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Adolescent Writers In Second Language Situations

1312 words - 5 pages

Mark O. James studied whether L2 students were preoccupied with surface error correction during the process of generating texts and whether this regular interruption in composition resulted in poorer writing quality. He also wanted to know whether the L2 perceptions of their behaviours accurately reflected observed behaviours and if there were significant differences in fluency of composition between Polynesian and Chinese students. The data was collected by using a behavioural protocol analysis: asking for a rough draft outline of the essay, as well as recording students writing their essays. They then coded on a timeline each time the students paused to think, were distracted, wrote, re-scanned portions of the essay, re-read the entire essay, or revised the text. The students were asked to answer a questionnaire, that was developed specifically for the study, by placing an “X” under the descriptor that best described them or their opinion: “always”, “often”, “sometimes”, “never”, i.e. “I waste too much time before I start writing”. The questionnaire had 25 questions to see the various aspects of the students perceived composing behaviour and attitudes about composition (only 9 were analyzed for information to see if the subjects perception matched their observed behaviours) . In addition, the essays were rated by two trained raters, the scores allow for the analysis of the relationship between composition and writing proficiency. Participants were 8 students of Polynesian and Chinese ethnicity (4 of each, 7 were female with only 1 Chinese male) at an English language institute in Hawaii. The students were not aware of who was being observed, they were approached to answer the questionnaire and return it the next day. Their essays were copied for researchers once all of the essays were handed in. Only 7 sets of questionnaires could be used due to the refusal of the male student. The perceptions the students had of themselves were stable. Results indicated a wide variation in the amount of surface error corrections occurring during the initial writing process, although the interruptions that occurred did seem to interfere with writing quality. There was no correlation found between observed and self-reported writing behaviours, and nothing statistically significant in the differences found between the ethnic groups. The conclusion has found that fluency does have a positive influence on writing quality.
Kerry Anne Enrightstudied the influences of the U.S. governments accountability and their standard-driven context on the writing experiences of multilingual writers in the linguistically diverse high school classrooms. Qualitative data from 12 ninth grade subject-matter classes were examined to note how uses of writing in subject-matter classrooms reflected or contradicted district standards and accountability efforts, and how these practices socialized multilingual learners into particular norms for academic writing in English. Results suggest...

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