An ethnographic account of the composing behaviors of five young bilingual children

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Title:
An ethnographic account of the composing behaviors of five young bilingual children
Physical Description:
xi, 221 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Halsall, Sharen Weber
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Writing   ( lcsh )
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1985.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 213-219.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sharen Weber Halsall.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000875085
oclc - 14638881
notis - AEH2624
System ID:
AA00002167:00001

Full Text















ETHNOGRAPHIC


ACCOUNT


OF THE


COMPOSING


BEHAVIORS


FIVE


YOUNG


BILINGUAL


CHILDREN


SHAREN


WEBER


HALSALL


DISSERTATION


PARTIAL


PRESENTED TC
G UNIVERSITY


FULFILLMENT


m /W fl TT VS 71 FT r


THE


GRADUATE


SCHOOL


OF FLORIDA


HE REQUIREMENTS
n r*, r* lr r n If N /\'1Ttr


1 /1 /"fm #1 r^a


_


T"

























Copyright


1985


Sharen


Weber


Halsall






















This dissertation is dedicated

to my support system--my family


Jerry, Mom,


Robin, Jenny and Gavin
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


writing


completed


insight


this


team effort.


friendship


dissertation


Without


people


been


support,


wish


successfully


energy,


acknowled


process


would


have


been


overwhelming.


am grateful


following people


who


shared


with


their


experiences


wisdom:


children


shared


their


who participated
writings:


study


Yolanda,


their


Teresa,


teachers


Jose,


who


Jesus,


corned


Marco.


gave


their


free


times


willingly


talk


about


writing.


member


helped
making


committee


formulate


forward


progr


proposal


ess


guided my
and urged
writing:


research,


Suzanne
Dorene


Krogh,


Clem Hallman,


Steve


Olejnik,


oss


committee


time,


chairp


encouraged


shared


with


person


ideas


an exc


gave


freely


clarified


ment


about


thoughts


young


writers:


Linda


Leonard


Lamme.


friend


provided


sounding


board


ideas


questions


converts


about


nations


which


established


topic:









parents


encourage


provided


ment,


a secure


supported a


environment,
search for


lots


answers:


Robert

children


"write"


Lorraine

listened


added


Weber


store


whole


cess


Robin


Jenny.


espec


encouraged,


during


ially,


listened,


year


special
edited,


husband


insisted


write


struggle:


Jerry


Halsall.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..........................................iv

ABSTRACT ... ..... ......................................... x

CHAPTERS

I BACKGROUND FOR THE STUDY.......................1

Statement of the Problem.......................2
Design of the Study..........
Significance of the Study......................6
Definitions of Terms.......................... .8
Limitations of the Study.......................9
Scope of the Study............................10
Summary ....... ..............................11

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE......................12

Introduction...... .... ..... .... ... ......12
Language Learning of Bilingual Children at
Home........................................ 15
Language Learning of Bilingual Children at
School...... ...... ........ ...............15
Early Intervention Programs...................17
The Writing Development of Children...........25
Writing Development of Monolingual Children...24
Stages of Developments in Writing.......24
Invented Spellings.....................28
Composing Behaviors.a..................55
Oral Language and Writing........ ...... .....37
The Writing of Bilingual Children.............40
Summary ....... ... ....... .... ....... .... ......45

III METHODOLOGY...................................47










The Setting ..................................54
Entry to the Site.......................54
Description of the Site-Classroom.......57
Research Methods and Procedures...............61
Overview... .... .**.. ..*** ....61
Data Collection.........................62
Participant observation...........63
Observer impact--Unobtrusive
measures. ... .....******. .....67
Informal and formal interviewing..69
Analysis of the Data....................71
Methodological Issues...................77
Researcher qualifications and
biases..........................77
Validity measures..... ..........81

IV DESCRIPTION OF THE SUBJECTS, TEACHERS AND
PRACTICES.....................................84

The Subjects... ......................*.......84
The Children as Subjects................85
The Subjects as Children...............86
Jos .................. ..... ......86
Teresa...... ......................90
Yolanda.............. .......... ..93

arJesuos...... .... ....... ... ......97
Marco............................103
Teachers' Descriptions .............. .......108
Mrs. Summer ..... .. ..... ......... ....108
Mrs. Path............. ... ...... ...... .112
Classroom Practices.. ....... ...... ..... ...115

V CHILDREN'S COMPOSING BEHAVIORS AND VIEWS OF
WRITING......................................128

Composing Behaviors..........................129
Reading Back...........................131
Inventing Spellings....................135
Copying................................141
Body Language..........................145
Prewriting.............................145
Concealing Writing.....................147
Writing Play...........................150
Oral-Language Functioning..............151
Confirmation questions...........151
Talking while writing............155
A I i- I -- 1 1 s I j- 1 c









Summary.................. .................... 176

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS.................181

Summary of the Problem.......................181
Findings and Conclusions.....................182


Findings


Specific


for Bilinguals.............188


Relationship of Findings to Previous Studies.191
Implications.................................197


For the


Research


Community............. 197


For Practitioners......................199
Summary............. .........................202


APPENDICES


A PROJECT OUTLINE..............................204

B PARENTS' INFORMED CONSENT FORM (SPANISH).....205

C PARENTS' INFORMED CONSENT FORM (ENGLISH).....207

D TEACHER'S INFORMED CONSENT FORM..............209

E SAMPLE FIELD NOTE PAGE.......................210

F STUDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS..................211

G TEACHER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS..................212

REFERENCES........... ......... ...... ................ 213

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.....................................220
















Abstract


Dissertation


Presented


Graduate


School


the University
Requirements i


Florida


in Partial


Degree


Doctor


Fulfillment


Philosophy


ETHNOGRAPHIC


ACCOUNT


OF THE


COMPOSING


BEHAVIORS


FIVE


YOUNG


BILINGUAL


CHILDREN


SHAREN


WEBER


HALSALL


May 19


Chairperson: Dr.
Major Department:


Linda Leonard Lamme
Curriculum and Instruction


purpose


composing


this


study


behaviors


was


perceptions


investigate

of writing


detail

five


young


bilingual


children


through


years.


researcher


acted


participant-observer


context


one


English


as a Second


Language


(ESL)


classroom.


study


focused


guiding


questions:


What


are


behaviors


which


accompany


composing


processes


young


bilingual


children?


What


children


while


they


write


(i.e.,


talking,


drawing,


reading


do Spanish-speaking


young


children


view


writing


process?










school.


These observations focused on the writing-related


behaviors of subjects and teachers in this classroom.


Written field notes,

researcher's journal,


formal and informal interview data, a

and writing samples were collected.


Data analysis was cyclical in nature and revealed


twelve composing behaviors:


confirmation questions,


invented spellings,


copying,


body


language,


prewriting,


concealing writing,

asking questions, s

and taking breaks.


writing play,


talk while writing,


Statements about writing,


Of the twelve behavior


reading back,


three appeared


to be specific for these bilingual children


confirmation


questions,


reading back,


and concealing writing.


The following general conclusions were drawn from the


findings:


bilingual


young children employed many of the


same composing behaviors


as younger monolingual writers;


all children used most of the composing behaviors cited

although all composing behaviors were not used by all of


the subjects;


writing appeared


teacher practice and teacher views of

to influence children's composing


behaviors


well


their views of writing;


d) children in


this study held two distinct views of writing,


which may in


part be explained by


age,


teacher practices,


developmental


writing levels and the interaction within the setting where


a \ 0 9 -m


I1 1 I










This


study


described


composing


behaviors


views


of writing


suggested


that


five


teacher


young


bilingual


practice


teacher


children.


sensitivity


children's


perceptions


writing


are


crucial


variables


fostering


literacy.
















CHAPTER I
BACKGROUND FOR THE STUDY



Literacy for young bilingual children is an issue of

great importance in recent research in bilingual educa-


tion.


This study focuses on Hispanics


, who according to


recent census information,

population of the United St


comprise 6.4 percent of the

ates. Of the 15.9 million


Hispani


reported to reside


in the United States,


percent were under the


of 10 years and 21


percent were


between the


ages


of 10 and 19 years of


(Bureau of


Census,


1983).


Because a need exists to provide appro-


private instruction for the increasing numbers of bilingual


children in our school systems,


information of


a descrip-


tive nature is necessary.


The great diversity of opinion


which exists about the best instructional methodologi


bilingual children i


at least in part,


a result of the


paucity of research directed at describing and under-


standing these children and their


learning.


A preliminary


step toward instructional planning must be

description of young bilingual children, t


the careful


.heir writings,





2



behaviors during writing in a classroom situation and their

perceptions of writing.



Statement of the Problem


In studies of young writers,


researcher


described their writing products (Clay,


have


1977) and,


in a few


studies,


have given information about young children while


they write


(Childers,


1981;


Dyson,


1982; Taylor,


1983).


For example,


we know that some young children take frequent


breaks while writing


, write for an audience, and converse


copiously while writing (Childers,


1981).


Are these


composing behaviors the same for bilingual children?

Research on composing behaviors with young bilingual


children is in its infancy.

problem is essential to gat


A descriptive approach to the


.her information about these


procedures.

Young bilingual children enter school with well


developed notions of literacy


(Goodman,


1980,


1982).


Many


factors in classroom life and their lives in general affect

their views or perceptions about literacy. As they


interact with their environment these views may change,


added to or


clarified.


This


process


of making sense in


terms of the


language


is influenced by the social context


n 4' n n A 4- 1, r. 4 n 4 n n n 4 a n^ rI 1. ,-* .4 a a a i 4 1 A A A i n I j A L A


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components of writing is essential.


This study


investigated the composing behaviors of five young


bilingual children and their views of writing.


The study


focused on two guiding questions:


What are


the behaviors that accompany the


composing processes of young bilingual children?

What do children do while they write (i.e.,


talking, drawing,


reading)


How do Spanish-speaking young children view the

writing process?



Design of the Study


The researcher employed ethnographic methods to study


this problem.


Ethnography provides a means through which


the researcher can attempt to gain the perspective of


subject (i.e.,


see


the problem through the child's


eyes


) in


order to understand the problem being


studied


(Spradley,


1930).

Geertz describes ethnography as a process of

interpreting the ecological web of significance in people's


lives.


From the textbook perspective,


Geertz


sees


using


ethnography


informant


S. establishing rapport,


transcribing texts,


selecting


. keeping a diary


~- '


r I -- .. 1_ I -1-- "1 -- 1 1 ..- -


sa A J -- -


1


1


_





4



characteristic which distinguishes ethnography from other

research methods is the requirement that the researcher


utilize the participants'


results (Geertz,


understanding in interpreting the


1973).


This study focused on the dynamic context of everyday

classroom life where verbal and social interactions were


viewed as key


process.


element


In this study,


s in the teaching and learning


individual learner was


described with his/her unique characteristics and his/her


interaction with others in this classroom,


teachers.


including the


Dynamic changes were occurring in these children


they made the transition from the Spanish to the English


language.


It was important then to consider the


individuals in detail


they began to write.


Their


perceptions


well


teachers'


perceptions were


seen


crucial in facilitating the writing


process.


The social


interactions and research perspective provided the


scaffolding for this project.


the perceptions of


This perspective considers


learners and the teachers in


constant interaction and change.


viewed


classroom then was


as a social context in which the natural give and


take of participants affected the


learning outcomes.


Using an ethnographic approach,


the researcher


learned


n r> n m roiki n,-. Is r ., Art4 r4-4 -"- 2 ,. .. ^ 1 n 3 *r J 3










photographs,


and collected samples of writings for


later


analysis in order to describe in detail


studied.


the classroom


These methods were used in this study to document


the daily classroom writing episodes,


to describe what


children thought about writing and what they did while


writing.


Through the analysis of the field note records


and the other instruments employed,


patterns emerged which


created a


"picture" of these bilingual children


s composing


behaviors and their perceptions of writing.

