A case study examination of ESL students in freshman English composition
AuthorSadler, Randall William
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.
AbstractThis case study explores the experience of nonnative speakers of English enrolled in Freshman Composition at the University of Arizona, including the groups commonly identified as International and Resident Nonnative Speakers of English. This study examines the experiences of these groups in learning English, coming to the university, and making their way through freshman composition. A major goal of this study is to identify concrete pedagogical implications, including suggestions regarding placement, curriculum design, classroom teaching, and student support. Data were collected in 2 stages over a two-year period, from fall 2000 to spring 2002 and came from a variety of sources, including: (1) questionnaires; (2) classroom observation; (3) oral interviews with students, instructors, and administrators; (4) written materials from students and instructors. The results of the first stage of this study were primarily based on a questionnaire completed by 3,234 students attending freshman composition. This stage examined the characteristics of NNS attending composition courses designed for NNS and others attending courses designed for NS, finding important differences between these two groups in terms of their overall numbers, linguistic diversity, gender ratio, age, and L1/L2 language strength. The second stage of this study focused on 16 NS of Spanish. This stage of the study presented a more complex picture of the NNS experience, dividing these NNS into three orientations: U.S., Cross-border, and Mexico. This stage first examined the experiences of these students before their entrance to the university, finding differences in four areas: their perception of and relationship with the U.S./Mexico border, their language learning experiences at home, their language learning experiences at school, and their writing experiences before the university. The second stage investigated the university experiences the students in these three groups via eight themes that emerged over the course of the study, also finding many differences between these three orientations. These themes included how they were placed into composition courses, the culture shock they sometimes experienced, their behavior in the classroom, their writing difficulties, the writing they did in other classes and outside of the classroom, the resources available to them, and an analysis of their success.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquistion and Teaching