Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Folk Studies and Anthropology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Modern Languages

Document Type



In the South-Central region of Kentucky there are several facilities that teach English as Second Language (ESL) courses. This thesis examines the forms and styles of these classes, as well as problems refugee students face in the classroom and the functions the classes may serve beyond the teaching of English. To accomplish this, I used anthropological field work methods, including semi-structured interviews with local ESL teachers, volunteers, and professionals in refugee services and participant observation. I will focus on the interviews I have conducted; what content has been collected, structure of the interviews, and what questions were asked. This paper will share valuable insights gained through ethnographic field methods on refugee interactions in English as a Second Language classes in the South-Central region of Kentucky. This thesis will also serve to fill the gap in information on ESL classes in this area of Kentucky, including training needed to teach the classes and the specific needs of refugee students. The project will act as a resource for local ESL teachers that are in the process of learning how to teach refugee students.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Kate Hudepohl


Anthropology | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Community-Based Research | First and Second Language Acquisition