The researcher selected one English as a Second

Language Classroom (ESL) where bilingual children wrote


daily in small groups.


The subjects chosen for the study


were five Spanish-speaking students.


Detailed description


of their composing behaviors


was made.


as well


teacher practices


This information was gathered in 47


three-hour


observation sessions.


Data were transcribed from written


field notes and then typed onto protocols such


example found in appendix E.


Informal interviews with the


principal,


the teachers,


and the students were completed


part of the field note record.


Audiotape cassettes were


made of formal interviews with the teachers and each


subject in the study.


The researcher kept a diary


including the following information about each


1 1; 1


nonnl nhrcOr, z r


session:


eC*QTamal- ri\-P c4 trfI +> i


d


+- i mn






S



Significance of theStuy


This study addressed the need for research in the


composing behaviors of


young bilingual


children.


Only a


few studies in recent years


(Edelsky,


1983;


Ferreiro,


1978;


Hudelson,


1983)


have explained the writing processes of


bilingual children.


Typically,


research studies with


bilingual children have centered on program evaluations and

quantitative studies to measure program effects.


Unfortunately,


this practice focused on final products


rather than specific observations to determine the

components of the composing process.

From qualitative studies which focus on few children

and describe bilingual writers in detail can come relevant


and useful information for theory building.


This study


demonstrated that these five young bilingual children have

many characteristics similar to young monolingual


writers.


Other composing behaviors


described in this


study are not found in the research literature.


findings of this study also document the importance of

teacher practice in the composing behaviors of young


bilingual writers and,


further,


how the teacher's view of


writing may influence


the child's perceptions of writing.


These findings complement the research findings (Ferreiro,


-


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El


SI f 1*/ ?1 f^ -_. -






7



can be supportive and children will develop their own


meaningful writing systems.


In other words,


context


and the


interaction are crucial


to the development of


writing for young bilingual children.


In this study,


with


the supportive context described,


the children begin to


construct messages that hold meaning for them.


careful examination of


This


context and interaction provides


insights into the composing processes of young bilingual

children as well as their perceptions or view of writing.


Researchers


well as practitioners can benefit from


this study.


The methodology chosen,


as well


research perspective,


is not commonly used in conducting


writing research.


By the products of


this methodology,


processes and perceptions involved can be described and new


questions and variables


for further study in bilingual


writing can be illuminated


well.


Further,


young


bilingual writers are examined in their regular program


with their teachers,


and the external influences and how


these influences impact the children are described.


views of writing held by these children add a new dimension


to the existing studies of bilingual writers.


A more


complete picture of the composing processes and these


children


s perceptions of writing can be derived from the


flr'n1 *.,~, r, 4 an n ? -..1..--










classrooms.


In the findings which link teacher practice to


student behaviors and perceptions of writing,


importance of sensitive teachers and facilitative teaching

practice for young bilingual writers is emphasized. The


similarities and differences between monolinguals and

bilinguals is clearly described in this study and the


information can be valuable to


teachers who are assisting


children in their own classrooms to acquire a new


language--oral or written.


The importance of a child's


unique characteristics and perceptions is highlighted in


this study.


Teachers can find practical


value


in this type


of research because


they


see


similar children in their


classrooms and can


see


the importance of being sensitive to


the behaviors and the


processes


children employ while


learning to write.


Definition of Terms


The following terms are defined


they are used in


this study.


Bilingual young children--children between the


six and ten


ages


years who are fluent in oral and/or


written Spanish and are learning English


as a


second language.
1-- A ----- -- S





9



described by teachers as a result of a writing

activity.

ESL Classroom--A classroom where children who have

limited English language skills are placed for 45


minutes daily to learn English


their second


language.


Hispanic--Any child whose primary


language


is Spanish


according to parent and/or teacher report and who

has been observed to converse in Spanish with


peers,


teacher,


or researcher.


Perceptions of writing--Views of writing which are

actively constructed the individuals in contexts


where


the react and interact during writing.


Limitations of the Study


The objective of this study was to describe the


composing processes and perceptions of writing of


five


bilingual young children and their perceptions of


writing.


It may be,


however,


that the findings can be


applied only to situations in similar ESL classrooms with

classroom teachers who hold the same meaning-centered


approach toward developing writers.


The researcher


selected the children in this study because of their


limited knowledge of the Engl ish 1anu mat


rppnpnnv of





10



where one or both parents were students at a university.

All of the subjects were middle to upper middle


socioeconomic-status families.


may not typify all


Their composing behaviors


young bilingual children's composing


behaviors.


Scope of the Study


The proposed study was conducted in one ESL classroom


in a public school over a four-month period.


The students


were Spanish speaking and varied in


from


to 10


years.


The primary research questions provided the focus


for the study; new questions,


however,


were formulated


data collection in the form of field notes,


audiotaped interviews were analyzed.


directed the early stages of research:


interviews,


Two guiding questions


What behaviors


accompany the composing processes of young bilingual


children?


How do Spanish-speaking young children


view the writing?

The following questions emerged from the data


recurrent phenomena,


record.


widespread in the observational


Answers to the following questions provide greater


depth for understanding the central questions:


What do teachers do while children compose?


What


Tr m a rT c C anA 4k 1 A r ,- .,, A i 4


mn c? c? ri rr3 c


s r~a T- Ht









What


are


types


writing generated


students


an ESL


classroom?


teachers?


What


role


of oral


language


composing


process?


languages


are


used


English and


composing


Spanish


process


Although


this


study


can


provide


insights


into


teaching


learning


writing,


composing


behaviors


children's


generalized


perceptions


to dissimilar


writing


populations.


Summary


This


study


scribes


composing


behaviors


perceptions


writing


five


young


bilingual


children


an ESL


Classroom.


study


was


designed


information


to existing knowledge


about


young


bilingual


children


they


compose.


findings


from


this


study


can


provide


educators


young


bilingual


children


with


better


understanding


what


behaviors


occur


during


composing,


perhaps


these


what


children


facilitates


view


writing


this


writing,


bilingual


young


children.

















REVIEW


CHAPTER
OF THE


LITERATURE


Introduction


purpose


literature


this


early


review


was


childhood


survey


writing


bilingual


children.


order


this,


crucial


role


that


language


learning plays


early


writing


been


reviewed.


Many


studies


have


documented


importance


home


school


environments


development


oral


language,


bilingually


(Askins,


1975;


Christian,


1977;


ierer,


1977).


Factor


s such


timing


second


language


introduction,


environments


parental


have


involvement,


fostered


natural


development


home


oral


language.

development


writing


Language-rich


writing.


drawin


environments

Environments


exposure


can

rich


linked to the

the materials


adults


write


have


crucial


impact


on young


writers


(Bissex,


1980a;


Calkins,


1980;


Durkin,


966;


Taylor,


1983).


From


exa


mination


some


early


intervention


programs


young


bilingual


children,


current


educational


practice










(1) writing development of monolingual children;


between oral language and writing;


links


) the writing of


bilingual children.



Language Learning of Bilingual Children at Home


Some Spanish-speaking children come to school speaking


only their native


language.


Others have acquired,


varying de


grees,


a second language.


Three


case


studies


described the dual language acquisition of children before


three.


Each stressed the value of


dual language


acquisition in the home environment.


Zierer


(1977) reported the experiences of a child who


learned and mastered two


languages by the


of four


years.


The child was specifically exposed to only one


language until


three,


when he asked for Spanish


translation


the surrounding community was Spanish


speaking.


Within months,


the boy had mastered both


languages with the same degree of phonetic,


and syntactic levels.


morphologi


Evidence of coordinate bilingualism


was reported when a malignant brain lesion was found and


surgically removed,


affected simultaneously


the child's languages were both

Findings indicate that coordinate


bilingualism ideally develops when one


language


is spoken










Another


case


study (Christian,


1977) related the


experiences of the author as a father of two children,


not only


learned two


languages before kindergarten,


read in both English and Spanish at the conclusion of their


kindergarten year.


that these children at the


interest in learning to read,


It is the contention of this researcher


of two years showed an


and teaching them in their


native


language was


"infinitely more simple" than


attempting to teach skills in the language they would be

using in school.


In a


third


case


study,


written


a master


s thesis,


Past


(1975)


has described her two-year-old daughter as


having mastered three


langua


by the


four years.


Past began with one


language at birth,


added a second


(L2)


at 18 months when her daughter became interested in picture


books by simple vocabulary naming.


When her daughter then


was reading simple books in Spanish and English (age four),


Past exposed her to a


third language,


music.


Emphasis was


placed on interest of the child in a natural home

environment.

These studies support a natural learning environment


for dual language learning


bilingual


A further implication for


educators is the importance of familial


- .. ? --- 1 SI A -1 fl I -










Language


Learning


Bilingual


Children


School


standing


intellectual


achievement


child


acqui


ition


language


(Thonis,


1971).


When


child

human


language


acquires


learning.


logically


language


languages,


facilitation


egins


learned


remarkable


learning


young


outside


triumph


a second


age possible if

home. Educators


have


responded


this


nee


developing


variety


early c

a "head


childhood

start"


intervention


programs


second-language


learning


n attempt

before f


to get


ormal


public


school.


term,


early


intervention


programs


, describes


federal

programs


programs

attempt


designed


prepare


preschool


Spanish-


children.


speaking


These


children


entering public


function


school


langua


with an


ges.


ability


Although


communicate


studies


cited


goals


were


developed


focused


independently,


instruction


general


in both native


curricular


language


(L1)


second


language


(L2)


, and


skill


development


cognitive

findings


affective,


suggested


chomotor


that


early


domains.


intervention


programs


bilingual


increased


competence


oral


can


language


successful


improvement


areas


self-concept


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JB 1


I


f .


I 1


.~ I* ~










involvement


improvement


home


environments


language


learning.


emphasis


parental


involvement


home


learning


was


observed


Spanish


Dance


School


Project,


California,


1972.


Children


preschool


spent


approximately


hours


home-learning


environment


involved


home


learning


tutor.


activities


Parents


served


were


actively


as adult


models


their


children.


instruction


was


Spanish and


English and


pretest-postt


, control-group


sign


was


used.


finding


suggest


significant


oral


langua


gains


in Spanish


experimental


group


greater


gains


oral


English


development


than


control


group.


esearc


findings


concerning


some


early


intervention


state


gies


language


learning


suggest


instruction


can


effective


experimental


promoting


groups


oral


surveyed


language

(Askins,


both


Another


important aspe


bilingual


instruction,


noted


several


studi


was


a gain


self-concept


ratings


participating


youngster


(Askins,


1975;


Greene,


1975;


Mayher,


1973).


search


h pertaining


parental


involvement


these


bilingual


programs


indi


cates


that


parents


have


high degree


particip
i


action,
I


evidenced


their


* a *


I


*






17



conclusions warrant further research to insure


generalizability.


Finally,


all of the studies have been


cross-sectional in design,


offering no clear indication of


what happens to individual children within these


programs.


Ethnographic studies dealing with limited


samples might shed light upon how and why these programs

are effective for some individual children.


Early


Intervention Programs


Schools accommodate the various language abilities of

bilingual children with various program models in which


several


variables are in effect.


How much time


the child


spends daily,


instruction,


the type of teacher,


and the subjects covered all


language of


vary in different


settings.


Some of the more popular intervention program


models are summarized in table 1.

The program studied in this research project is an ESL


classroom of


a transitional model in which children


received help


in L1


while acquiring English (L2).


The goal


of this program is for children to make the transition to

speaking English with no Spanish instruction being


offered.


Other models mentioned have a different focus


one of maintenance or enrichment.


For example,


Spanish for


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19



because they focus on maintaining the Spanish language of

students while they are learning English in other


settings.


The Concurrent Translation Model and Alternate


Days Model would fit under the maintenance model since the

emphasis is on dual language acquisition and maintenance.


