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ERIC Number: ED556223
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 293
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3035-5168-0
No More a Stranger: The Development of Academic Literacy in Adult English Language Learners in Community College
Thompson, Diane S.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This purpose of this study was to identify how adult ELL community college students perceive their experience in the development of academic literacy, specifically academic writing, and to explore their perceptions of the factors, attitudes, and experiences that have facilitated their development of that level of academic literacy. To address this purpose, a research study was developed using the Academic Literacies Model (Lea and Street, 1998) as the conceptual framework and situated cognition and Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991) as the theoretical framework. The research was conducted among adult ELLs at an urban community college in central Pennsylvania using a sequential explanatory mixed method research design. This involved distributing 385 surveys in a range of college-level curricular classes and from the 385 surveys, capturing survey data from 30 adult ELLs. Based on the findings of these 30 surveys, 11 adult ELLs were recruited to participate in two interviews of approximately one hour. The findings from the qualitative data suggest, congruent with adult learning literature, that adult ELLs are influenced in their development of academic literacy by the social roles and responsibilities as well as prior learning and experiences. The findings also suggest that many participants had only a limited sense of what was expected in academic writing, referencing primarily Standard English and surface rhetorical features. However, participants who had experience with discipline-specific writing genres and contexts had a well-defined sense of the nature of academic writing, to include skills and enculturation in the academic community but also the development of an identity in relationship to the discourse community--all three of the perspectives posited by Lea and Street (1998). A number of implications for practice were also suggested by the findings in relation to pertinent literature, as well as recommendations for future research. [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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania