ERIC Number: ED271965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Investigation of How ESL Students Write.
A study is described which investigated the differences between English-as-a-second-language (ESL) writers and native-English-speaking writers and examined closely a range of ESL writers and their composing processes. The procedures used were those used by Sondra Perl in a study of the composing processes of unskilled college writers (1979). Subjects were four students in a remedial ESL program and four non-natives who were taking or had completed a freshman composition course. The students had varied linguistic backgrounds. The data were drawn from taped interviews about the students' educational and writing backgrounds; proficiency tests in grammar, vocabulary, and reading; think-aloud composing on two topics; interviews after each composing session; and assessment of writing samples by trained evaluators. Some common patterns emerged from the analysis: the ESL students wrote more than Perl's theorized basicwriter and edited less, with the lowest-proficiency students editing very little. The proficient group's editing focused on punctuation and verb forms. The non-remedial students wrote more fluently and revised more than the others, but one low-proficiency non-remedial student was found to write very well. The overall conclusions were that no neat definition of the ESL writer emerged, the profile of the unskilled ESL writer is extremely complex, and opportunity for oral rehearsal may be valuable in skill development. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (19th, New York, NY, April 9-14, 1985).