First Advisor

Karch, Adriana

Second Advisor

Sweet, Sharon


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

94 pages


In this research project, the author explored the experience of one adult female immigrant to the United States and her difficulties in learning English as a second language (ESL) and identified several compounding reasons for her lack of expected progress. The research was accomplished by way of personal observation and interviews, which allowed the learner the opportunity to tell her own story in the phenomenological case study. There are many challenges that face foreign language (FL) learners and the learner struggled with notable difficulties. The findings showed that the learner, whose first and second languages were nonalphabetical, had never been taught the sound/letter rules system of English, and this fundamental deficit played a pivotal role in her poor classroom attendance, wavering motivation to learn and practice English, and ultimately, in her lack of progress. Implications included the need for basic sound/letter training to be implemented in basic ESL programs, especially for nonalphabetic first language learners.

Date of Award

Summer 2006

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.