Valuing first languages in ESOL classrooms: College students bring language, culture and capital to their writing
AuthorCasey, Judith Kay
KeywordsEducation, Community College.
Education, Language and Literature.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Language, Rhetoric and Composition.
AdvisorAnders, Patricia L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractESOL (English for speakers of other languages) community college students enrolled in a required writing course were introduced to contrastive rhetoric to assist them in making connections between their first languages (L1) and English to enhance their writing. Students wrote a paragraph in their first language and then compared the experience to writing in English. I asked them to investigate specific cohesive devices, comparing how each device functioned in English with how it might function in L1. The research was focused on the question What cultural and linguistic capital do students bring to the writing class, and what is the relationship of this capital to their English writing? A group of seven multilingual students from Pakistan whose L1 was Urdu participated in the study. My methodology, based on teacher research and a case study approach, included four data sets: questionnaires, first drafts of the participants' formal writings, group interviews, and guided student investigations into cohesion and contrastive rhetoric. The results indicate that the students' writing, which was not highly rated by a panel of native English speakers, had few problems with cohesion and also few characteristics that might be traced to the influence of Pakistani English. Instead, mistakes in conventional English grammar and a perceived lack of content development were what influenced the raters. Implications for future research include a suggestion of how colleges and universities may benefit the increasing numbers of students who are users of World Englishes by valuing the linguistic and cultural capital they bring to the classroom.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture