Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in English: Teaching English as a Second Language




Research has shown that traditional pen-and-paper methods of learning and teaching do not sufficiently reach all students with varying learning backgrounds, styles, and preferences. Thus, a shift toward multimodal instruction has occurred in which traditional methods are augmented by the viewing, listening and watching of a variety of technologies and media. This thesis explores how to implement multimodality within online spaces, utilizing social media platforms as instructional spaces for English Language Learners. The research presented shows that employing these platforms may supplement in-class work to give students opportunities and space to utilize English rhetorical tools, cultivate and express their second language identity, and connect with native speakers in collaborative exercises. A thorough review of relevant teaching pedagogy and theory of both English composition and English as a Second Language fields is presented before the author discusses best practices in collaborative learning and reflects on previous attempts to utilize online learning during previous coursework in introductory and advanced English composition classes. Finally, this thesis concludes with the author’s final remarks on the challenges and limitations of this study as well as possibilities for future research and instructional design.