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This capstone is a case study about what effect oral rehearsal might have on middle school English learners' (ELs) essay writing. Qualitative data for this case study was gathered from a pre-assessment, video and audio recording of partner conversations, a post-assessment, individual student surveys, and a focus group discussion. The teacher researcher taught expository essay writing skills grounded in systemic functional linguistics theory, so that students learned how to write essays following the particular expectations of the genre. Students used oral rehearsal to practice condensing information into complex sentences, as expected in the essay genre, in order to best organize their thoughts before writing. The author concluded that while oral rehearsal can support the use of language functions in essay writing, oral rehearsal and the use of language functions must be taught and supported with extensive modeling and practice.