First Advisor

Nike Arnold

Date of Publication

Summer 9-2-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




Portland State University . Intensive English Language Program -- Evaluation, English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 122 pages)


Program evaluation (PE) is important for ESL programs but also difficult. As the scope of PE has grown, student voices have increasingly been included. Alumni provide unique perspectives, but Portland State University's (PSU) Intensive English Language Program (IELP) currently has no exit survey. Furthermore, little research uses alumni data, so this constructivist, mixed-methods study used data triangulation to compare the perceptions of former IELP students with those of three other stakeholder groups -- the topic: IELP student preparedness for PSU. Both online surveys and interviews were conducted, and participants included 63 former and 33 current IELP students, 27 IELP faculty members, and 29 PSU faculty members. Overall, respondents often praised the program with regard to how it prepares international students for mainstream classes. However, many also expressed that students were less ready for reading, in comparison to other language skills. Additionally, there was agreement regarding emotional challenges, limited faculty supportiveness, vocabulary, and speaking to and in front of native speakers, among other topics. While there are implications for the IELP, perhaps more importantly, there are implications for PSU.


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