Author: Sepideh Yasrebi1
1Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University at Albany, New York, USA
Abstract: This single-subject study, aims at tracing English as a New Language (ENL) learners’ attempts in articulating their thoughts in syntactically, semantically and pragmatically mature ways in their L2 writings. While most studies in SLA have explored syntactic maturity developments among native speakers, the current study claims that all three (syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic) elements of language use are equally important. This study seeks to explore two main research questions: (1) To what extent does the implementation of the narrative form in creating writing tasks constitute a change in language use maturity index of the ENL adult learners in diagnostic phases? (2) What general semantic, syntactic and pragmatic patterns emerge during each phase? A non-concurrent multiple-baseline design (MBD) is employed to examine the results of narrative-based assessments on language use maturity index of ENL adult learners. Four ENL adult learners with a mean score of 6 in their IELTS writing skill were selected to complete the writing tasks during the baseline and the three treatment phases. Overall 56 written tasks were collected from all the participants. Visual analyses were conducted, along with estimated effect sizes using quantitative methods at both the individual level and across cases. Visual analyses revealed evidence for a functional relationship between the narrative-based assessment tool and the ENLs’ language use maturity index. Quantitatively, very large effects were noted for all the participants. Anecdotal evidence suggested that narrative as a linguistic form negates any merely unilateral (either bottom-up or top-down), fragmentary approach, but rather foregrounds the necessity for both vertical and horizontal movements, both syntagmatic and paradigmatic, both retrospective and anticipatory, both subjective and objective relations and finally both the registers of form and content in language use. We suggest that these grammatical aspects of dialogue are inescapably intertwined with literary style of narrative. Movement (development), then, rather than stasis, time rather than space, knowledge rather than information constitutes some aspects of the modality of narrative, and it is in this sense that this last must be understood as our optimum pedagogical form. Implementing narratives in classrooms can make for a culturally responsive pedagogy and it should be practiced and promoted in K-12 classrooms. Results suggest that the strategy has potential to improve the language use maturity index with ENL learners.
Keywords: English as a New Language (ENL), Syntactic Maturity, Semantic Maturity, Pragmatic Maturity, Language Use Maturity Index, Multiple-Baseline Design (MBD)
Atanassova, M. (2001). On the acquisition of temporal conjunctions in Finnish. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 30, 115–134.
August, D., McCardle, P., & Shanahan, T. (2014). Developing literacy in English language learners: Findings from a review of the experimental research. School Psychology Review, 43, 490 – 498. doi:10.17105/SPR- 14-0088.1
Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language testing in practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Baker, S., Gersten, R., & Graham, S. (2003). Teaching expressive writing to students with learning disabilities: Research-based applications and examples. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36, 109–123.
Barthes, R. (1977). Image Music Text. Fontana Press.
Bloom, L., & Lahey, M. (1978). Language development and language disorders. New York, NY: Wiley.
Canale, M. (1983). On some dimensions of language proficiency. In J. W. Oller, Jr. (Ed.), Issues in language testing research (pp. 333-342). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 1-47.
Cooper, T. C., Morain, G. & Kalivoda, T. (1980). Sentence combining in second language instruction. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.
Ehri, L. C. (1989). The development of spelling knowledge and its role in reading acquisition and reading disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22(6), 356-365.
Ferron, J., Moeyaert, M., Van Den Noortgate, W., & Beretvas, S. (2014). Estimating causal effects from multiple-baseline studies: Implications for design and analysis. Psychological Methods, 19, 493–510. doi: 10.1037/a0037038.
Gast, D. L. (2010). Single subject research methodology in behavioral sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.
Granger, S. (1996). From CA to CIA and back: an integrated approach to computerized bilingual and learner corpora. In K. Aijmer, B. Altenberg, & M. Johansson (Eds.), Languages in contrast: text-based cross-linguistic studies. Lund studies in English: (88. pp. 37–51). Lund: Lund University Press.
Granger, S., Dagneaux, E., Meunier, F., & Paquot, M. (2009). International corpus of learner English (Version 2.0).
Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1989). Spoken and Written Language (Language Education). USA: Oxford University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English, 288-289.
Hunt, K. W. (1965). Grammatical structures written at three grade levels (No. 3). Champaign, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
Hymes (Eds.). Directions in sociolinguistics: The ethnography of communication (pp. 35- 71). New York: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston.