The enrichment model


in their curriculums.


emphas


the second language early


These models,


referred to as


immersion programs


, place a premium on acquiring the second


language first and in middle elementary years,


gradually


add L1


until a balance between L1


and L2


is reached in late


middle school.


The environment in which langua


learning occurs has


received much attention in research studies recently


(Hamayan


& Tucker,


1980


Legarretta,


1977).


The role of


language input for second-language


learning focuses on the


setting and teacher


language behavior


important


components in the rate of learner production.


Legarretta


(1977) studied the effects of language


choice by teacher in five bilingual classrooms.


Using the


Flander


s Multiple Coding System


, she coded frequency of


Spanish or English language used by both teachers and aides


in these classrooms.

were observed, the Cc


Two models of bilingual classrooms


current Translation Model and the









language choice of teachers;


(5) 80 to


percent of the


talk in classrooms is teacher talk if choral responses are


removed;


(4) that English is the primary


language of


choice warming or accepting the child's contributions and


for correcting.


Legarretta found that the Alternate Days


Model,


in contrast,


generated an equal distribution of


Spanish and English by teachers and children overall.

expansion of this study would amplify the finding that

teacher's language choice is positively correlated with


student usa


If preschool programs are designed to


nurture L1


before public school entry


(Thonis,


1971 ),


this


finding would have major implications for


language-of-


choice time allocation.

Another study concerning language input by Hamayan and


Tucker


(1980) compared the speech of six teachers.


Three


of the


teachers were in immersion schools and three in more


traditional settings.


Immersion programs use L2 in early


years and gradually include L1


until a


0/50


split occurs


at late middle school.


Data collection techniques similar


to the previously mentioned study were used from which less


spec


ific conclusions were reached.


Hamayan and Tucker


indicate that the frequency of


occurrence of certain


syntactic structures in teacher's speech is related to the


i n rn r* nrnciiti nn nf QI-n 3hrln^+n lroQQ


mrn( r l n ia n a\


(\ o










questioning and


commanding


regardless


whether


child


was


second-language


teacher


function


reactions


linguistic


learner


native


student


group


errors


grade


speaker.


varied


level.


Finally,


as a


Teachers


both


groups


tended


correct


more


younger


second


language


learners'


errors


than


younger


native


speakers.


serious


limitation


this


study,


however,


was


unknown


nature


amount


of L2


usage


relates


language


production


learners.


early


childhood


level,


important


issue


appears


langua


come


tency


rather


than


early


school


achievement.


school


environment


young

and


child

feel h


must


is/her


feel


accepted


language


is equal


acceptable


others


(Thonis,


1971).


rationale


supporting


this


language


comp


etency


in a child'


nati


language


recently


supported


research


indicating


that


bilinguals


superior


monolinguals


their


conceptualization


notion


symbols


(Feldman


& Shen,


1971


Oren,


1981).


postulated


that


because


bilinguals


learn


distin


codes


an early


age,


their


flexibility


differentiating


object


with


corresponding


symbols


s increased.


Lambert,


Tucker


d'Anglejan


(1973),


in a field


JS r nff a -. L n -. 4 1-


I, -


M~ r~ L


. . L ^- -3


. .. b! ,,. .






22



bilingual education program in which children were immersed

in French (L1), and this methodology was shown to be just


as effective in promoting English proficiency


comparison group,


which received instruction in English


(L2).


Carey and Cummins


(1980) reported that grade-five


children from French-speaking home backgrounds in the

Edmunton Catholic School System bilingual program (80%


French, 20% English)


from kindergarten through twelfth


grade performed at a level in English skills equivalent to

Anglophone children of the same IQ in either bilingual or

the comparison group which was matched on socioeconomic


status and IQ.


Another carefully controlled longitudinal


classroom study was carried out with Navajo students at


Rock Point


(Rosier & Holm,


1980)


in which all literacy


skills are taught in Navajo,


that by grades five and six,


The study demonstrated


students were performing at


the United States national norm in English reading.


instruction in the bilingual program,


Prior


students were


years below the norm in English reading skills.


A final study,


documenting the preferred languages of


instruction for


linguistic minorities,


was carried out in


Mexico and compared two school systems where the national










early


facilitated


instruction


reading


then addin


comprehension


national


national


language


language.


environment


languages


rich


conducive


language


optimal


experiences


growth


both


young


bilingual


use


young


children.


child's


child's


language.


From


studies


native


transition


clear


language


literacy


that


bilingual


cited,


clearly


in a


support


facilitate


second


instruction


can


implemented


an early


continued


cognitive


growth


both L1


remainder


this


review


focu


ses


linkage


between


language


symbolic


development


young


children.


Writing


Development


Children


surge


interest


study


young writers


been


seen


decade


(Calkins,


; Chomsky,


1971;


Graves,


1981 ,


1982


Harste


al.,


1981 ).


These


studies


have


demonstrated


naturally


when


that


their


young


writing


children


are


learn


accepted


write


supported


when


they


are


immersed


language-rich


environments.


Studies


bilingual


children


have


documented


crucial


importance


home


school


environments


langua


learning


(Ferreiro


& Teberosky,


1982)


search


on oral


1-,1.% a ,rr. 1 ..-A n.4. -- -


I / \ *1 a^ -/-


L,. A .IL. -


II





_ __


_ '1


Ir


*-^ 1, .1 L ^ -_ -










environments,


researchers are finding that children must be


immersed in meaningful written langua


in order to write


(Clay,


1975


Ferreiro,


1978;


Ferreiro


Teberosky,


A review of these studies documents what i


known about the


development of writing for monolingual children.


Writing Development of Monolingual


The developmental process of writing begins before


children are able to write.


They begin by scribbling and


marking on paper to convey messages that have meaning for


them (DeFord,


1980).


These scribble


s and random marks lead


to more recognizable signs and symbol


which are intended


to make


sense


to others


(Clay,


1975;


Ferreiro,


1978).


sequence is developmental,


individually refined and


constructed,


finally emerging


standard print.


Stages


of Developments in Writing


Oral language plays a large role in the development of


writing.


Children use


the sounds of langua


to aid them


in their first invented words or what Read


termed invented spellings.

messages using a code that


(1971) has


Children write down their


; they have constructed from their


perceptions of sound/symbol correspondences.


Other


researchers have described the developmental nature of


- A I 1 -


1


Children






25


children described may skip stages or may not follow each

sequential step in the development of their writing.

Early reading studies have documented a sequence of


writing which included scribbling/drawing,


copying objects


and letters,


asking questions about spellings,


and then


being able to read


(Durkin,


1966).


In a later study,


Chomsky (1971) confirmed Durkin's research and suggested

that children may be taught to read by writing first.


Chomsky


s argument calls for the reversal of standard read-


then-write policy to expose children to a more concrete

instructional practice in preparation for the more abstract


symbolization reading.


She suggested that writing


provided a more active and child-centered thought process

which involves the child in concepts important to him/her.


In New Zealand


, Clay (1975)


looked further into


writing development and focused on the young child's


awareness


print.


of written language,


Clay


which she calls awareness of


research focused on the writing behaviors of


five-year-old


children in a setting where copying and


tracing behavior has been encouraged by teachers. Sh

generated thirteen principles in the writing of young


children:


Sign concept:


A sign carries a message.


Messa


concept:


A child real


1 t a


izes


that a





26



experiment with letter forms--by
repositioning or decorating standard forms.


Inventory principle:


order, or


Children will arrange,


list what they know.


Recurring principle:


Children have


tendency to repeat an action.


Generating principle:


Children extend their


repertoire by knowing some rules for
combining or arranging elements.
Directional principles: Children experiment
with left to right and top to bottom


progression.
Reversing directional pattern:


Children use


mirror writing when selecting a starting


point toward the right-hand


page.
Contrastive principle:


edge of the


Children create


contrasts between shapes,


meanings,


sounds,


and word patterns.
Space concept: Children use space to show
the end of one word and the beginning of
another.


Page and book arrangements:


Children tend


to ignore directional principles when they
cannot fit a word or sentence on a line or
page.
Abbreviation principle: Children use
abbreviations to stand for words that could
be expanded.


(Clay,


1975: pp.


63-65)


In her research,


Clay accounted for variability in children


by stating that children do not learn about writing at one


level in a strict sequence.


She postulated the following


sequence for writing which is not hierarchical:

1. understanding that print talks
2. forming letters
3. building up memories of common words they
can construct out of letters
4. using those words to write messages
5. increasing the number and range of sentences
used





27



drawing to writing nor has it included a naturalistic look


at the development of


writing since her subjects were drawn


from public school classrooms where writing instruction was

in progress.


The writing research of Ferreiro


(1978) described a


developmental sequence for young Spanish-speaking children


in Mexico.


The following developmental stages were


postulated:


Only nouns are written.
The entire sentence is written in a single


segment of the text;


the child prop


sentences compatible with the first one.
It is impossible to find a division in the


other


utterance that


could be made to correspond


with the segments of the text.
4. Nouns are written independently but not the
verb.
Everything is written except the articles.


Everything is written,
(Ferreiro, 1978: pp. 5


Ferreiro


including the articles.
0-35)


s research complemented the findings of the other


studies on stages of writing development in that the


writings of children appeared to move


from the global


concept to the more differentiated concepts of print


children move from mastery of letters or words to attempts

to communicate in complete thoughts and messages.


DeFord


(1980)


studied the spontaneous writing of


children two to seven years old and found that their


writing was char


acterized by five concepts: (1)


linearity,


oses





28



recognizable stages of writing moved from global concepts


about print to the more specific.


Her stages were


Scribbling
Differentiation between drawing and writing


Concepts of linearity,


complexity,


right motion,
directionality


symmetry,


uniformity,
placement, ]


and top-to-bottom


eft-to-


Development of letters and letter-like
shapes
Combination of letters possibly with spaces,


indicating understanding of units


letters,


sound


sentences),


correspondence


(words,


but may not show


letter


Writing known isolated words--developing
letter/sound correspondence
Writing simple sentence with invented
spellings
Combining two or more sentences to express
complete thoughts
Control of punctuation--periods


capitalization,
letters


use of upper- and lower-case


Form of discourse--stories,


materials,


(DeFord,


1980:


letters,
p. 162)


information,


etc.


The above research studies confirmed that written


language appears to be


learned in much the same way


oral


language.


A study done in 1980 by Forrester illustrated


this conclusion.


She noted many similarities between the


stages of oral language and written language development.


Forrester


(1980) presented the comparison of oral and


written loan uage

Forrester al


development given in table


tied this notion of developmental


sequence to spelling development.


inner















CO


C r-I
v30


Q) *
r-4 O--







-4 0






e o


aO
T3 C
0) ****I
L r-4
*H H-


CO'
OI a
Sm


0 Op




r-4 4









*.O

80
C*O



bO.






30



the research which has studied developing spelling


strategies.


The work of Read


(1971)


is similar in the


spelling area


as he has documented the spellings of


very


young children and determined that a complex system was


used in developing spelling rules.


Other researchers


studying invented spellings have confirmed the research of

Read and found that although the actual spellings may vary


children


spellings at various


s had observable


patterns (Bissex,


1981


Forrester,


1980; Gentry,


1978,


1981).


In Read'


studies with preschool children,


he found


that children rarely repeated the exact invented


spelling.


These children were not memorizing but were


learning "


. a complex,


but generally systematic


phonology system"


(Read,


1971


: p.


The spellings he


observed were motivated by a phoneti


construction by individual


system under


children which was consistent


enough to be


cer


tain that random spelling or adult model


was not the model.


His studies led to some conclusions


about strategies that preschool children use for


spelling.


