Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Amanda Pascale

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hoppey

Third Advisor

Dr. Matthew Ohlson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Megan Forbes


The purpose of this descriptive case study is to inform educational leaders working in Intensive English Programs (IEPs) and in Higher Education about the perspectives of international students enrolled in English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes at the English Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Florida (UF). The ELI at UF offers a unique language program that incorporates interactions between the enrolled EAL students and local fluent English speaking university students, hired as Language Assistants (LAs), as a required part of the curricular structure of the ELI’s Listening and Speaking courses for enrolled students at all proficiency levels within the program. Literature in the field of TESOL promotes the learning approach of combining formalized classroom language instruction with opportunities for informal interactions between language learners and fluent speakers of the target language. This descriptive case study investigated the perceptions of international students who were at the time or had recently been enrolled in a listening and speaking course at the ELI at UF. The goal of the researcher was to understand the experiences of the EAL students and learn if the EAL students perceived any potential impacts from interacting regularly with LAs as a required component of their listening and speaking course(s).