Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Student populations in post-secondary institutions in the United States have increasingly become more diverse in the past several decades. This diversity includes students from distinct ethnic groups, of various linguistic backgrounds, and from a wide age range. English as a second language students have largely populated these classes, creating an exigency for modifications in the political, social, administrative, and pedagogical practices of these universities and colleges. Some higher education institutions have also diversified their student body by creating early acceptance programs for gifted students. Like second-language students, they might too present peculiarities that require changes in the way the university functions. Early college entrance programs also admit international students, which might result in a classroom space with precocious gifted learners who also have diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. With this in mind, and in the attempt to bridge the scholarship on second-language writers in composition classes and on early college entrance programs, this case study investigates a first-year composition (FYC) classroom to identify the pedagogical practices adopted by the instructor to deal with this complex student demographics. The data collection was based on ethnographic methods, such as class observations, analysis of course material, and a semi-structured interview. The data was gathered and analyzed using Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2001). The analysis was also framed utilizing the concepts of negotiation and accommodation from ii Intercultural Rhetoric Theory (Connor, 2011). The results showed that the complexity of the classroom requires subtle adaptations to the teacher’s practices and beliefs, which is largely discussed by Intercultural Rhetoric Theory researchers. This study hopes to modestly contribute to the fields of second-language writing and early-college entrants as it attempts to bring these two contexts together within the discussion on writing pedagogies and composition studies.


Departmental Advisor

Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type



© 2018 Moises de Lima


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