These strategies demonstrated that their


spellings are not random and are


linked to their


perceptions of the sound/symbol correspondence between


I -










Children
phonemes


names.
Vowels


have


represent


English


are


with


distinct


represented


ixteen


single
vowel 1


forty


twenty


regory
e lett
sounds


some


-six


letter


are


ers


are


represented


Long v
letter


owels
name


KAM-came,


TIGR


five


symbols).


represent


ound


(BOT-boat,


matching
FEL-feel,


Short
name
left,
Nasal


vowels ar
that sound
FES-fish)
s strongly


spelling when
consonants (W
angry).


Letters


are


S


e
s
.


represented


closest


tend


they


(BAD-bed,


omitted


immediately


OT-won't,

sometimes


PLAT-plant,


used


accord


e letter
LAFFT-

from
cede
AGRE-

ng to


their


name s


doublel


u-w--SPWN-spoon,


KOSTWM-


costume).


Young


children


tend


spell


both


s and


z as


Children


from


with an


represented


CHRIE-try,


beginning


with


spell


(CHRIBLS


plurals


-troubl


CHROK-truck).


repre


sented


(JRGIN-dragon,


JRIV-


drive,


JRAN-drain).


are


fishing,


COMING


-Co


used


SOWEMEG-s
ming).


endings


swimming,


(FEHEG-


PLAYIG-playing,


and N


between


consonants


a word


after


consonant


are


perce


ived


as a


separate


liable


(TIGR-


ger,


SOGR


AFTR-after,


-sugar,


WAGN


LITL-little,


-wagon,


CANDL-candle,


OVR-over,


OPN-


open).


Past
as a


tense


syllable


endings


are


(STARTID-


represented


started,


WALKD-


walk
(Adapted


, HALPT-helped,


from Read,


MARED-married).


1971)


Read'


s research


illuminated


concept


phonological


competence


relationship


writing


, L,


I


I


__










communicate


independently


main


concern


mesa


"correct"


spelling.


in his research,

developmental nature


Gentry


(1978,


spelling


1981)


again


documented

postulate


five


stages


of spelling which moved


from


simple


to comply


ex.


observed


what


termed


"deviant"


spellings


first


stage,


which


included


random


letter


order,


scribbling,


symbols


numbers


or words.


prephonic


contained


spellers


used


one,


two,


three


letters


words


ch could


phonetic


rare


contained


vowels.


exact


phonetic


correspondence


-stage


between


spellers


letters


demonstrated


sounds


almost


were


fluent


writers


used


phoneti


spellin


transitional


emerged


spellings


when ch

applied


ildren


became


standard


familiar


llings


with

many


common

words


their


writing


final


described


in Gentry's


research


was


correct-spelling


stage


which


completed


developmental


standard


process,


spelling


at which


were


time


last


children


half


usually


of second


used


grade


(Gentry,


1981).


Bissex'


case


study


son,


Paul,


supported


lopmental


spelling


theories


s of Gentry


(1981)


and Read


(1971).


issex


used


a case


study


approach


to document









represented a message,


but not individual sounds or words,


to the use of consonants, and then consonants and vowels


messages grew in length.


In her


case


study,


Bissex docu-


mented the individual characteristics of her son and how

these appeared to affect his spelling and communications.

The research writings of early spelling behaviors have

dealt with observational studies of middle or upper socio-


economic status homes or schools.


Only one of the studies


mentioned


(Hudelson,


1984)


has looked at the invented


spellings of bilingual children.


The research to date has


stated clearly that the ability to spell is a highly complex

and active intellectual activity and not mere memoriza-


tion.


Further studies with differing socioeconomic status


populations and bilingual writers will offer a more complete


theory for the development of


writing in young children.


Composing Behaviors


Research studies of young writers have begun to answer

questions dealing with the developmental nature of learning


to write and learning to


Studies have changed their


focus from written products to the


process


of writing in


home environments


(Bissex,


1980a) and classroom


environments


(Calkins,


1985;


Dyson,


1982; Graves,


1973).


In researching the process of writing some studies have


o mi r* cr-a 4- HQ oo i-i h a


t? h4 a nnnoa> vh namnne ., / -S









children employ during writing?


This question when


answered will reveal much for practitioners and researchers


about the writing


processes


of young children.


Graves and Giacobbe (1982) discussed a research study

which included data collected over a three year period with


first graders.


The researchers framed a


six month period


during the third year to ask children specific questions


about their composing processes.


Ten of the twenty three


children in this classroom were interviewed before and


after writing,


transcripts were made of the interviews, and


writing products photocopied to demonstrate the

relationship between concepts of writing and how the


writings changed over the course of the study.


research study concluded that


This


as children developed


writers 1) oral rehearsal before writing diminished,

options for how to proceed with writings increased,


individual


2) new

3)


composing sessions lasted longer and could span


days, and 4) a move from general concepts of writing to

more detailed and specific concepts about the writing

process was described.


Following Grave


and Giacobbe


observational


research,


Calkins (1983)


found that when the context of


classroom writing allowed for verbal sharing of writing
S- j i_ --- _- --- - -- --- -_^ i -I I -










children sharing their writi

specific aspect of writing,


process,


sharing which focused on


sharing about the composing


and sharing which involved giving writing to


friends or a class library.


Vukelich and Golden


from 354


(1982) collected writing samples


four-year olds and 39 five-year olds on two


different days in October,


January and April.


researchers asked small groups of


children to a writing


center gave them writing books and pencils,

to write anything they wished to write. Tt


and asked them


ie researcher


then asked each child individually to "tell me what you


wrote."


The writings were categorized and analyzed and the


following conclusions were drawn:

1. Interpretation of children's writings can be
achieved better when viewed in the context of
the children's oral language.
2. Writing appears to begin before the child can
produce written words which can approximate
the correct alphabet models which can be
understood by adults.
3. Children do not write the same way every


time:
task,


with a response to a single writing
children may produce a variety of


there appears to be no


products.
Unlike oral language,


fixed sequence that all children pass through


in the acquisition of


(Vukelich & Golden,


1982:


written communication.
pp. 12-14)


These conclusions demonstrated the value of


describing


the composing process with learners in the classroom


I










aged


three


five


years


(Childers,


1981 ).


final


example


compos


processes


research


a study


done


as a


doctoral


kindergarten


dissertation


(Green,


study


1984).


in a


This


university


study


laboratory


investigated


impact


about

Green


composing


print,


used


curriculum on


writing fluency,


kindergarten


children


children's


writing

n drawn


concepts


achievement.

from four


classrooms.


planned


a writing


curriculum,


complete


with


parent


workshops


home


involvement


composing


sessions,


which


were


occur


treatment


groups


three


times


a week.


treatment


groups


were


found


significantly


higher


Concepts


About


Print


test,


writing


fluency,


first


posttest


of writing


achievement.


effects


composing


curriculum at


home


school


which


supports


naturally


developing writing


spelling


strategies


within


verbal


social


context


are


demonstrated


this


research.


Research on


composing


behaviors


composing


processes


children

studies


composing


described


certain


document

process


some


groups

these


further


behaviors


employ while

behaviors and


are


needed,


that


writing.

understand


specifically


some


More

the

for


children


different


language


groups.






37



Oral Language and Writing


A survey of the literature related to young children


writing processes reveals the


and writing.


link between oral langua


Oral language is often a key element of the


writing process (Bissex,


1980b;


Childers,


1981


Dyson,


1981;


Hoffman & McCully,


1984 ).


The studies


cited examined


the writing processes of several young children using


qualitative observational methods.


study, Graves


In a longitudinal


(1981a) and associates found that oral


language almost always accompanied writing.


for this research were


The subjects


16 first-through-third graders who


were observed during the writing


classrooms. The resea

writing samples, condu

writing interventions.


process


while in regular


Lrchers made video tapes,


icted interviews,


collected


and implemented


type of "talk" surrounding the


writing was classified


sounding to probe for sound/symbol relationship;


sounding to break off


phonetic unit from a word;


rereading the composition to reorient conversation

with friends;


procedural


talk;


advanced statement of text;

conversation before and after composing.


.-n -.- t


W 1 '1 Jn t i I L t n3lf *t XC I 4 L'k -, 4t -a -- 1


_ ^ ^ _


Il.l*~ll~~r ul


n ~rl/r in r'j r c-i i- a. yn 'i i IT c- r n










In another study


(Childers,


1981),


the composing


behaviors of


three children aged three


to five years were


studied using video taped sessions.


The researcher


suggested a writing topic at each of the 16 sessions.


researcher functioned as a participant-observer in these

composing sessions which were in a laboratory setting.


Conclusions revealed that oral


language surrounded the


writing process and four types of exchanges were


classified:


questions, answers/responses,


sharing/telling,


and taking breaks.


size


of the sample,


the laboratory


setting,


and researcher bias limit the generalizability of


this study.


In a 1981


study,


Dyson studied kindergarten writers,


using ethnographic methodology.


The research spanned a


six-month period and dealt with the relationship of oral


language to writing.


Dyson added much to our understanding


of the composing process because


as a participant-observer,


she saw and heard what


goes


on with young


children during


their composing-writing.


Dyson's research describes the


most common writings of kindergarten children:


family and friends,


names of


texts relevant to their interests,


the young child'


s use of talk to


interpret,


narrate,


the writing


stimulus.


Writing,


then,


serves


the child in













and that oral language is used for varying purposes.


longitudinal design and a larger more cross-sectional

sample would add to the generalizability of results for all

kindergartners.


Hoffman and McCully


(1984)


studied oral language and


its effect on written production in two situations--the


home and the classroom.


They postulated that young


children discover very early that


context) varies so must the


the situation


language vary according to the


context.


This theory about varying speech mess


according to the participants is


seen


ages


also with the


composing


processes


and written products of


young


children.


The natural development of oral language and


writing strategies is actualized only when the


environment supports these processes.


learning


In their studies,


Hoffman and McCully reported their findings that young


children


s messages varied according to the directing or


controlling language of the parent or teacher in the


writing events they observed.


When the parents directed


the writing pr


ocess,


children


"were


told what,


when,


how to write"


(Hoffman


& McCully,


1984


p. 43).


If the


same children wrote with an adult with different


expectations,


whose model of


written language valued the


--I- # --I 1 -..- .. .- I -_ I 1 I S


1 1 1 1










expectations varied,


written


messages


were influenced by


these differences.


In this study,


the writing process and


product were shown to be highly influenced by teacher

strategies which supported the child's attempts to

communicate with his own written language.

The studies presented indicate that oral language and

interaction with peers characterizes the composing process


of young monolingual children.


No study to date has


investigated the composing behaviors of young bilingual


children in a similar fashion.


Since oral language appears


to play a vital role in the composing process,


studies of young writers need to be


future


in a context which


emphasizes social and verbal interactions.



The Writing of Bilingual Children


Research in writing with young bilingual children is


in its infancy.


The rationale for such research appears to


be the link between thought and language which is


represented by symbols or w

to scribble with meaning.


as young children begin


Writing is seen as a particular


way of transcribing language.


The Goodmans


(1981) regard


writing,


with children,


as the natural expansion of human


language development.


Their studies related writing to the


* t


C, Vt r 1^ 4 c. ni n a in r. a n 4t1


-1


. ~ 1. J- 1 1 -" ^


mA n YL i \rr rr r r k i A in





41



small observational study of monolingual and bilingual


children.


She found that (1) preschoolers


(four-


and five-


year olds) are aware


that print has a message;


(2) older


children made more print-related responses; and


all subjects


(3) that


(no matter the age) had a better understanding


of writing than of reading.


Goodman


(1982)


reiterates that


for both reading and writing instruction with young


children,


the critical elements are meaning and purpose.


Hudelson


(19835) studied the writing development of


four native Spanish speakers.


The original purpose of her


study was to document writing development over a period of


months


English,


these native Spanish speakers became literate in


through collection of field notes from their


classrooms,


teacher interviews,


informal conversations,


audiotaped writing sessions,


and collection of


reading and


writing samples.


