Deborah Hall

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Camilla Collins, Lynwood Montell, Ronald Ekard


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Original department Modern Languages & Intercultural Studies / Folk Studies Program

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


I used different genres of folklore as examples to show how folklore can be used to teach ESL students at various levels of English proficiency. I related these genres to the grammatical structures and vocabulary appropriately taught at each level and adapted them to the techniques and methods traditionally used in teaching ESL. I showed that folklore motivated students to learn English by providing materials that were relevant to their own experiences through examples of using folklore to teach Indochinese refugees and German businessmen. These examples were also used to explain how folklore can be used to help students adjust to a new culture by pointing out the similarities which exist among all cultures. Using folklore in the ESL class provided an atmosphere of cultural exchange in which the students felt comfortable in attempting to use the new language, in which both the students and the teacher learned to understand and appreciate their own and other cultures, and in which the possibility of cultural misunderstandings and learning hindrances was lessened.


Anthropology | Education | Folklore | Language and Literacy Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences