Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Lee Ann Townsend

Abstract

With the growing populations of English language learners (ELLs), many teachers are ill equipped to teach these students successfully. Specifically, educators are unsure of how to conduct conversations that are productive towards the curriculum, and benefit ELLs. Using a qualitative research method, this researcher conducted a literacy circle with three elementary students who are all ELLs, over the course of two weeks. This study was conducted to learn how conversation benefits ELLs in a literacy circle. Participants read, discussed and responded to written prompts in a literacy circle that was facilitated by the researcher who instilled prompts to structure the discussions that occurred. Observations, anecdotal notes, audio recordings and student writing samples were used to record data throughout this study. The findings suggest that structured conversations benefit ELL’s verbal speech as well as their written language. Furthermore, literacy circles develop learners’ critical thinking and practice valuable social skills as well.

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