The study focused on


case


studies of two


children whose writings in class followed the form of what


was being taught directly.


The study describes their


writing


sessions


with the researcher,


which produced


writing samples (mainly pictorial) early in the year.


composing activity was surrounded by talk and highly tied


to messages as the school


year progressed.


The younger


child, a second grader,


used invented spellings when asked


L I -- -- -- --- __-_- ._--i __










copying words and sentences correctly


year).


(early in the


In the observation sessions with the researcher,


the children's writing evolved and revealed developing


second-language abilities:


rereading,


taking risks,


experimenting with new writing,


making additions to a


piece,


utilizing translations,


and making use of


environmental print.


The sample


size


and student


characteristics call for the expansion of this type of

research study to provide more concrete generalizations.


In a study of young bilingual writers,


Edelsky (1985)


clarified the second-language writing characteristics of


young children of migrant farm workers.

study complemented the findings of others


This descriptive


(Ferreiro


Teberosky,


1982;


Hudelson,


1984),


that performance in


writing is highly influenced by contextual features of


classrooms


(school environment,


teacher beliefs,


materials


provided,


topic,


etc.).


In this study,


all writings for a


one-week period of each of the subjects were collected four


times during one school year


(giving


sample of 524


pieces


of writing).


Other data included teacher and aides


interviews,


long classroom observations,


test


scores,


school records,


notes on parent organization meetings and


demographic data on the district.


Findings described


a1 I1 a - -






45



toward conventionality through real/use rather than

practice or directed training.


Second-language


learners,


is true with


monolinguals,


move over time


(through grade


levels) toward


conventional spellings and word segmentation based on the


language of instruction and from interaction with print.


strength of this study is that it captured the child's

perspective by not having the researcher impose writing

tasks per session but provided a look at writings collected

over time to ascertain the process of writing development


for each subject.


A second strength is the


large data bank


which was analyzed


many pieces of writing per child were


collected.


Limitations include


the choice of only one site


and of student socioeconomic status and small sample


size


from which to generalize results.


Ferreiro and Teberosky,


in their book Literacy Before


Schooling (1982),


discuss writing with the bilingual


as a


constructive process in which a child is actually


constructing knowledge.


They hypothesize that writing is a


product of active construction and restructuring of


knowledge.


Ferreiro and Teberosky (1982)


have proposed an


experimental design for studies which is an individual

interview to attempt to build information about how young


- *, S S .


^


^ "





44



much knowledge about writing before they begin formal

instruction and that to understand the writing system,


child must engage in an active construction pr


ocess


opposed to a passive instructional sequence being imposed


on the child.


This study delineated socioeconomic status


and separated the 68 subjects into two socioeconomic


groups:


upper middle class and working class families of


four-,


five- and six-year olds.


As described,


individual interviews were performed prior to entry into


their first school settings.


Findings indicate that young


children have difficulty with separations between words


and,


until


the age of six years,


refuse any separations in


text.


Segmentation of text does occur early


as each


subject tried to establish some form of correspondence

between graphic segments and their own analysis of the

sentence presented to them during the individual


interviews.


Ferreiro's findings indicated that the written


text is related to spoken language,


and a developmental


sequence exists which recognizes first nouns


(names)


print,


and then verbs,


and finally articles.


A replication


of this study within the second-language


learning


population may provide important data for educators


planning writing curricula.


A limitation of her study was


+'^ ~13 ir hQ nrFnnC an4-n1 an t n n4, ,i .48-n






45



Many more studies are needed in bilingual settings to

describe our knowledge about the composing behaviors of


young bilingual writers,

their views of writing.


the writings they produce and

A crucial factor in the


development of writers from the most recent studies adds


the teacher practices


as an important variable in the study


of bilingual writing.


Summary


Few descriptive studies have defined the writing


behaviors of young bilingual children.


To date,


there is a


lack of information about the bilingual child's writing


behaviors and children's perceptions of writing.


Edelsky


(1985) and Hudelson


(1983,


1984)


have begun a description


of the writings of bilingual children.


To understand


writing behavior and the views of writing held by young


bilingual writers,


in depth observational studies are


needed to further these beginning understandings.


No study


has described the composing behaviors of young bilingual


children.


Research has postulated the links between oral


language and the development of written discourse and

spelling strategies for monolinguals. Are these same

findings applicable for bilinguals? Many questions remain


4... ,,, t.l .2 .. 1 -


1 mrf h Pr AhY BA .-^h rr.3 h+ ^W 31- t^ W^ BA-










included classroom environment and teacher practices,


was


addressed in four studies (Dyson,


1985;


Ferreiro &


Teberosky,


1982; Hoffman


& McCully,


1984; Hudelson,


1981)


two of which included bilingual children.


What is the role


of social context and teacher practice in bilingual


settings with regard to the composing process?


What other


factors influence the composing process of bilingual

writers?

The purpose of the present study was to address some


of the unanswered questions in this area of research.


following broad questions served to guide the

investigation:


What behaviors accompany the composing processes of


young bilingual children?


What is the role of


oral languages in the composing


process?

What is the teacher's role during writing with

bilingual children?

How do young bilingual children view the writing


process


In the following chapters,


methodology,


findings and


implications of the


study are discussed.


In chapter


III,


the methodology and setting for the study is described.


t -ft -r -. -. -















CHAPTER


METHODOLOGY



Introduction


This chapter discusses the methods for data collection


and analysis using qualitative research methodology.

section begins with a statement of the problem and the


research perspective.


subjects,


The selection of


classroom,


and data-collection methods follows,


with


definitions of the instruments used in recording the data


collected.


The final segment describes how the data were


analyzed.

This study investigated the composing behaviors and

their meaning for five young Spanish-speaking bilingual


children.


These children attended an ESL classroom in a


public school in a southeastern city.


The researcher chose


ethnographic methods b


cause


the composing behaviors and


ceptions about writing must be discovered based on in-


depth observations of


the subjects,


their environment,


their statements about their writings.

Research Perspective





48



conducted within the particular setting where bilingual


children have opportunities to write.


The researcher


as a


participant-observer was the main tool for research as she

collected descriptive data regarding the writings and


interactions of young bilingual children.


The guiding


questions of the study dealt with the writing processes of


children;


therefore,


a methodology was needed which


emphasized process and not product.


Finally,


the question


of perceptions of writing or children's views of writing

required a methodology sensitive to gaining insights and


understandings about the individuals in a group.


It can be


clearly seen why qualitative methods matched the problem


addressed in this study.


The features which typify


qualitative research are outlined by Bogdan and Biklen


(1982)


follows:


(1) Research i


conducted within the


particular setting under study;


) The researcher is the


main research instrument;


focus is on ongoing


(3) Data are descriptive;


processes


(4) The


rather than products;


Data are analyzed inductively;


(6) The researcher


concerned with understanding the perspectives of the people


under study.


The qualitative,


naturalistic approach would


provide the in-depth description lacking in the research


literature on young bilingual writers.


According to Wilcox


nn'l 11 -Frr 4 -4 Ira 4 n Aae ..a an I nn rt Jqr 4 n4.4 a


H1, cl_ 1 1


S^L /"^









approach was necessary in this study


as a beginning point


to describe the composing behaviors of these five bilingual

young children.


The researcher used symbolic interactionism


theoretical perspective for studying the writing and views


of writing of these children.

purports that written language


This theoretical framework

development and development


in general--is accounted for by the interaction of the


active,


thinking child with his/her genetic makeup and the


nature of the environment


(Genishi & Dyson,


1984).


Writing,


then,


is not a set of inherent skills that can be


taught in a package,


but a product of the interactions of


individuals in various contexts. To gain understanding of

the composing behaviors of children, the researcher must


closely examine the social interactions which occur while


writing is in progress.


Interactionist theory implies that


the context of development matters.


This focus on context


may be termed sociolinguistic because in viewing language--

written or oral--both linguistic and social abilities are

viewed in the classroom context.

The present study addressed the need for studying the


process of


composing for children and studying this process


in a naturally occurring classroom for bilinguals--the ESL


classroom.


Cook-Gumne rz


(1981) in th? fiepd of





50



We must study children in occasions where they


are not experimental puppets,


responding to


adult-defined and adult-organized situations,


must


see


them operating naturally as social


beings in the everyday activity of


communicating.


(Cook-Gumperz,


1981: p. 49)


This study investigated the day to day composing behaviors

by studying children in their typical classroom from an

interactionist perspective.

The social interactionist perspective is grounded in


symbolic interactionist theory


described by Blumer


(1969).


In this theory,


the actors in any socially


interactive situation through their interaction assign


meaning to people,


objects,


and situations


(Blumer,


1969;


Bogdan & Biklen,


1982).


Meaning is constructed


individuals interact in a given situation.


of interaction


These processes


g and constructing meaning through written


communication were the subject of the current study.


Specifically,


the children in this ESL classroom were


participants of interest and their composing behaviors and

emergent views of writing which evolved were the focus of

interest.

This investigation spanned a three-month period during

which the researcher visited the classroom three times a


week for 1


hour intervals.


The researcher had


established a degree of rapport in the preceding semester






51



possible subjects while formulating the parameters of the

study.

In order to investigate and understand the writings of

these young children and their perspectives about writing,


qualitative methods were employed.


A detailed description


of the setting,


the subjects,


the interaction,


as well


the writing products,


was collected.


The researcher


functioned


a participant-observer in collecting this


descriptive account.


Although some specific questions


served


as a focus,


the research perspective dictated a


flexible format which allowed for the discovery of the

composing behaviors and the perceptions of what writing

meant to these children.

School Selection


The bilingual children in this particular county were


bussed to two schools which ho

classes and the ESL classes.


more


the bilingual education


One school was chosen because


time at one location would allow for greater depth of


descriptive data.

speaking children,


Since the study dealt only with Spanish-

the school with larger numbers of


Spanish speakers was chosen to insure an adequate number of

children who could be selected according to the criteria

established.
/^fln _W-_ A *






52



the bilingual classrooms had a skills focus with a very


specific curriculum (i.e.,


reading).


spelling,


The ESL classroom was


mathematics,


selected because the


curricular focus was on language-arts-related activities.

An emphasis on communication was observed in pilot work in


both oral and written language.


At this particular school,


three instructional settings were available for the


research:


the regular classroom,


or the ESL classroom.

were as follows: a c


the bilingual classroom


The criteria for classroom


classroomm


selection


(1) where children had


opportunities to write on their own and where writing was


not viewed


as penmanship or copying


teacher model,


which would contain largely Spanish-speaking students,


where time was allotted for verbal interaction,


(4) with a


teacher who was comfortable having an observer present on a


daily basis,


(5) that represented a typical educational


approach to bilingual students.


The researcher observed in


regular classrooms,


bilingual classrooms,


and the ESL


classroom,


during a pilot study done earlier in the school


year.


In the regular classroom,


most written work was


copied or dealt with directed lessons,


dittoed pages,


workbook pages.


The bilingual


classrooms were structured


to include instruction in reading and reading workbooks,


,1 a -









in English and Spanish.


Writing occurred only as a


consequence of an assignment or practice drill.


classroom,


In the ESL


the following criteria for selection were met:


a high proportion of Spanish speakers,


abundant verbal


interaction,


and easy


access


for observation.


Writing was


a natural consequence of daily


lessons.


Although initially


most of the writing was done by the teachers,


"groundwork" was present for spontaneous writing by the


children.

classroom,


In order to define the writing policy of the ESL

the researcher visited this class for a two week


period in the fall of 1983,


the writing,


and observed and inventoried


writing products and writing-related events


that occurred in the classroom.


observations,


Based on these


the researcher selected this classroom as


having the greatest potential for children who would begin

writing during the course of the school year and would be

given opportunities to write on their own in a social

interaction setting.

