The nature of English language learners' descriptive and explanatory writing: An exploratory study
Carlson, Dawn M.
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This exploratory study examines the nature of English writing among six second language learners when genre methodology was employed in their 6 th grade bilingual classroom. The study is unique because it describes the informative writing of students with different levels of language proficiency in their English as a second language and social studies integrated class. Students were exposed to the process genre approach (Badger & White, 2000) within a systemic teaching and learning cycle (Hammond et. al., 1992) in order to 'approximate descriptive and explanatory genres'. Through quantification of the elements of schematic structure and Transitivity, students' paragraphs and essays were analyzed. Findings report on the similarities and differences between and among cases of students with Intensive, Strategic, and Benchmark proficiency levels. The theoretical foundation for this study is a synthesis of three fields: bilingual adolescent L2 writing, genre theory, and language and content integration. Data sources include the researcher's log, lesson plans, and first and final drafts' of students' writing. A discussion of the findings, implications for teachers and educators, and recommendations for future research conclude this dissertation.