First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Teaching English as a Second Language




Adult education -- Oregon -- Multnomah County, Literacy programs -- Oregon -- Multnomah County, English language -- Study and teaching -- Oregon -- Multnomah County -- Foreign speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 103 p.)


The present study identified and described the general education English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in Multnomah County, Oregon, offered by nonprofit organizations, in order to promote a more coordinated effort to meet the needs of the community. The study asked the following questions: 1) What are the non-profit organizations providing general adult ESL instruction in Multnomah County, Oregon?; 2) What are the nature and characteristics of these adult ESL education programs, including methods of recruiting, assessing, and tracking students?; 3) What are the methods of recruiting, training, and tracking volunteer teachers?; and 4) What, if any, ESL resource services made available would be perceived as most beneficial to this sector of the ESL instructional community? There were three parts to the study: 1) identifying the organizations, conducted by using an exploratory approach; 2) structured telephone interviews; and 3) classroom observations and/or teacher interviews, conducted by using ethnographic techniques with a stratified sample derived from the analysis of the data generated in the second portion of the research. Fourteen organizations qualified for the study, serving approximately 428 students. Methods of student recruitment were most commonly by word of mouth and referral or refugee assignment. Very few formal means of student evaluation and tracking of educational progress were reported. All ESL instruction was found to be performed by approximately 185 volunteers, recruited most frequently by word of mouth. Volunteers were most commonly trained by attending volunteer training seminars and/or receiving prepared handouts, or by no training at all. Tracking was done by telephone, forms, or not at all. The services perceived most valuable, listed from most to least, were: tutor training seminars, instructional material recommendations, grant and funding information, recruitment of volunteer tutors, and recommendations on methods of student evaluation. Student evaluation was the only service rated less than valuable. A mailing list was created from the information generated from the telephone interviews and forwarded to Portland Community College, and The Portland Literacy Council, whose information has been updated accordingly.


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