Subject Selection


In this ESL program,


30 children who were Spanish


speakers were observed for the initial


weeks of the


study.


this group,


five were selected who met the


criteria established:


(1) the child was making the


.Li^ -- *J 2-: - 1 0 C. t -









classes.


This study focused on emergent writers and their


views of writing.


The kindergarteners observed were not


yet writing and were,


therefore,


not selected.


The older


children in grades four and five who were well established


writers,


therefore,


failed to meet the criteria for


selection.


A more in-depth description of the subjects


will be presented in chapter


The Setting


Entry to the Site


In this classroom,


there were two teachers--a full


time head teacher and a 3/4-time teacher.


These


teachers


shared equal numbers of students who came


to ESL class in


grade level groups


the first graders at 9:1


, the kindergarteners at


etc.).


Each group


consisted of five to seven children.


Because


the head


teacher spoke Spanish,


speaking children;


however,


taught most of the Spanish-

once children became fluent in


English they were assigned to either teacher.


The teachers


often combined their groups when an activity was appro-


private for a larger group


the children were accustomed


to working with either teacher or both teachers.


In this


study,


the researcher made it a policy to


ta*mharsz in in3nr ir iouct


fnr\ rl rnmnA inPnrmm


include both

1 c1hn iirod 4t- ki


8:50 a.m.;


a.m.,









Once the classroom was selected,


the researcher met


with both teachers to discuss the study and plan a schedule


of observations which would begin in the spring.


statement of the goals of the research project and sample


letters of consent for parents


(in Spanish and English)


were shared with both teachers


see


appendix B and C).


specifics of observation were not discussed in order to


avoid influencing teacher behavior.


The discussion was


aimed at what the researcher would do in the classroom (see


appendix B).

researcher,


In an attempt to clarify the role of

the researcher explained that she would be


taking notes and trying to get verbatim statements of


children.


The possibility of some audio and video taped


sessions was discussed.


The teachers suggested that school


personnel would be helpful and related that they used the

video tape machine in several of their instructional


units.

access


The teachers were assured that they would have full

to the product of the research and that their


anonymity


as well


the children'


would be protected.


Both teachers enthusiastically welcomed the researcher.

They assured the researcher that she could visit the


classroom at anytime,


scheduled or unscheduled.


On the


same day,


the head teacher,


Mrs.


summer,


introduced the


ressnrnh=nr tn thr nrn n nl wthnm


cha I '- t l hhn lA 4ar-1









study in his school.


The principal stated that he had had


many such requests for research studies and that he

disagreed with the demands some researchers made on


teachers.


The principal indicated,


however,


that since his


teachers were willing to participate he would approve the

project and hoped that the results would be shared with the


teachers.


The principal al


stated that final approval


must come from the district office before the study could

begin.


Following the winter holidays,


the official paperwork


was filed with the school district central office and a

description of the proposed study and letters of consent

were submitted to the University of Florida's Committee for


the Protection of Human Subjects.


By the end of January,


the project was approved by the director of research for

the county schools and by the university committee.

Written parental consent was obtained from the parents of


each subject


well


teachers


(appendix D).


The researcher then met with the teachers and arranged

an observation schedule even though she had already been


granted observations at any time.


The researcher began


with four 45-minute periods which contained Spanish


speaking


students who ranged in


from five to eleven


-- -- 1L .I -





57



would visit the classroom an average of 10 hours per week


from February through May.

more data were needed, the


The teacher suggested that if


researcher could follow many of


the subjects through a summer program which would be held


for a


week period at the beginning of the summer.


teacher suggested also that she send the letters of


consent


to the parents and,


when returned,


she would return them to


the researcher. The first day of observation was scheduled

for February 1, 1984.

Description of the Site-Classroom


This study was conducted in a public elementary school

in a southeastern city with a population of approximately


150,000.


The school was one of two schools in a district


where bilingual children were bussed daily for full-day


programs which include regular class instruction,


bilingual classes.


ESL,


The surrounding suburban neighborhood


was characterized as lower to


student population of this


lower middle class.


member school was 350


per cent black and 70 per cent white and represented

families from both middle and lower socioeconomic groups.

The middle class children mainly were children of parent-


students who attend a nearby university and,


therefore,


res


ided in university family housing.


The subjects in the


n r r\ yan4- cr1-n T n n CFtn 1 A t -. I 1 -l an .n -^ .3


A- t* -; ,- .- L 0- - -









In the school,


there were four classrooms for each


grade, kindergarten through fifth grade.


Ancillary classes


with special rooms included a media center--library with


over 11,939 volumes,


music room,


testing and diagnosis


room,


special education room,


cafeteria-auditorium,


and two


bilingual classrooms.


Ancillary teachers on the faculty


included a curriculum specialist,


varying exceptionalities


guidance counselor,


specialist, four bilingual ESL teachers,

education teacher. One half-time art te


music teacher,


media


and physical


*acher and a half-


time speech therapist were available for most of the school


year.


Art instruction was offered for half of the school


year.


The classroom studied was known by the children as

"bilingual class" but was termed the ESL room by adults.


The room was a large classroom,


formerly a fourth-grade


classroom.


One entrance was used,


although two front doors


faced the hallway which led outdoors and to the library.


Figure 1


shows the rather atypical


classroom arrangement,


which allowed much room for movement and small group


activities.


Chalkboards lined two walls of the


assroom


which formed the directed teaching areas.


On the third


wall were individual stora


"cubbi


es" which were rarely


iinnri hv nh lriran


'V kn ni h Vtr k Tj 11 a, n 1 a tr4 ^ t n r I


teacher,


















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sjatsea1


--s8aT qqn


ur


Y










Separating the


"cubbies" from the rest of the room was a


long shelving unit which had some teacher closets at one

end and then a series of low drawers covered by a working


counter top where all art supplies were housed.


At the end


of this unit near the sink was one teacher filing cabinet


and a desk which the


teachers used for plan books,


record


keeping,


pencils,


and mainly teaching supplies.


The desk


was not typically used by the teachers during the time of


this study although many notes,


papers,


or important


pictures were often retrieved from it.

The center of the room had six work areas with tables


various shapes and chairs of different


sizes.


Children


chose their


seats


based on friendships and were rarely


asked to move somewhere else unless a change of activity


occurred


.e.,


switching from a directed lesson at


chalkboard to an art area for an art activity).


learning-center areas were roughly


computer center,


center,


classified


two directed-teaching centers,


listening center, and book table.


follows:


arts


two semi-


circular tables were used primarily by the two teachers


when the children arrived for their ESL time.


The ESL time


was a 45-minute period daily.


Directed language,


writing,


or reading lessons were conducted at these centers.


i i -_---,-- -_










assistance


beginning.


Children frequently


elected


work


area.


Most


work was


done


independently,


though


occasionally


teacher


or aide


gave


ass


instance.


listening


center,


there


were


typical


activity


es--a


case


/book


language


master,


which


were


used frequently


practice


new


vocabulary


words,


sentence,


other


teacher-prepared materials.


book


table


was a


small


round


table


with


small


chair


near


windows.


This


center


was


chosen


most


frequently


children.


They worked


twos,


enjoying


sharing


book


or playing a


game.


A selection


books


games


was


available


along


window


ledge


use


book


center.


occasionally,


this


reading/game


table


became


writing


desk


child


wrote


independently


separating


himself


from


other


center


areas.


Research Methods


and Procedures


Overview


research


reported


here


was


an ethnographic


investigation


bilingual


description


composing


children.


product


analysis


these


behaviors


five


research


composing


young


was


behaviors


views


writing


these


five


children.


1


-t S


r4rr It 'nf Vt r- fl fl '% tfl V% t fl r' .N( fl tr Nfl P %n I S


+-L-t n^s 'YI ^n / ^


Tn yn r"^ m <^ ir- '


n*.1


I 'I





62



data collection techniques were used to gather the data.


Data analysis was ongoing


the field note record was made


and throughout the analysis-of-data phase,


which comprised


the four-month study and the final analysis phase.


This


section describes the methods used in the study and

includes research procedures and methodological issues.

Data Collection


The composing behaviors of young bilingual children


are difficult to ascertain.


Numbers of observations of a


specific behavior were made before a particular behavior


was viewed


occurrence.


significant in terms of frequency of


The data clustered around a particular


behavior that was seen as a recurrent pattern.


Many hours


observation may yield few behaviors related to composing


in a

report


classroom where the main focus, acco

t, is the development of oral-langua


rding to teacher


skills in a


second language.


analytic


Special data gathering techniques and


methods were required to organize the data


collected into understandable segments which would describe


the composing process


as well


as capture the perspectives


or views of writing of these five subjects.


Spradley


(1980)


research model was used in this


study.


His ethnographic research model was chosen because


4i4- in,%aI IAOA 4-k. r v^r r.;P rR na -.4-4; 11a44n


,, ^ 1 I j<^ : ^ -1- n AU J^ ^k*A






65field nots which were transcribed onto



field notes which were transcribed onto orotocols.


Protocols were records of 145 hour


in the classroom.


s of direct observations


Two additional data sources were


records of formal and informal interviews with teachers and


students and


(2) unobtrusive measures which aided in the


discovery of the composing behaviors and participant-


perspectives.


These three data collection strategies are


described in the following section:


participant-


observation,


interviewing,


and unobtrusive measures.


Participant-observation.


The researcher used


participant-observation


collection in this study.


the main tool for data

Participant-observation is most


often associated with the field of anthropology.


This


method has been used successfully by sociologists and


educational researchers who


are


attempting to construct the


social meaning of a given situation.


According to Schwartz


and Jacobs


(1979),


participant-observation is the principal


tool of the qualitative naturalistic method.


This method


requires the researcher to assume a role in the situation


observed.


The researcher may or may not play an active


role but attempts to


"see


" the subjects and the context as


the participants perceive the situation;


in other words,


understand the given situation from the participants'


point


_ .. .. b33 .. .. _1 __ r 1 l T I I 1 1 I i









acts mean to them at the time"


(Schwartz & Jacobs,


1979:


p. 8).

Participant-observation was used in this study to


describe the setting,


teachers,


the students,


and the


interactions within this context.


tion are described by Schwartz and Jacobs


unknown observer and the known observer.


Two levels of participa-


(1979):


The unknown


observer "undertakes to study a


Soc


ial situation that he is


or is becoming an integral part of"


(Schwartz & Jacobs,


The known observer


s role is detached,


distant,


has limited involvement.


The level of participation in


this study compares with the known observer


cipant-observation.


level of parti-


strategy insured the investigator


was less likely to take for granted the subject's knowledge

because he/she was an outsider and was discovering the

relevant information in the setting under study.


In this study


, the researcher assumed the role of a


"note taker" which is similar to the


"known observer"


described by Schwartz and Jacobs


(1979).


The teachers were


aware of the researcher


s presence,


were


the children,


who were told that the researcher was collecting note


about what bilingual


children do in ESL classrooms.


level of participant-observation for this study,


r~ipgri l h A hxr qnrAlb at?


(1 i "n


I.t c n nr r ce ,. rr 4 a 4 n n IA 4


I





o5



present at the scene of action but does not participate or


interact with other people to any great extent;


if the


passive participant occupies any role in the social


situation,


it will only be that of bystander,


spectator,


loiterer"


(1980:


54).


In this study,


the researcher


usually sat away from the group taking written notes.


Initially,


she rarely spoke with the children and attempted


to be nonreactive to requests for information or help with


assignments.


Later in the study,


the researcher asked


questions of the children and their written products in


order to understand their writing behaviors,


clarify speech


messages, and gain insights about their perceptions of


writing.


Taking written notes often was done


in Spanish


and questions were sometimes asked of subjects for


clarification.


Interviewing with students and teachers


will be discussed in detail in a subsequent section.

