Capstone/Dissertation Title

How oral academic language strategies affect elementary English learners' academic writing skills

Term

2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Abstract

This study analyzed whether the oral academic language strategies of Academic Conversations and sentence frames help English learners' (ELs) improve their academic writing skills. It came from the desire to improve ELs' academic writing. Key influences were peers, current and former students, WIDA and authors such as Zwiers, Crawford, Kinsella and Schleppegrell. The research method was action research using qualitative data-gathering techniques. The participants were nine 4th grade ELs. The study examined writing and oral language samples to determine if having Academic Conversations using sentence frames aided students in writing. Student behaviors were also noted on an observation checklist. A common rubric was used to score all the samples. The study concluded that in general, students improved in both speaking and writing. However, most students improved more in writing than speaking so there may only be a small connection between the oral strategies and the students' gains in writing.

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