ESL students' experiences and challenges with process writing pedagogy

Pittman, Echo (2013) ESL students' experiences and challenges with process writing pedagogy. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into English as a second language (ESL) writers' learning experiences from their frame of reference in order to seek pedagogical inspiration and personal growth as a per-course instructor. Specifically, the study investigated their views toward process writing pedagogy, and the challenges they have encountered with revision and with teacher commentary. The study also investigated ESL writers' perceptions of their first-year composition courses and their writing needs in the post-secondary education context. It uncovered five potential constraints that may have a negative impact on teaching and learning. -- A qualitative case study approach was employed. Major data sources were 103 survey questionnaires, 56 student interview transcripts, two teacher interview transcripts as well as a range of writing samples and written documents. The incorporation of the survey technique was an attempt to capture diverse voices on the investigated topic and to triangulate the data so that the validity of the findings could be strengthened. Most participants involved appeared to hold a favorable attitude toward process writing pedagogy as well as their writing courses. However, a number of negative views toward this writing instruction were identified. Six main challenges that the participants reported to have encountered or had actually encountered were also identified when they responded to their teacher commentary. The study found that students were unresponsive to teacher commentary in their subsequent revisions not because they disregarded teacher feedback or they disliked revision. Instead, their decisions for not to revise were due to various reasons; some are context-bound and some are individual variables. The results of the study support Conrad and Goldstein's (2004) claim that contextual factors and personal factors are important to consider when one attempts to develop a better understanding of teacher feedback and student response. -- With regard to students' perceptions of their first-year writing courses, more than 80% of the student participants felt that their composition courses were useful and beneficial to help them prepare and handle university writing in a general way. Some students believed that these courses had helped strengthen their English ability and assisted them in producing well-written papers in other courses. The study further identified five potential constraints which are believed to have some negative impacts on these students' learning. It is believed that no single study can possibly capture and truly represent the learning experiences of all ESL students because it is a large, diverse student body. However, accumulated studies, including mine, conducted in this particular area can facilitate building a holistic picture of the challenges and complexities of second language (L2) writing. The findings can also help expand the knowledge base for understanding ESL students' experiences with process writing pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11259
Item ID: 11259
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 253-286).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; English language--Writing; Report writing--Study and teaching (Higher)

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