After the initial observations of daily classroom life


were made,


the researcher began to focus on the writing-


related activities and written artifacts.


stages of the study,


however,


In the beginning


few writing sessions were observed;


teachers wrote daily in front of the children and


these observations helped greatly in the final analysis

they formed the sections on teacher practices which


affected the comoosin a behaviors of children.


Wri tins









attended ESL class for 45-minute periods,


three of the


subjects were observed with one teacher first and were


followed by the next group of five children,


two of whom


were subjects in the study.

The researcher as well as the participating teachers

became concerned about the quantity of writing that


children were producing without teacher direction.


following excerpt from the field note record demonstrated

this concern:


Researcher:


Mrs. Summer:

Researcher:


(I arrived late and let the teachers
know I will be .attending the
International Dinner that night.)


what are you bringing to eat?


Arroz con polio!
rice].


[chicken with


Mrs. Summer:


Researcher:

Mrs. Summer:


that sounds great.


Sharen,


been meaning to talk to you about
the last few classes.


I've


Um hum.

They really aren't writing very much
lately. I feel so bad. I wish we


had more time.


summer
Mrs.


Maybe during the


(In an earlier observation,


Summer informed me that many of


these subjects would be attending
summer school.)

After a discussion with the researcher's committee members,

it was decided that some suggestions which might generate


more


independent writing by these children could be shared


r?






67



their students a one phrase message meaningful for the


individual child.


This planned addition to the curriculum


took place in the final


three weeks of the study.


Daily


notes were written and the children responded by writing or


drawing "messages" back to the teachers.


An increase in


the frequency and quality of writing was observed during


this period of the study.


These findings are presented in


chapter V.


The researcher made a total of 47 observations to the

ESL classroom which involved 145 hours of classroom time.


The days of the week varied although observations were


fairly evenly distributed over all


the days of the week


during the hours of 9:00 a.m.


to 11:50 a.m.


which accounted


for the two ESL times in which these five subjects attended


ESL.


The researcher


left the classroom each day at lunch


time and would informally schedule the next day of

observation with the teachers.


Observer impact--Unobtrusive measures.


Participant-


observation without regard to the level of participation


influences normal


classroom life.


As previously mentioned,


the teachers in this study were sensitive to the


rese


archer's study when they both stated they "wished more


writing was occurring."


The teachers'


educational


a~~~~~~~~~ ,jr a ..L..-t -- 1


4*\n ^rr\f^ T ^^^\^^/


r





68


familiarity with classroom scheduling and procedures also

may have reduced observer impact.

According to descriptions by several ethnographers,

unobtrusive measures are any data which remove the observer

from the interactional scene or context under study


(Denzin,


1978; Schwartz & Jacobs,


1979;


Wolcott,


1976).


These measures are items such


teacher-made materials,


student documents like cumulative files,


and children's


school work like the writing samples collected in the


present study.


The collection of these types of data


attempts to minimize the possibility that the researcher's


presence "may change the world being examined"


(Schwartz &


Jacobs,


1979:


75).


Unobtrusive data were collected in this study from the


first visit to the school


research site.


through the last day at the


Some of these data included results of


students'

semester w


ESL testing records, lesson

ork, writing samples of all


plan outlines for the

the ESL students


observed,


teacher-made artifacts related to writing,


newsletters from the bilingual classes,

artifacts found in the ESL classroom.


and photographs of

These data provided


information which would complete descriptions of teachers


and students and their writing processes.


Additionally,


4-Ckr-n n3 -+ / T n *K n ,rk U^ -- -. __ '^ _-l_ l -










Informal and formal interviewing.


In this study,


informal and formal interviews were held and recorded.

Informal interviews were written into the field note


record.


Formal interviews were preplanned and scheduled


with teachers and were audiotaped for future transcrip-


tion.


These formal interviews were conducted in the nearby


library office with individual children and were planned in


advance with the teachers.


The researcher used as a guide


Spradley's description which stated that an informal


"interview occurs whenever you


someone a question


during the course of participant-observation"


(1980:


123).


The formal interview,


however,


resulted from a


specific request by the researcher to hold the interview.

Preplanned-questions were used to guide the interviews.

These open-ended questions were used to elicit other


questions or comments from the interviewee.


For example,


the following interview questions were asked of the five

subjects in this study:

1. What do you do in bilingual class?

2. Tell me what it is you like about English class?

What you don't like?


Tell me,


do you know how people learn to write?


Do you ever write?


Do you like


to write?


1 T-T1 *













volunteered,


"My father writes and my mother writes.


father writes about plants and poison plants.


researcher had asked what do you write at home?


The

The nature


these interviews was conversational and guided by the


questions and by the response


Some of the interviews lasted 4


of individual children.


minutes and with other


less verbal children shorter interviews were recorded.

guided questions used by the researcher in student and


teacher interviews may be found in appendi


ces


F and G.


The accuracy of interview data was judged by comparing

what interviewees said about writing and what they were

observed doing while writing during observation sessions.


Becker and Geer


(1970) emphasized the importance of


comparing observed behavior and verbal accounts.


Although


the main data gathering technique employed in this study


was participant-observation,


the interviews provided


additional data to confirm emergent hypotheses about


composing behaviors and views of writing.


Much of the


interviewing was informal and functioned to focus on

discrepancies between verbal reports and observed


behaviors.


For example


, in initial interviews,


teachers


indicated that invented spellings were acceptable.


observations, however,


During


teachers were observed correcting


S_ a 1-__- A 1_ .


TT_--









invented spellings.


In this example,


the impact of


interviewing was seen. The t

aware of the practice because


teachers were probably more

the researcher focused on


their practi


ces


regarding spelling


errors.


This effect was


unavoidable if interviews were held to supplement

observational data.

A further check on the validity of teacher interviews

was the assurance by the researcher that all data collected

were confidential and that their anonymity was protected.

The relationship between teachers and researcher was judged


to be one of mutual tru

accepted the researcher


st and both teachers readily


plan for interview during the


study.


Neither of the teachers


expressed concern over the


interviews conducted with the children.

Analysis of the Data


The data collected through observations,


interviews


and unobtrusive measures focused on the writing-related


behaviors,


speech messages,


and written products of the


children in one ESL classroom.


The major portion of the


data was handwritten and then typed onto protocol sheets


for analysis.


Written records from the study included


field notes,


transcribed interviews,


and a researcher


journal.
if I n $b 4 1r A a 4- -~ a a a A ,-. nrr ar a ,n 4. sq -4 A 1-. a arr









period,


attempting to capture verbatim statements by the


children and teachers.


In the initial stages of the study,


all activities were observed and recorded.


progressed,


As the study


observations focused on writing events only and


only the five subjects and their interactions with one


another and their teachers.


Following the observation,


field notes were "filled in" with longer more explanatory

statements which described the scene for that day more


fully.


The researcher attempted to keep verbatim


statements in quotes for


later use


as examples.


This


procedure follows the one described by Spradley


(1980) for


expanding field note accounts.


This


"expanded account" was


then typed onto more formal protocols which were dated and


numbered by


line and page.


Comments and questions which


arose from daily observations were recorded in the

researcher's diary on each day of observation.


Examples of written work,


writing samples,


letters


written to parents were collected or kept in that


particular day's field note record.


Crucial


to this study


was an accurate and dated record of writing samples,

because many children wrote notes to each other and to


their teachers.


These notes were often photocopied by


teachers,


dated,


and saved for the researcher.


In order to


understand the dialon in writing hotwoPn thh students and





73


student-generated samples were hand copied by the


researcher,


because


the written message was to be taken


home or to another class and reproduction was not possible.


Formal interview data were


transcribed from the


audiotapes onto protocol forms and became part of the field


note record labeled "interview data.


The final written record


collected was the


researcher's diary.


In this study,


the researcher wrote


the following for


each day of observation:


the date,


time,


group observed,

questions or hun


activity observed, F

ches about the data,


peoplee present,

to-do notes for the


next scheduled observation.


written down were any new


elements or people who might have become important at a


later date.


Questions or problems about the research


itself were also recorded along with the results of several


conferences with the researcher


s advisor or committee


members.

The data analysis was an ongoing process which

incorporated the written data sources discussed


previously.


The Spradley (1980) DRS model was selected to


guide the data collection and analysis pro


cedures in this


study.


The Spradley model is an ethnographi


research


model which is cyclic in nature.


In this methodology,


r.1w.C AAf ..a nj- n.na r. L .-t.. I .3 I_ V i


rnQa f Qr









collected,


they are analyzed and more focused observations


can then follow.


The researcher'


s task in analyzing these


data could be described as putting together a mosaic. The

data must be searched systematically to order and make the


data understandable.


Bogdan and Biklen described this


process


"working with (the) data,


organizing it,


breaking it into manageable units,


searching for patterns,


synthesizing it,


discovering what is important and


what is to be learned and deciding what you will


tell


others"


(1982,


145).


This process of data analysis


s was


ongoing and consisted of four stages.


Each phrase of the


analysis related to the types of questions the researcher


asked and the focus of the observations.


questioning,


This cycle of


collecting, and analyzing was repeated


throughout the study.


Domain analysis


The four phases of analysis were

: The researcher found categories


of meaning from the field note records.


These


categories were formed by reading the protocols

with specific questions in mind to sort the data.


Spradley


(1983 )


identified these questions


specifically


as kinds of things observed, kinds of


places observed, kinds of parts, kinds of


results


of things,


kinds of reasons for things,


kinds of


- -- S 1 4


n ...






75



Examples of early domains were kinds of written


products and kinds of statements.


This was a


sorting process which uncovered the categories of

composing within the context studied.


Taxonomic


analysis:


The next step in the analysis


expanded the data by further analysis of the


domains to


see


how they were organized.


The goal


of taxonomi


c analysis is organization of the


domains as they relate to one another.


example,


the cultural domain kinds of statements


about writing was a large domain which was divided


into teacher statements and student statements.


building the taxonomy,

defined by more levels


these levels were further


translation


statements,

statements


statements


positive statements,


direction


("You write it this way!"),


like to write


and social


to my cousin in


Colombia).


scenes


In developing the taxonomies,


(domains) were filled in further and


interrelated.


Componential analysis:


The third level of analysis


brought the subject


s into focus


the meanings or attributes they


it considered


ass


signed to the


- - 1. 1 --. -













meaning for this particular setting.


For example,


confirmation questions were a type of teacher-


student question in this classroom.


Certain


characteristics which defined this type of question


were seen


components for student-teacher


interactions.


Theme analysis:


The final level of analysis sought


to chart the more global or broader issues within


the context being investigated.


After identifying


the parts of the


scene


(domains,


taxonomies


components),


this level of analysis tied together


the elements of the


scene


which were recurrent.


cultural-theme pattern or recurrent generality

emerged over several domains and could be used to


describe or make


sense


of the whole context in this


study--the context of writing.


The DRS model utilized in this study


researcher a strategy which was


gave
0-y


stematic and organized.


The data were analyzed to identify the composing behaviors


and the writing events which related to the children


views of writing.


Further analysis revealed other


variables which had an impact on


these composing behaviors


and views of writing.


The strategy of


data collection and


- 2 .. -I ^_ 1 1 1 i








1~










sections:


(1) researcher bias and qualifications and (2)


validity of findings.

Methodological Issues


The effects of the researcher in a naturalistic


setting must be addressed


findings are presented.


Bogdan and Biklen


(1982) stated,


the researcher is the key


instrument in qualitative research.


The issues which


appeared crucial in the present study were researcher


qualifications,


background,


bias,


and the validity of


findings.


Researcher qualification and biases.


In qualitative


research,


the methods of data collection are dependent upon


the participant-observer--the researcher.


A discussion of


the factors which may affect the results of the study


because of the researcher's presence is necessary.


This


section discusses qualifications of the researcher and

potential areas of bias and the attempts made in this study

to control for these areas.


