Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teacher attitudes and expectations about writing instruction for secondary English language learners

Term

2013

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

This study seeks to examine how teacher attitudes influence writing instruction for secondary English Language Learners. Key influences include Zamel's universal composition process (1982) and Norris and Ortega's emphasis on explicit language instruction (2000). After considering the writing process generally and L2 acquisition processes specifically, best practices for writing instruction were found to be those that included: predetermined objectives, explicit writing instruction, an emphasis on academic English, an emphasis on student background, and continued dependence on professional development. Data were derived from open-ended interviews, which were then coded according to themes. The main findings were that teacher beliefs about English Language Learners aligned with best practices, although teacher perspectives were more expansive in scope. The study calls for more professional development opportunities that clarifies the role of language acquisition in teaching writing, is sensitive to the workload demands already upon teachers, and offers training to teachers across disciplines.

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