Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

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Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department

First Advisor

Edwin Mayorga


Students with Interrupted or Formal Education (SLIFE/SIFE) represent a sizable portion of the ELL population in U.S. schools. Most SLIFE are recent immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East who have not attended formal schooling or have only had access to low-quality education. Often, SLIFE are enrolled in ESL or general education programs under the assumption that they will be able to learn in those environments. However, given their complex backgrounds and limited schooling experiences, SLIFE present challenges that require additional forms of support. Currently, over two-thirds of SLIFE do not complete high school, indicating that their needs are being misunderstood and significantly overlooked in mainstream instructional approaches. This thesis consists of a thematic literature analysis aimed at better understanding the needs of SLIFE and how teachers in different contexts can work to address those needs. It was found that SLIFE need extensive support in developing literacy and content knowledge, maintaining emotional well-being, overcoming cultural dissonance, and achieving positive educational outcomes. It was also found that there are a variety of instructional frameworks, practices, and curricula that teachers of SLIFE can consider implementing to meet those specific needs. However, further researchers may need to examine how queer identity shapes SLIFE educational experiences, and if TruUDL should be adopted as another form of support for this population.