Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2022

Degree Name

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

First Advisor

Dr. Elka Todeva


Middle-Eastern English language learners (ELLs), specifically Iraqi students, are often not well equipped to succeed in university settings where English is the medium of instruction (EMI) for their intended graduate and undergraduate studies. Oftentimes, they are weaker in their academic literacy skills, when compared to listening and speaking, and need extra scaffolding and/or remedial instruction to develop their reading and writing dexterity for overall academic success. One way to support their writing development is to implement free-writing journal projects that will enable them to cultivate an original writer voice, to think quickly and critically in the L2, and to integrate the conventions and competencies of academic writing and grammar within their L2 production. Thus, this research project will explore how to enhance Iraqi students’ literacy skills, particularly in writing, through the classroom practice of creating free-writing journals as a project-based learning experience. The benefits of exposing students to this active-learning task and potential limitations to its use will be investigated within the researcher’s unique context.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Higher Education | Higher Education and Teaching | International and Comparative Education | Language and Literacy Education