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ERIC Number: ED567951
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 253
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3395-2997-4
English Language Learners' Epistemic Beliefs about Vocabulary Knowledge
Ziegler, Nathan E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Toledo
There is a growing body of work that examines the epistemic beliefs of learners and the role those beliefs play in the development of their critical thinking and other cognitive processes (Hofer, 2001). This study examines the epistemic beliefs of English language learners, a population of learners that is relatively understudied on the topic of personal epistemology. More specifically, this qualitative study explores ELLs dimensional and developmental epistemic beliefs about vocabulary knowledge in English. First-year international undergraduate students enrolled in remedial ESL writing courses were given a series of speaking and writing placement tests in an Intensive ESL program at a Mid-western university. Responses to writing prompts and interviews were analyzed for this study from an epistemological lens to determine the espoused epistemic beliefs of English language learners. Results suggested that many ELLs espoused advanced epistemic beliefs (i.e., evaluativism) about vocabulary knowledge most of the time. There was a general disparity found, however, with ELLs epistemic beliefs about the source and justification of English vocabulary knowledge. That is, there was a tendency for ELLs to espouse less sophisticated epistemic beliefs (i.e., absolutism) about source and justification of vocabulary knowledge. This implies that participants beliefs about these dimensions of knowledge and knowing might be hindering the emergence of more sophisticated epistemic beliefs in the domain of English language learning. Additional implications suggest that ESL curriculum needs to focus on developing ELLs use of the appropriate cognitive strategies (i.e., critical thinking) to determine the most accurate sources of vocabulary knowledge in specified communicative contexts. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A