Date of Award


Degree Name

Adult and Technical Education


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Laura J. Wyant

Second Advisor

Howard R. D. Gordon

Third Advisor

Lee Olson


This research was conducted to investigate how adult ESL students learn effectively according to their learning preferences and their cultural/educational backgrounds. A total of 117 respondents in this study were categorized in three types: 58 language-based ESL students (L-B ESL students), 48 content-based ESL students (C-B ESL students), and 11 ESL teachers at Marshall University. In 2008, during the fourth week of September, the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS) and a demographic questionnaire were administered to both L-B ESL students and C-B ESL students at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. Descriptive statistics, including correlation analysis, were used to describe and summarize thedata. The findings suggested that the students’ educational status seemed to affect their internal needs (“motivation” in learning). The more ESL students learn in a professional field, the more they are likely to be motivated as they develop various types of learning styles.


English language - Study and teaching - Foreign speakers.

Second language acquisition.