Date of Award


Document Type



Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

First Advisor

Gina Wells, Ph.D.


Nelson Mandela once stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (Duncan, 2013). Education fosters growth-mindsets within an innovative environment. As a future educator, I want to create a classroom environment that is most adaptable and accommodating for students--a space that is diverse, inclusive, and promotes student voices. Creating a student-centered learning environment is beneficial to both academic and social emotional success in school and beyond. I want my students to develop a level of confidence by encouraging them to reach their full potential. With a focus on English Learners, my research project explores if various classroom seating arrangements affect student learning. The purpose of my research is to (1) identify some of the best practices of designing a classroom environment, specifically focused on seating arrangements and (2) secondarily, determine the instructional tactics and teaching methods that foster student growth and positive interaction. My research analyzes qualitative data from a variety of pertinent, scholarly sources. My preliminary analysis indicates that effective seating arrangements promote social interaction and engagement in the classroom; thus, a community of learners is established within a safe, welcoming learning environment. This study, therefore, aims to determine the optimal setting that encourages students to actively partake in their learning through social interaction and level of engagement.