Using Their Own Voices: Exploring the Writing of English Language Learners in a Mississippi Middle School

Vogt, Gabrielle Lynn (2018) Using Their Own Voices: Exploring the Writing of English Language Learners in a Mississippi Middle School. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Denise Soares from Teacher Education, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

In the United States, and particularly Mississippi, the number of K-12 English Language Learners is growing rapidly. Writing scores are on a national decline, and ELLs are struggling to acquire the language and literacy skills to become proficient writers in English. However, there are various instructional approaches that provide ELLs the opportunity to use and expand their writing skills beyond a basic ability. Despite this, little is being done to give ELLs the opportunity to express themselves and their identities while also acquiring stronger writing skills. As a preservice teacher, I developed a mixed methods research study that explored the writing skills of adolescent ELLs in a North Mississippi middle school as well as the students’ attitudes and beliefs towards their experiences as ELLs. In order to participate in the research study, students turned in consent forms signed by their parents as approved by the University of Mississippi’s Institutional Review Board. After obtaining consent, I acquired a demographic questionnaire and four writing samples from the two participants. The participants also individually completed an interview. The participants were 7th grade, Spanish-speaking students who were currently receiving ELL instruction at the middle school they attended. The results of the study demonstrated that these students were balanced emerging bilingual writers. They both had the ability to successfully use their writing skills in both English and Spanish. Moreover, the results of the study supported the desire that adolescent ELLs have to express themselves and their identities through writing. Overall, the study indicated that educators need to continue exploring various approaches to ELL instruction that will ultimately allow ELLs to both strengthen and grow as bilingual writers as well as use their own voices to share their experiences with others.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Vogt, Gabrielle Lynn
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A.Ed in English Education
Thesis Advisor: Denise Soares
Thesis Advisor's Department: Teacher Education
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Gabrielle Vogt
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2018 18:22
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2018 18:22
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1016

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