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English Language Learners' Writing Behaviors During Literacy-Enriched Block Play
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While many researchers have explored the benefits of literacy-enriched play for monolingual English-speaking children, few have investigated English language learners’ (ELL) responses to this type of play. This thesis presents three groups of case studies documenting the writing behaviors of ELLs in their Kindergarten classrooms’ literacy-enriched block centers. The first and second studies detailed the writing behaviors of high-SES (at a private school) and low-SES (at a Title I public school) ELL students, while the third study compared and contrasted the actions of the high- and low- income students during literacy-enriched play. The types and frequencies of writing behaviors demonstrated by the participants were analyzed to determine how learning an additional language and socioeconomic status might have affected the participants’ responses to this type of literacy learning intervention. After examining field notes and photographs documenting the participants’ actions, writing samples they created, and frequencies of writing behaviors, it was determined that most of the high- and low-income ELL students benefited from literacy- enriched play, in that they engaged in writing behaviors and therefore were able to practice and experiment with writing in an informal, child-centered setting. However, the low-income participants engaged in writing behaviors much less frequently than the high-income students, and they also demonstrated less advanced writing behaviors. These results seemed to indicate the effects of poverty on young ELLs’ emergent writing development.
Snow, Marianne (2013). English Language Learners' Writing Behaviors During Literacy-Enriched Block Play. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from