Date of Award

10-2015

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Third Advisor

Isolde Mueller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

English Learners, L2 Speaking, L2 Writing, ESL

Abstract

As educators and researchers pursue greater understanding of the best strategies for teaching English learners, the two productive language domains—speaking and writing—have traditionally been addressed separately. With the increasing emphasis of Common Core standards and their emphasis on all students gaining more advanced and academic writing skills, this study endeavors to explore the potential relationship between speaking and listening skills for English learners. In addition to the analysis of standardized test results in these domains, pre- and post-test results and student surveys are examined to determine the effect of instruction in argumentative speaking on students’ ability to write argumentatively. Findings included:

  1. English learners would be best served by purposeful design of speaking instruction which uses scaffolding and analysis of exemplars to teach standard academic language models and heuristics.

  2. Such purposeful instruction of speaking appears to be transferable, also benefiting English learners’ writing skills. However, while students are able to transfer skills relating to critical analysis and organization, they will need additional instruction on skills, such as spelling and other conventions, which are exclusive to writing.

  3. Teaching rhetoric through the use of the speaking domain also presents the advantage of emphasizing the need for good planning. The time-bound nature of speaking, which doesn’t allow for significant pausing or revision, forces learners to adopt good planning habits that, when transferred to writing, become highly beneficial.

Therefore, it is essential to recognize the association between spoken and written language and the strategic way it can be utilized to benefit instruction.

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