An Instructional Technique to Visualize Writing Process for ELLs

30 MINUTES OF SYNCHRONOUS CHAT WILL BEGIN AT 9:30AM (MT) FRIDAY OCT. 7 USING THE EMBEDDED TLK.IO WIDGET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SCREEN (PLEASE LOOK FOR THE BLUE BAR TITLED L2DLAZCALL2016).

Yoonhee Lee, Arizona State University

Click the video frame above to view the presentation. To ask the presenters a question about their presentation, please add a comment at the bottom of this page between October 3 and October 8. Presenters will check for and reply to questions each symposium day.

Abstract

Many scholars have proven that technology can support English Language Leaners’ (ELLs) academic and language learning. However, there is a lack of research on investigating the influences of integrating technology to better prepare students for taking standardized tests, specifically writing tests. This study investigates the effectiveness of using an online tool in an English Language Development (ELD) classroom to facilitate ELLs’ English literacy and technology skills. In addition, it focuses on the method of connecting writing practices in online formats to paper format. The research question is: How can teachers promote ELLs’ language and content learning as well as improve their academic writing using online tools?

The research is based on the use of an animated presentation tool, PowToon. The data used for this paper spans from August 2014 to May 2015. The participants, eight 5th grade ELLs, met once a week and occasionally on other days. The students read academic texts, discussed and organized ideas for writing, used graphic organizers, created PowToon slides, and then edited the content on their slides. Lastly, the students transferred the same content from slides to paragraph format on paper.

This action research follows Stringer’s (1994) suggestions; thus, the research team consistently observed the class interactions, developed ideas and methods, and carried them out.  Then the research team reviewed, reflected, and routinely reacted and adjusted the class instruction.

The PowToon slides, students’ writings, graphic organizers, surveys, interviews, field notes, recordings of student interactions, and the state test results are the primary data. The data has been analyzed based on the theoretical framework of the seven instructional techniques that foster ELLs to become better writers (Hadaway, Vardell, & Young 2002). In addition, a new technique, “linking process” which transfers writing practices from online platforms to paper, is suggested.

Overall, students formatted their writing more clearly to meet academic expectations, used more academic vocabulary. Six of the eight students passed the state English proficiency test. This research addresses the importance of linking writing practices in online platforms to conventional academic writing on paper while maintaining the enjoyment and satisfaction of using technology.

Presenters
Yoonhee Lee

Faculty Associate
Arizona State University

ylee29@asu.edu

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a hybrid symposium on research and practice

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