ERIC Number: ED224350
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Sentence-Combining -- Not If or When, but How.
McKee, Macey Blackburn
A method of teaching English as a second language (ESL) involving open sentence combining practice with group discussion was compared with a more traditional teaching method. Students were largely college-bound and attended the University of Arizona's ESL Center. Sentence combining was analyzed for a paragraph-length exercise on a low-level scientific topic and a free-writing sample on a daily conversation topic, which were produced in the first and last weeks of an 8-week session. For 7 weeks, the traditional instruction (control) group completed text exercises and some compositions and identified and corrected errors as a class. During this same time span, the experimental group completed a free-writing assignment focusing on some particular structure or an open-writing exercise in sentence combining using a variety of structures. They were also given an essay assignment designed to elicit a given structure. It was found that the type of sentence combining practiced by the experimental group resulted in increased syntactic maturity and a decrease of error. The control group sustained losses, particularly in the error-free measures as they attempted to use the complex structures that they had studied but not mastered. Attention is directed to types of errors, preliminary findings of a 16-week study, and a hypothesis concerning the relationship between increased syntactic maturity scores and improvement in reading comprehension. (SW)
Descriptors: College Bound Students, Discussion (Teaching Technique), English (Second Language), Error Analysis (Language), Instructional Innovation, Language Research, Linguistic Competence, Questioning Techniques, Second Language Instruction, Secondary Education, Sentence Combining, Sentence Structure, Syntax, Writing Exercises
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Boyd, John R., Ed.; Haskell, John F., Ed. "Selected Papers from the Illinois TESOL/BE Annual Convention" (10th, Chicago, IL, February 26-27, 1982).