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ERIC Number: ED535846
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 272
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-0465-4
Foreign Language Learning of Students with Language Learning Disabilities: An Activity Theory Perspective of Three Middle School Students
Hendry, Heather Jean
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the existing literature on the foreign language learning of students with LLDs by conducting a comprehensive investigation of the performance of three students in middle school foreign language classes in a suburban school district in southwestern Pennsylvania. More specifically, this study documents (a) student writing over time, (b) student and teacher perceptions, (c) classroom interactions, and (d) the instructional practices that teachers use to accommodate these three middle school students with (LLDs) during whole group class instruction. As previous research has demonstrated a relationship between classroom interactions and student performance in a foreign language, this study also examines how the writing performance of three students with LLDs relates to the classroom interactions and instructional practices that their teachers implement to accommodate students with LLDs. To conduct this study, several data sources were collected and analyzed including student writing assessments over time, student and teacher interviews, and classroom observations. To link these multiple sources of data that were collected, an Activity Theory was applied as an analytical framework. This sociocultural theoretical framework was applied to this study because it provides a method to explain the multiple aspects of a child's environment that contribute to his/her learning. By referring to Activity Theory, relationships between classroom components such as classroom interactions, student and teacher perceptions, mediational tools, and student performance were established and explained. Although this study examines a small group of three students and its specificity prevents generalizing to all students with LLDs who participate in foreign language programs, the findings and implications contribute to a grounded conceptual understanding of students with LLDs and their abilities and challenges in learning a foreign language. By contributing to the conceptual understanding of the foreign language learning of students with LLDs, the findings of this study assist school districts in making decisions regarding enrollment of students with LLDs in foreign language programs, designing curricula and instructional accommodations for students with LLDs, developing professional development for foreign language teachers, and informing the public on the issue of students with LLDs and foreign language learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania