language unit, which was added to the ESL curriculum. The following paper will describe the rationale for writing such a unit, and the subsequent training of the Indonesian teachers to prepare them for teaching the material to Indochinese refugees bound for resettlement in the U.S. In many ways, the process of training the teachers, and my personal interaction with refugees on Galang was a learning experience for me about the learning of culture bound language. Next I discuss certain concerns I have about the relevancy of teaching social language outside the context of American society. In my conclusion, I propose a model for teaching appropriate communicative behavior with Americans. This model is based on what I learned through my experience in Galang, and might be applied to other programs attempting to integrate foreigners into U.S. society.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development