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Writing in English as an additional language in UK schools Lynne Cameron University of Leeds.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing in English as an additional language in UK schools Lynne Cameron University of Leeds."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing in English as an additional language in UK schools Lynne Cameron University of Leeds

2 The research projects zKS4 and post-16: OFSTED funded (2003) zKS2: DfES funded (2004) z“Writing in EAL” zAims: yto identify in detail features of written English that bilingual students find difficult, and thus enable teachers to address them more systematically in their teaching.

3 Research procedures zScripts and writer details provided by schools. zClose analysis of scripts. zComparison of results across three groups: yEAL students achieving at average or below yEnglish mother tongue (EMT) peer group yHigh achieving EAL students

4 Key Stage 4 zYear 11 students zMock GSCE exams - English and other subjects. zFocus group (N=103) yEAL, at least 5 years in UK, C/D borderline or below in English GCSE yGujerati, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu + others yTime in UK education: 10 years 4 months.

5 Comparison groups zEMT: peers with English as first language (N = 16) zHigh EAL: predicted A or B in English GCSE. (N = 20) yFirst languages:Bengali, Gujerati + others yTime in UK education: 10 years 10 mths

6 Key Stage 2 zYear 6 pupils. zKS2 English National Curriculum Tests, Writing. Levels 3, 4, 5. zEAL: (N=138) yat least 5 years in UK (mean = 7 years 2 months) yFirst languages: Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujerati + others z EMT: (N = 126)

7 An integrated framework for writing The text as a whole within the text Content ideas and topics composition purpose Language resources genre paragraphs linking

8 Content the development of sub-topics, storyline.. Language resources sentence grammar words and phrases punctuation figurative language within the text

9 Evaluating the whole text: Genre Genres as socially conventionalised ways of writing: a letter to a newspaper (KS4) a story, a radio advert (KS2) yformat ystyle yvoice and purpose ystance Does the writer consistently and effectively use the genre required?

10 Format zLetter openings and closings òExplicit teaching of format seemed to help EAL students.

11 KS4 Findings - style òEAL students need support in developing their awareness of degrees of formality and the language typical of different genres (rhetorical adaptability). ò High EAL students need more advanced awareness to judge nuances of style. ò EMT students need more familiarity with written genres and their language.

12 Style - EAL errors of language choice yformality Hope you are fine I thank you extremely for your patience ytalk / writing I mean just look at yrelationship to reader don’t just sit there - get moving yoverly explicit / academic essay genre I think I have given some good reasons as to why...

13 KS 4 Findings - voice and purpose zWriting in specific genres requires students to adopt and use multiple layers of voices. This seemed to lead to confusion about the writer’s role and purpose, audience, and how to address the audience.

14 KS4 Findings - Content and Linking Ideas zTexts were too short. zFocus EAL group had most problems with content. zSome had ideas but did not express them clearly. zIdeas were not developed into detail. zParagraphing was not used well, by all writers.

15 To produce extended writing on a topic needs... za range of connected ideas about the topic zdevelopment of each idea zconnections made between the ideas as the writing progresses zlinking the sequence of ideas to the topic and to the purpose of the writing.

16 Finding ideas to write about zyour experience zyour world knowledge ztask materials yreading demands yunfamiliar contexts ydifferent genre and register yKS2: pictures

17 Developing an idea zget more precise zgive examples zexplain connections

18 Developing ideas Riding bikes is a good exercise for life. It is a way of keeping fit and healthy… An easly simple quick way of keeping fit is by just riding the bike for about an hour each week… Riding bikes …also makes sure that you have lower risk of getting a heart problem. …helped me loose weight …3 stones...

19 Generating ideas to write about zThink yourself into the writer’s role in the genre and situation. zUse of drama to clarify voice and purpose. zPractise changing voice and style. zBrainstorm, mind-map around key words. zBreak topics down into sub-topics. zExtract key words from task materials and use for ideas.

20 Story genre: format zsetting zcharacters zproblem zresolution z(moral)

21 KS2 Storyline: Findings z68% did what they were asked z32% changed the storyline in some way ythey fight over a poster, not the game yProblem - boy does not have enough money to buy the game zEAL level 5 scripts were surprisingly likely to change the storyline (35%, EMT level 5 - 10%)

22 Why, and does it matter? zDo EAL students interpret the pictures in the same way as EMT / as intended? zDo EAL students attach less importance to sticking close to the storyline? zDo they change because of difficulties finding the language to describe the given storyline? zDoes it matter in NC tests?

