Publication Date


Degree Name

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

First Advisor

Elizabeth Tannenbaum


The ELL classroom is incredibly diverse in many ways. Not only is it possible for many different countries and multiple races to be represented, but each student comes to the classroom with experiences unique to them and what has happened in their life. Care needs to be taken that we treat them as individuals and support them, in whatever way they need, to be successful and integral parts of the community. This is especially true for refugee and newcomer students. Like other ELL students, they are faced with trying to learn class materials without a full grasp of the language they are being taught in. They are both trying to navigate their own identity and figure out where it meets with the identity of the new culture that they find themselves in. But in addition to this, refugees and newcomers may have faced traumatic experiences, whether from displacement, war, or some other event. In schools across the United States there are ELL teachers trying their best to support, advocate for, and teach ELLs and refugee students. They work as both teacher and social worker in many cases and often struggle with a lack of resources to help best serve their students and their students` families. This paper will explore some of the methodologies and resources that are being used in the field, in particular, Whole School Approach, Participatory Approach, and Restorative Justice Pedagogy. Following that there will be a breakdown of observations and interviews from a case study I conducted in the Essex Westford School District in Vermont. This case study will be primarily composed of professionals in the community who work with ELL students and their families. It will explore what methodologies and resources are currently in use and what teachers would like to have or implement beyond what they have readily available or given to them by the schools.