The first part of your assignment is to read both of these articles, to appreciate their general approaches, and to assess their conclusions. It is not critical that you understand the statistical analysis presented in the first paper or all the linguistic terms in the second paper in order to get their gist.
Choose one of the articles to use as a model in analyzing patterns in your students’ writing, either focusing on spelling or grammar. You should not replicate the study you have chosen, but use it as a guide for collecting “data” from your students.
You may either create a new assignment or assessment as your source of data, or use work that your students have already completed (e.g., journals, essays, or old spelling exams).
You should compare at least 3 students’ writing.
You can compare students from different native language backgrounds, compare English language learners with native English speakers, or both. The bottom line is that you must analyze some data from your students to address the question of either spelling OR grammatical errors in English language learners’ writing. So one of the samples must be from an English language learner.
If you currently are not teaching students who are English language learners, you should feel free to collaborate with another colleague taking this class…
If there is not other way to get samples, you may use 3 of the samples I have uploaded. You must retype their errors or upload them again with your paper if you use my samples.
Finally, write an analysis of the data you collected, including answers to the following questions:
What are the characteristics of the students whose spelling or grammar you analyzed? Be sure to include their language backgrounds, grade level, and any other pertinent information.
Which aspect of writing did you focus on – spelling or grammar – and why?
How did you obtain the data that you analyzed?
How did you analyze the data? Did you find the analytic frameworks (either Tompkins et al. (1999) or Schleppegrell (2003)) useful? What was frustrating about them?
What role might students’ native languages have played in their spelling or grammar errors?
If you choose to analyze students’ grammar using Schleppegrell’s framework, here are a few additional guidelines to assist with your analysis:
How would you define the genre(s) of the students’ writing you are analyzing? Does the writing represent a “recount” or “report” (the genres which Schleppegrell analyzed) or something else?
Look at the categories of verbs Schleppegrell identifies on p. 19 – action verbs, thinking/feeling verbs, saying verbs, and being/having verbs. What categories of verbs do students use most in the writing you are analyzing. Give examples. What categories are used the least? In what contexts do students use verb tenses correctly? Do you find any problems with verb tense? In what contexts and with what kinds of verbs?
When analyzing the noun phrases in students’ writing, notice students’ use of articles ( a, an, the ), adjectives, and prepositional phrases. What do students already understand about these grammatical features and what might be potential areas for instruction?
What kinds of conjunctions and transitions do students use? What do they already know about conjunctions and transitions and what might they need to learn?
Please respect the privacy of your students by blacking out any identifying information before submitting the assignment. Also, be sure to post your assignment and share your findings with your colleagues in the discussion area as well as submit your assignment to the assignment link.
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