Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching [TESOL]

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts in Teaching [TESOL]


Students from distinct parts of the world are learning English as a foreign language with multiple goals including job opportunities, education and so on. More importantly, many of them study English with the goal of pursuing their higher education in a foreign country, and the US is one of the main destinations. Studies have revealed that one of the problems international students face in their academic life has to do with language, specifically academic language. In this study, the researcher examined the retrospective perceptions of Cape Verdean students pursuing their studies at US universities towards their language instruction in Cape Verde and the influence of their prior instruction in studies in the US. A questionnaire was used to acquire information about their language learning experience in Cape Verde and interviews were conducted to understand their experience with language in the US higher education institutions. The findings suggest that the students believed that language instruction in Cape Verde needs improvements as it did not prepare them to study in a country where English is the language of instruction. The participants of the study reported that the English language instruction in prior education did not prevent them from facing several language challenges, especially in speaking and listening. This research reveals valuable information and has influential implications for the curriculum and language teaching practice in Cape Verdean EFL programs; the study also has implications for international student services and second language services incorporated in colleges in the US, allowing them to support international students regarding possible language challenges they may face while studying in the US.


Dr. Melissa Keh, Thesis Advisor

Dr. João Rosa, Committee Member

Dr. Emily Spitzman, Committee Member