Hymes, D. (1972). Models of the interaction of language and social life. In J. Gumperz & D. In T. R. Kratochwill & J. R. Levin (Eds.), School psychology series. Single-case intervention research: Methodological and statistical advances, (pp. 127-151). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
Isaacson, S. (1988). Assessing the writing product: Qualitative and quantitative measures. Exceptional Children, 54, 528–534.
Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(4), 437-447.
Juel, C., Griffith, P. L., & Gough, P. B. (1985). Reading and spelling strategies of first grade children. In J. A.
Niles & R. Lalik (Eds.), Issues in literacy: A research perspective. Rochester, NY: National Reading Conference.
Kecskes, I. (2007). Formulaic language in English lingua franca. Explorations in pragmatics: Linguistic, cognitive and intercultural aspects, 1, 191-218.
Kecskes, I. (2015). How does pragmatic competence develop in bilinguals?. International Journal of Multilingualism, 12(4), 419-434.
Kecskes, I. (2016). Deliberate creativity and formulaic language use. In Pragmemes and theories of language use (pp. 3-20). Springer, Cham.
Kratochwill, T. R., Hitchcock, J., Horner, R. H., Levin, J. R., Odom, S. L., Rindskopf, D. M., & Shadish, W. R. (2010). Single-case designs technical documentation. What works clearinghouse. Retrieved on 9 September, 2019 from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED510743.pdf
Lahey, M. (1988). Language disorders and language development. Needham, MA: MacMillan.
Lesaux, N., Koda, K., & Siegel, L. (2006). Development of literacy. I: D. August & T. Shanahan (red.). Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners. Report of the National Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth (s. 75-122).
Mastropieri, M. A., Scruggs, T. E., Mills, S., Irby Cerar, N., Cuenca-Sanchez, Y., Allen-Bronaugh, D., . . .Regan, K. (2009). Persuading students with emotional disabilities to write fluently. Behavioral Disorders, 35, 19–40.
Miller, J. E., Miller, J. E., & Weinert, R. (1998). Spontaneous spoken language: Syntax and discourse. Oxford University Press on Demand.
Moeyaert, M. Ferron, J.M., Beretvas, S. N., and Van den Noortgate, W. (2014). From a single- level analysis to a multilevel analysis of single-case experimental designs. Journal of School Psychology, 52, 191-211.
Moore, B. A., & Klingner, J. K. (2014). Considering the needs of English language learner populations: An examination of the population validity of reading in- tervention research. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47, 391–408. doi:10.1177/0022219412466702
Murakami, A. (2013). Cross-linguistic influence on the accuracy order of l2 English grammatical morphemes. In S.
Granger, G. Gilquin, & F. Meunier (Eds.), Twenty years of learner corpus research. Looking back, moving ahead:
Corpora and language in use (1. pp. 325–334). Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.
Nattinger, J. R., & DeCarrico, J. S. (1992). Lexical phrases and language teaching. Oxford University Press.
Nowottny, W. (1962). Language poets use. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Ortega, L. (2015). Syntactic complexity in L2 writing: Progress and expansion. Journal of Second Language Writing, 29, 82-94.
Parker, R. I., & Vannest, K. L. (2009). An improved effect size for single-case research: Nonoverlap of all pairs. Behavior Therapy, 40, 357–367.
Parker, R. I., Vannest, K. J., & Davis, J. L. (2014). Non-overlap analysis for single-case research.
Parsonson, B., & Baer, D. (1978). The analysis and presentation of graphic data. In T. Kratchowill (Ed.) Single Subject Research (pp. 101–166). New York: Academic Press.
Roth, F. P. (2000). Narrative writing: Development and teaching with children with writing difficulties. Topics in Language Disorders, 20(4), 15–28.
Shadish, W. R. (2013). Single-case intervention research design standards. Remedial and Special Education, 34, 26-38.
Shanahan, T. (2006). Relations among oral language, reading, and writing development. In C. A. MacArthur, S. Graham & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 171-183). New York: The Guilford Press.
Strong, W. (1985). How sentence combining works. In D.A. Daiker, A. Kerek & M. Morenbetg: Sentence-combining: A rhetorical perspective (pp. 334-350). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015).
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 1990 –2013 mathematics and reading assessments. Retrieved from http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading math 2015/#/student-groups
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. Readings on the development of children, 23(3), 34-41.
Weist, R. M., Atanassova, M., Wysocka, H., & Pawlak, A. (1999). Spatial and temporal systems in child language and thought: A cross- linguistic study. A First Language, 19, 267–311.
Wray, A. (1999). Formulaic language in learners and native speakers. Language Teaching, 32(4), 213-231.
International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), June 2019, Vol.6, No.1