Publication Date

Spring 4-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Master of Arts in TESOL)

First Advisor

Leslie Turpin


Through a small case study, this paper investigates one on-line learning organization devoted to providing ESL education to persons affected by conflict. Through interviews with administrators and tutors, and through survey data collected from participants, the paper will explore how administrators and tutors:

1) determine suitability of material when deciding what to teach in this virtual classroom format

2) foster reflection skills in this format

3) assess language acquisition

4) measure the benefits of technology in one on one instruction

Paper Airplanes consists of about five hundred to eight hundred students and around 800 hundred tutors (Wimer, 2018). It is a web-based organization with a global presence and operates completely in a virtual space. Although tutors and administrators are located throughout the global community, students are primarily located in Syria and Turkey (Paper Airplanes, 2019).The paper examines measurable areas of improvement and success in the English program and offers curriculum ideas based on these findings. Information was collected from anonymous student surveys for the 2018 English Program as well as interviews with tutors and administrators. Given the high percentage of women and girls whose education is disrupted by conflict, the paper concludes with recommendations for online educational platforms designed to meet the needs of children and women. Written for curriculum developers, this paper is intended as a curriculum development guide and includes a curriculum unit focusing on education and social justice.


Adult and Continuing Education | Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | International Relations | Online and Distance Education