Transcultural experiences: A literature bridge to English for ESOL students from Cuba

Jose Juan Macia, Florida International University


This qualitative study is concerned with exploring the transcultural experiences of ESOL students and connecting their lived experiences to literature in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to describe and explain the transcultural perspectives of six high school and community college students: four Cuban born students and two American born/raised students of Cuban-American culture. The participants were from Barbara Goleman Senior High School and Miami-Dade Community College. The six phenomenological portraits were explored in the form of lived experience pieces, representing the students' transcultural experiences. The data was collected in the form of student interviews, researcher's journal, and document reviews. The following exploratory questions guided this study: (1) From the perspective of four Cuban-born, non-native English-speaking students (NNS), what are the essential structures of their transcultural identities? (2) What are the underlying themes that account for the Cuban NNS students' transcultural experiences? (3) What are the universal transcultural structures among the Cuban NNS students' transcultural experiences and the Cuban-American, native English/Spanish speaking (NESS) students' experiences? (4) What are the possible structural meanings of the Cuban NNS students' interests in relation to their transcultural experiences? (5) What are some connections between the structural themes inherent in the Cuban NNS students' transcultural experiences and teaching literature in ESOL? ^ A phenomenological approach was used to investigate the participants' transcultural experiences, focused on the students' lived experiences. The study consisted of three interview sessions for each of the six participants. The analysis of the data was conducted following the principles of qualitative research, which included participant interviews, thematic analysis, researcher's journal, document reviews, and triangulation. The researcher created portraits representing students' transcultural experiences. Subsequently, the participants' transcultural experiences were used to respond to the exploratory questions, including comparing and contrasting themes and drawing connections among teaching literature in the ESOL classroom. ^ The results of this study show some relevant specific statements and themes that emerged from the students' transcultural data. The results serve as a better understanding of these students' transcultural experiences and the potentiality of connecting their perspectives to literature in the classroom. In addition, this study shows the need for a better understanding of the connection between transcultural experiences and literature in ESOL. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Macia, Jose Juan, "Transcultural experiences: A literature bridge to English for ESOL students from Cuba" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9938880.