Fostering English Learner (EL) Equity Through Collaborative Opinion Writing (72860)

Session Information: Curriculum Design & Learning Experiences
Session Chair: Alexander Reid

Saturday, 23 September 2023 13:20
Session: Session 3
Room: Room D (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

English Learners (ELs), one of the fastest-growing and most educationally-marginalized student groups in the U.S. (NEA, 2020), lag behind their peers in writing achievement (NCES, 2012). Yet, there is a dearth of evidence-based practices available to teachers who work with ELs, and little to no literature on the impacts of small-group collaboration on individual EL writing. The central goal of this study is to examine the impacts of collaborative writing activities on students’ writing achievement. Specifically, we used a pre-/post-test design to examine the impact of opinion-writing instruction using Instructional Conversations (ICs)—a collaborative, conversation-based small group instructional approach found to support EL achievement (Mellom, Hixon & Weber, 2019; Saunders and Goldenberg, 1999; Portes et al., 2018)— on 5th grade students’ individual opinion writing. Participants were 67 5th grade students from three classrooms whose teachers had been previously trained in the IC Model. Teachers were given training in the 360Writing framework and provided with IC lessons to implement. Paired-samples t-tests were used to evaluate change in achievement using pre/post constructed response assessments. Preliminary results show that students improved at statistically-significant levels from pre- post in all elements of opinion writing. The effect sizes for most elements were over 0.6, which suggests a large instructional effect (Cohen, 1988). This study adds to the body of evidence that small-group, collaborative writing tasks grounded in effective writing instruction (Graham et al., 2015) promote EL writing development and could impact instructional practice and foster equity by opening educational opportunities for ELs.

Rebecca Hixon, University of Georgia, United States
Paula Mellom, University of Georgia, United States
Jodi Weber, University of Georgia, United States
Kevin Raczynski, Kevin Raczynski & Associates, United States
Tish Spindola, Jackson County School System, United States
Shannon Rodríguez, University of Georgia, United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00