23 Narrative development strategies zDescription zDirect Speech zFigurative language - metaphors and similes.

24 Narrative development: Findings zLevel 3: EAL and EMT similar amounts of development; Level 4: mixed zLevel 5: EMT did more development than EAL in all components except Setting zBest scripts (level 5 / a lot) did most development of Character, then Setting. Least development of Problem.

25 Narrative development strategies: Findings zDescription most used. Then Direct Speech, then Figurative Language. zFigurative language used more by EAL and more by higher levels. zLevels 3 and 5 EAL used more Direct Speech than EMT.

26 zLevel 5 scripts used more variety of development. zLevel 5: EMT used more of each strategy than EAL, except for Figurative Language to develop Character.

27 Story endings: completeness zEAL level 3 had highest number of incomplete endings zLevel 5: EAL much higher number than EMT zLevel 4: EMT higher than EAL, and EMT level 3.

28 Story endings: originality zJust over 10% had interesting or original endings. zSteady increase across levels. zEMT stories consistently more than EAL.

29 Helping with endings zListen to and read stories with different types of endings. zNotice how writers end their stories and the effect on the reader of a satisfying ending. zWork out how a story will end before starting to write. zWrite a story with a given ending.

30 Paragraphing: Findings zUse varied by level, rather than language. zLevel 3: 20% of stories showed no use of paragraphs. zOverall use of paragraphing better than in Key Stage 4 project.

31 Evaluating language use within the text zSentence level language yWhat use is made of the possibilities of English clauses and sentence grammar? zWords and Phrases yWhat use is made of the possibilities of phrases within clauses? yRange of vocabulary used. zAccuracy yHow accurate is the use of language?

32 The basic structure of an English clause {the government} {should allow} S V {more space} {in trains} {for bikes} O A A S V O/C A Subject Verb Object/Complement Adverbial

33 Joining clauses zCo-ordination and, but, or zSub-ordination when, if, because, who, that

34 KS 4 Findings - sentence and clause grammar zHigh EAL make most use of grammar resources zHigh EAL show most variety in clause and sentence types. zFocus EAL use simple clause and sentence structure.

35 Sub-ordinators zBasic sub-ordinators: that, because, if, so, as, when, who zAdvanced sub-ordinators: which, where, although, after, until, unless etc. zHigh EAL made twice as much use of ‘advanced sub-ordinators’ as Focus and EMT.

36 Sub-ordination at KS4 High EAL used lowest number of sub- ordinators. EMT used most. High EAL used most variety of sentence types.

37 Subordination at KS2 Different pattern from KS 4. EMT use more subordination than EAL. For both groups, the amount of subordination increases from level 3 to level 4 to level 5. Does the use of variety of clause types come with maturity?

38 zAt KS4, very little use of Subject relative clauses: the people (who) I talked to all agreed … zAt KS2, EAL use more Subject relative clauses than EMT. zNot much use of Adverbial clauses: As you may already know, there are...

39 Filling the Adverbial slot: non-finite clauses zHigh EAL used more non-finite clauses, I have written this letter to tell you my reasons By Burning body fat and raising your metabolic rate, you can loose weight zbut there were very few of the more advanced types of non-finite clause: after listing the reasons,… in agreeing to this, …

40 Filling the Adverbial slot zMore Adverbials could be used. zMore phrases could be extended into clauses.

41 Findings: Length of Subjects zAt KS 4 and KS 2 level 4, EAL writing uses more single-word Subjects zEMT also use short Subjects zKS 4 high EAL use longer Subjects zAt KS 4, high EAL and EMT vary Subject length with type of writing.

42 Findings - ‘bare’ noun phrases zFocus and EMT groups use short and simple phrases: the school, the adults, a good idea zKS 4 high EAL use longer phrases with more interesting words an easly quick simple way a larger number of young people

43 Findings - Words and phrases zGreatest differences between EAL and EMT writing was in accuracy at word and phrase level. zEAL errors yformulaic phrases and collocations y‘small’ words yendings and agreements yconsistency of verb tense and modality

44 Formulaic phrases zare words that are ‘bound’ together they waited for long (for a long time) for a lot of time after some couple of weeks (a) zStrong differences between EAL and EMT; as at KS4. At least twice as many errors.