Ross


(1979) classified the essential characteristics


for a qualitative researcher


researcher


into two categories:


s knowledge of the research techniques,


resea


rcher


s knowledge of and sensitivity to classrooms.


Ross


(1979) stated that experience in the classroom,


- -Is---- A.~.. ..~ S -


tl









follow:


The researcher was a classroom teacher in a large

urban school district for five years in elementary


education,


in grades one through four and worked


directly with children from Mexican-American and

Pima Indian backgrounds.


The researcher earned an M.A.


in special education


with specialization in learning disabilities and

educational diagnosis.


The researcher worked


an educational


diagnostician for five years in a Spanish-speaking


country,


where in addition to United States


children other children from multilingual-

multicultural backgrounds were schooled.

The researcher was responsible for writing


descriptive


case


studies for children across three


elementary schools in the above mentioned system


well


as making observations of teachers and


students in their classrooms for diagnostic

purposes.

The essential qualifications for an ethnographer


delineated by Wolcott


(1976)


serve the qualitative


researcher equally well.


Wolcott discussed the importance


nf +ka Ir 1 0AM- I a A -P 4-linr nrl nn nl nn n 4n n 14 4 n n I-n









and perceptive observation,


personal stability and


flexibility,


and the skill


of a storyteller and writer


(1976:


p. 28).


Criteria for doing the ethnography of


schooling in regard to Wolcott's definitions would include

(1) extensive reading in cultural anthropology; (2)

developing the skills of micro-ethnography focusing on


educationally relevant events;


topics in ethnography.

researcher are presented


(3) studying standard


The following experiences of this


related to Wolcott's criteria:


The researcher received her B.A.


in cultural


anthropology and minored in Spanish and is

bilingual.


The researcher has completed coursework for a Ph.D.


in curriculum and instruction including coursework


in early childhood,


bilingual education and


educational administration.


Reading and writing


courses have been a special interest for her.

Extensive reading has been completed in these areas

as evidenced by the references listed in the

reference section.

The researcher has taken two courses which provided

the knowledge and theoretical background for


qualitative research.


Extensive reading apart from


4"nn IAIY n rt L- ?- ^ ^1 T- II -l -i i* *










the qualitative studies of others working i

area, writing and the language arts.

The researcher has completed a pilot study,


qualitative methods,


.n the


using


which was written for


presentation at a regional conference.

The researcher may have met the criteria for

conducting qualitative research suggested by Wolcott and

yet must clearly delineate the values or assumptions she


personally brings to this research study.


In this study,


data which confirmed researcher incoming biases were


questioned.


The researcher searched for negative examples


I
of emergent findings especially in regard to conclusions


which corroborated researcher beliefs.


For example,


when


the writing curriculum was altered in the final stages of


research,


the increase in frequency and quality of response


was methodically questioned since this finding matched a


researcher bias.


The biases of the researcher may indeed


have effects on the outcomes of the research.


deal with this,


to thi


In order to


the following list of beliefs in relation


s research presents an awareness to the reader by


which the findings of the study may be


eva


luated--the


researcher:


supports the
. |- *


teaching of bilingual


children in


" .





81



rich in child-centered meaning-based activities and

not formulaic models of discourse or sequences of

isolated writing skills,


approaches children'


written language meaningful


.pts to make oral and

as a constructive and


interactive process which must be nurtured by

adults--teachers and parents--in supportive and

nondidactic ways,

believes that the teaching and learning of writing

are influenced by the actions of others--both peers

and adults--as well as numerous other variables


such as


individual differences,


personality,


oral


language development,


and ability,


assumes a symbolic-interactionist perspective which


defines writing and children's views of writing

products of the interactions of individuals in

various contexts.


Validity measures.


Some of the measures taken to


insure validity of this study have been discussed above.


Validity is a central issue for qualitative research.


the findings of the study represent


reality


it was


observed and do the categories devised by the researcher

correspond with those occurring in the classroom context


,L %r A r 1 i J 1-. L f -s *i i


Sr\ r nr \


1 nnnn 11 ^^ ri */- j>* i-









for negative examples of hypothesized behaviors,


discussion of findings with study participants.


The long


period of time,


or what Spindler


(1982) termed "prolonged


and repetitive observation time,


" for data collection


allowed the researcher to become familiar with the


classroom scene and the participants.


The numbers of times


a single composing behavior was exhibited by one subject

and across subjects gave evidence for its inclusion as a

valid finding of the study.


The use of participant-observation,


interviewing,


unobtrusive measures allowed for triangulation or corro-


boration of


these measures,


confirmation of the composing


behaviors and the perspectives of the participants.


researcher checked the


three data sour


ces


for evidence of


a reported finding:


(1) observation by the researcher,


statements by the child or his/her teacher,


samples or school document.


congruent,


(3) writing


If these data sources were


the researcher was satisfied that the finding


was


substantiated.


(1970),


Another procedure discussed by Becker


and employed in this study,


was searching the data


for antithetical examples of the findings.


For example,


a particular composing behavior appeared in the data,


researcher collected all instances of this behavior and


.+4"4*amn4+-n P4 r" AP w* ^ J


, L- 1 ^ -1 10 1









practice


searching


negative


examples


findings


was


used


each


findings


final


phases


analysis


A final


technique


establishing


validity


this

who


study was


were


sharing


participants


findings


study.


with


This


teachers


was


an ongoing


process


from


beginning


analysis


ages.


When a


particular


phenomenon


occurred


data,


researcher


questioned


teachers


feedback


their


interpretations


subject


composing


behaviors.


This


added


congruence


findings


final


conclusions.


following


chapters


subjects,


teachers,


findings


this


study


are


presented.

















DESCRIPTION


CHAPTER


SUBJECTS,


TEACHERS,


PRACTICES


Subjects


subjects


this


study


came


classroom


this


school


on a daily


basis.


children


selected


subjects


study


came


from


time


periods


this


classroom.


group


five


children


9:30


a.m.


with


head


teacher.


children


this


group


were


most


recent


arrivals


Unite


d States


spoke


Spani


Three


subjects


this


study


were


chosen


from

ESL


this

from


group.

10:30 a


second


i.m.-11 :1


group

a.m.


of five

These ch


children


ildren


varied


length


time


they


been


United Sta


also


language


iris


this


they


study,


spoke.


were


selected


two S

from


panish

this


speakers,

group.


Both groups


attended


this


classroom


a 45-


minute


period


daily.


this


study,


observational


data


were


recorded


on all


children


both


groups;


however,


study


focused


five


subjects


were


chosen


emergent


writers


making


transition


from Spani


attended






85



their ESL time and writing in English at various

developmental levels.


The Children


as Subjects


All of the five Hispanic children who are the subjects

of this study had recently arrived from Central and South

American countries and all had at least one parent who


attended a university


as a full-time student.


The five


children,


whom the researcher called for purposes of this


study, Jesus, Jose


, Marco,


Teresa and Yolanda,* knew no


English upon arrival according to observations,


interviews


with the children,


and teacher report.


The average length


of stay in the United States


reported by the teachers


was one year while the parents) completed coursework at


the university.


One of the original subjects,


however,


moved back to Venezuela during


spring holidays and the


researcher was gratified that she had designed the study to


include data on all Spanish speakers at the


initial


observation stages.


Planned observations began in February 1984,


and ended


May 51,


Jose was


1984.


When the study began,


years


the youngest subject


and in first grade.


Teresa and


Yolanda were both seven years old and in second grade.
-S


Jesus was


eight years old and in third grade.


The oldest






86



subject was Marco who had just turned 10 years old and was


in fourth grade.


Each of the subjects came to the ESL room


daily for a 45-minute instructional period during the


morning.


In the second grade group


the teacher went to


the children's regular classroom and escorted the children


to the ESL room.


From the other group,


the children


arrived daily at 9:50 a.m.


day.


and chose their seats for the


Brief descriptions in the following section provide a


sketch of each individual child.

The Subjects as Children


It must be noted that each child brought with him/her

a unique set of skills and abilities with which he or she


acquired a new


language.


Some of the factors which affect


this process are personality,


verbal interaction


strategies,


intelligence,


motivation,


first language


control,


social skills,


and general attitude toward


teacher


s and school


(Fillmore,


1976


Cummins,


1984).


following descriptions served to put into perspecti


individual differences which may have affected these


subjects'


acquisition of language and literacy.


Josg

arrival


Jose was


years old and the most recent


to the United States at the time the


study began.


He spoke often of his family and


"his country," Costa Rica,


-- -_ 1 1_I_ -


e






87



in class each day and announced that he had mail and wanted


to read it immediately.


Jose, not yet a reader, attempted


all of the words he recognized before asking his teachers


to "Please,


read!"


He was confident,


motivated,


friendly with his peers.


In a formal interview,


he related


he had lots of friends and he like to play with them after


school.


Jose rarely complained and most frequently was


excited about the daily plans in ESL class.

Jose's most outstanding characteristic was his


observation of everything.


In the classroom,


he seemed to


watch Mrs.


Summer


s every movement and tuned in to what


other children were saying and doing.


As a result,


even


though he knew no English,


he functioned


if he


understood most of what wa


going on and seemed not


dependent on the Spanish translations Mrs. Summer was
'S


willing to provide.


in class activity

on around him.


Jose was an enthusiastic participant


and cooperated with all projects going


On many occasions,


he was observed helping


teacher or other students with their work,


getting some material.


a drawing,


School was obviously very important


to Jose


, and he conscientiously asked for notes,


his unfinished work,


and brought in


took home


homeworkk" with which


his parents had helped him,


or took things to his


I -


I m -- -









a competitor.


Often, Jos6 was chosen


a buddy or asked a


friend to play a game with him.

Jose spoke very seldom in initial observations and


when he did his words were slow and heavily accented.


watched Mrs. Summer's every move and always sat near her


and listened attentively.


The first phrases noted were


totally in Spanish and often concerned something from or

about his parents.


Mi mama y pap4 quieren al feria y
la reunion pero no saben los


detalle


Puede poner o notar


tiempo en una nota.


[My mother and


father want to come to the fair and
the meeting but don't know the
details. Could you make a note
telling the time?]


(Mrs. Summer writes a note to his parents and
tells Jos0.)


Mrs.


Summer:


Aquf es
describe
Jose.
noche.


una nota a


e


tus padre


la reunion y el


Ojala que te veo
[Here is a note


tiempo,
esta


to your


parents telling about the meeting


and the time,


see


Jose.


you tonight.]


I hope I will


Jos4:


Gracias,
bye.]


adios.


[Thank you,


good-


As the study progressed, J


began to use one-word


sentences.


Throughout thi


s process,


Mrs.


Summer gave


lots


of encouragement and usually used Spanish followed by the


English translation


account revealed:


Jos4:










Mrs.


Summer:


There


more


green.


Jose:


Mrs.


Summer:


ready


tell


something?


Jose:


gusta


cuando


the
when


sacar


comprarlo.


newspaper out
we buy one.]


periodic


like
the h


take


older


Mrs.


Summer:


remember


gusta?


Jose:


like.


Mrs.


Summer:


Good!


remember


Look,


Jose,


like


newspaper


when


one.


ose


mainly


drew


pictures


occasionally wrote


name


them.


researcher


During


in early


formal


May,


said


interview


"didn't


with


know


write


draw


pictures.


When


asked


about


other


writing


pictures


said


in Costa


sent


Rica.


aunt


final


grandmother


weeks


study,


discovery was


Jose


now


pencil


made


coloring


Spend


rubbing


looks


Mrs.


hard


at Mr


Summer:


Jose.

his d


lots of
to make


could


Drawing with


time
the


summer


finis


something on
t, it helps
picture.


carefully


color


write


colored


:oloring
Then


s dark.


sus.


write


Whe
know


n you
about


write
the


Jose:


know,


know


to write.


ST --- --


* J


yet"


TA ,,,





m


t rf-


I