Cohesion In Young Latino English-Language Learners’ English Narrative Written Text Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Guthrie, Karren M.
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which third- through fifth-grade Latino English-language learners who attended English-as-a-Second Language classes and were intermediate level writers used cohesive ties in their English narrative written text. The participants wrote two narrative stories from two picture series they viewed during two separate 40-minute task administration sessions, one week apart. Participant protocols were coded for cohesive tie types and unresolved ties. Non-parametric tests were run to evaluate if differences existed between the two writing prompts and the three grade levels for the cohesive tie variables calculated per 100 words. The main analyses were conducted to describe the extent to which the participants’ used cohesive tie-type domains and subdomains in their English narrative written text, and to consider some linguistic differences between Spanish and English that might have contributed to how text cohesion was realized for young English language learners in their English narrative written text. The conclusions from the current study were as follows: (a) Reference, conjunction, and lexical tie subdomain use was frequent across the three grade levels with reference pronominal ties and lexical repetition used the most to maintain cohesion, and substitution, ellipsis ties, and exophoric references used the least to maintain cohesion; and (b) the participants’ unresolved cohesive ties could be attributed to differences between the way in which cohesion is expressed in Spanish and English. Conclusions from the current study suggested that the participants might benefit from instruction in how to vary reference tie and conjunction tie use, and vocabulary instruction to expand word choice. The conclusions from the current study also suggested that the participants’ application of their understandings of Spanish cohesion to English narrative written text might have lead them to (a) omit sentence subjects, (b) change reference pronoun gender, (c) change verb tense throughout their narrative written text, and (d) express movement as a state of action rather than as an indication of direction. The participants in the current study would likely benefit from writing extended English narrative text to apply what they already know about how text cohesion functions in Spanish and what they have learned about how text cohesion is expressed in English.
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  • Fitzgerald, Jill
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