45 from KS2 Script 1 zhis class girl zlots of people at the front of him zvery amazed zI am not going to buy you a game any more

46 ‘small’ words  prepositions e.g. in, with, up help on pollution regret of what they did  delexical verbs e.g. make, put, do it will do a really good help to us schools don’t give enough interest

47 Learning formulaic phrases zStudents should meet / notice / learn words as parts of phrases, as well as separately. zErrors in phrases should be corrected, in speech and writing, sensitively and consistently. zExplicit teaching of thematic sets of phrases may be useful e.g. time phrases

48 articles zomitted zused wrongly it will decrease (the) traffic zA statistically significant difference between EAL and EMT at KS4 but not at KS2

49 Agreements zSubject -Verb agreements there are so much traffic Everyone else are looking zNoun-pronoun agreements I think bike-friendly measures should be introduced.. Because it will zPlurals Next times he is going to

50 Agreements: findings zAt KS 4, EAL made significantly more errors than EMT writers. zThis persisted even for High EAL writers. zAt KS 2, there were very few errors and no significant difference. zEMT made more errors, largely due to spoken language influence: in’t they he hurt his self

51 Verb endings and tenses zVerb endings riding bikes doesn’t only helps the girl knewed zParticular problem for some students at KS4 and for level 3 at KS 2.

52 consistency in modality It would be a great idea if you all make some kind of meeting … and should pay £1 if you can’t ride a bike you can (should) not go to main Roads because you can (might) have an accident

53 Verb tenses and narrative it was the game everyone was longing for since last month (had been) Peter was becoming tired… since, he queued up at seven in the morning (had been queuing from)

54 All the adults queue at the counter to get ready to pay (were queuing) His family were not as wealthy… he did not buy accessories Nevertheless, he saved up his money since he was seven (had saved)

55 zComparatives and superlatives the most easiest, more oftenly, very less

56 Metaphors and similes zIn 70 of 264 stories at KS2. zMostly similes glooming eyes like oval pebbles he ran like a bullet zMostly one-off; some parallel pairs (script 2). zEAL Level 5 used most (5 per story) time flew by like pigeons and I was a rock laying under a tree

57 Animal metaphors and similes the children rushed in like if loads of elephants saw one little rat like a group of cheetahs

58 Errors in figurative language zComparison doesn’t quite work: eyes sparkled like fireworks looked like dog’s eyes zInaccurate: burst into happiness pouring with tears down their faces

59 Conclusions zWritten language makes different demands from spoken language. yto organise long stretches of text yto imagine the reader yto use variety of clause and sentence types yvisible accuracy zEAL students had learnt what had been taught

60 Teaching writing zWe need to teach written English. zDifferent aspects of written English need different teaching approaches yawareness raising ystrategy training ypractice yexplicit instruction ycorrective feedback

61 Awareness raising zexposure to good writing through reading zdirected attention - ‘noticing’ yrange of genres yhow writers end their stories yhow they express their ideas yhow paragraphs are signposted yhow verbs show the timing of events zthe use of task materials and pictures

62 Strategy training zthinking yourself into the role and voice of the writer zgenerating ideas through ybrainstorming ypictures ykey words in task materials zplan the end before starting to write

63 Practice zExtended writing needs practice in writing - fast and at length zwith gradually reducing support zon realistic (for the students!) tasks zspotting errors

64 Explicit instruction / modelling sets of phrases / collocations structuring paragraphs punctuation as part of subordination the use of Adverbials in clauses agreements and endings (KS4) building text development e.g. the timeline of a story with verbs, time phrases and clauses

65 Corrective feedback zWriting makes correct and incorrect forms visible; is slow enough to notice. zFeedback on errors + modelling of correct forms: yprepositions and formulaic phrases yarticles (KS 4) yagreements (KS4 and KS 2 level 3)

66 The process of writing? zHow do pupils find ideas to write about? zHow do they interpret pictures? zHow do they organise their ideas? zDo they think themselves into the genre? zHow do they compose sentences? zDo they check their writing for errors?

67 Research reports: (1) Writing in EAL at Key Stage 4 and post-16. + Inspection report “More advanced learners of EAL in secondary schools and colleges.” (Publications) (2) Writing in EAL at Key Stage 2. + Inspection report “Could they do better? The writing of advanced bilingual learners at KS2: HMI survey of good practice.”


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