ERIC Number: EJ951053
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Integration of Lexical, Syntactic, and Discourse Features in Bilingual Adolescents' Writing: An Exploratory Approach
Danzak, Robin L.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v42 n4 p491-505 Oct 2011
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the bilingual writing of adolescent English language learners (ELLs) using quantitative tools. Linguistic measures were applied to the participants' writing at the lexical, syntactic, and discourse levels, with the goal of comparing outcomes at each of these levels across languages (Spanish/English) and genres (expository/narrative). Method: Twenty Spanish-speaking ELLs, ages 11-14 years, each produced 8 expository and narrative autobiographical texts. Texts were coded and scored for lexical sophistication, syntactic complexity, and overall text quality. Scores were analyzed using Friedman's 2-way analysis of variance by ranks (Siegel & Castellan, 1988); resulting ranks were compared across languages and genre topics. Results: The text topic impacted rank differences at all levels. Performance at the three levels was similar across languages, indicating that participants were emerging writers in both Spanish and English. The impact of genre was generally inconsequential at all levels. Conclusion: Similar results across languages implied the potential transfer of writing skills. Overall, students appeared to apply a knowledge-telling strategy to writing rather than strategically planning, composing, and revising their writing. Finally, outcomes highlighted the synergistic relationships among linguistic levels in text composition, indicating a need to address the interaction of vocabulary, morphosyntax, and text-level structures in the instruction and assessment of ELL writing.
Descriptors: Bilingualism, Adolescents, Writing (Composition), English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Spanish Speaking, Vocabulary, Syntax, Expository Writing, Autobiographies, Statistical Analysis, Writing Skills, Writing Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A