Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: TESOL (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Rui Niu-Cooper

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Rozema

Third Advisor

Dr. Monica Harris

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Nagnon Diarrassouba

Academic Year



BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this project is to explore and collect data to demonstrate areas of need in the modern education system. Specifically, this research focuses on the socioemotional learning scenarios that may be absent in the teaching of refugee ELs. Lastly, this thesis works to provide suggestions about how to use this data to further develop best practices in teaching to better serve all students.

SUBJECTS: The subjects in this thesis are refugee English Language Learners (ELs) in classrooms throughout the Midwest region of the United States; with a specific focus on a public high school labeled: “School A.”

METHODS: This thesis utilizes data collected through an EWI Dashboard system designed for this specific high school. In addition, SEL strategies and student performance and comfort are considered in this study.

RESULTS: The results were not able to show a strong correlation between the implementation of SEL strategies and positive educational experiences for refugee ELLs in the classroom, however it did raise considerations as to how refugee ELs are being supported in the modern education system.

DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: Based on the research findings in this thesis project, one will be able to conclude that schools need to work more diligently to implement SEL teaching practices in modern classrooms; while also providing unique labels to help provide additional supports for refugee students. These strategies help to create safe learning environments which lead to increased feelings of comfort and safety amongst students. As a result, students, especially refugee ELLs, are more likely to have more positive experiences in the classroom.