Capstone/Dissertation Title

“How much do we have to write?” A Hermeneutic Study of Long Term English Learners, Graphic Illustrations, and Adolescent Attitudes Toward Writing

Term

Fall 12-11-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jill Watson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Erin Cary

Abstract

Classrooms continue to see increasing numbers of students who are categorized as ELLs. Some of these students have been in the United States for the majority of their formal education but are not proficient enough to exit from ESL (considered long-term English learners, LTELS). Students in this study came from a traditionally oral culture that provides its own unique skills in using graphic illustrations. Students demonstrated negative feelings and attitudes toward writing assignments that involved text only, but appeared to have a more positive attitude toward writing assignments that included graphic components. By using a hermeneutic approach, through student interviews, anecdotes, and additional resources, this study seeks to understand students’ attitudes when they are completing writing assignments, and whether writing assignments with a graphic component can help improve student attitudes toward formal writing. Students revealed that they had improved attitudes toward writing assignments that included an illustrative component.

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