Term

Spring 4-24-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Ann Mabbott

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Tara Gibbs

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of implementation of content-based paired academic conversations among fifth-grade English learners (ELs) at an advanced proficiency level. The major influences for the instructional methods used in this study came from Zwiers and Crawford (2011) and Kinsella and Hancock (2015). The research method was a mixed methods study conducted in an ESL pull-out class during spring 2015. The data collected consisted of a written post-test for academic vocabulary, recordings made of paired academic conversations which were assessed using a rubric, and focused observations of paired academic conversations based on a rubric. The major findings were that ELs can learn general academic vocabulary from a focused curriculum, but that they do not necessarily use those words in other contexts. Also, they benefit from explicit instruction and practice in paired academic conversation skills, even if the instruction is of a short duration.

Research Methodology

Case Study, Mixed Methods

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