Capstone Project Title

Access To Academic Language: A Comparative Analysis Of Secondary Esl And Mainstream History Texts

Term

Spring 2019

Capstone

Capstone Project

Degree Name

MAT

Facilitator(s)

Julia Reimer

Content Expert

Joyce Lindstrom

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to examine linguistic differences between two history textbooks used in mainstream and ESL-sheltered secondary classrooms. Using systemic functional analysis and quantitative data collection, a text analysis of each book was conducted. The results of the text analysis show eight notable disparities between the mainstream and ESL texts: 1. The mainstream text uses nearly double the total number of words than the ESL text; 2. The average sentence in the mainstream text is approximately twice as long as the average sentence in the ESL text; 3. The mainstream text provides exposure to nearly seven times the amount of unique academic words; 4. The mainstream text provides exposure to more than four times as many nominalizations as the ESL text; 5. The mainstream text provides exposure to significantly more complex sentence structures than the ESL text; 6. The mainstream text provides exposure to approximately three times as many independent clauses as the ESL text; 7. The mainstream text provides exposure to 45 times more embedded clauses than the ESL text; 8.The mainstream text provides exposure to almost twice as many instances of that used as a conjunction, over ten times the instances of that used as a relative pronoun, and more than 13 times as many instances of that used as a determiner than the ESL text. These findings suggest the need for greater incorporation of complex academic language into texts used in ESL-sheltered history classrooms.

Project Type

Discourse Analysis Project

Keywords

ESL/ ELLs, Literacy, Reading

dc_type

text

dc_publisher

DigitalCommons@Hamline

dc_format

application/pdf

dc_source

School of Education Student Capstone Projects

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