Effects of Adapted Self-Regulated Strategy Development and Focused Vocabulary Instruction for Second Language Adolescents

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Fields, Robin Stacy
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Middle Tennessee State University
Writing is a skill that has increased in significance for both researchers and classroom teachers due to changes in recent standards. Currently, many high school English Language Learners (ELLs) are struggling to master this priority skill. A strategy that has been shown to be effective for adolescent writers is Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). Although this strategy has been researched with a variety of populations, it has yet to be studied in ELL high school students. An additional effective practice for ELL older student writers is providing feedback during the writing process. However, the most effective method of instruction is uncertain. This study sought to investigate the effectiveness of an adapted SRSD method as compared to business as usual method on quality and accuracy measures among ELL adolescents. This study used an experimental, randomized control design using both researcher created and standardized measures. Results indicated that students in the treatment group statistically significantly improved over the business as usual control group on all quality measures. For accuracy (i.e., grammar, punctuation, sentence level errors), a small effect (g = 0.35) was reported when using researcher created near-transfer measures. Educators have several concerns when teaching ELL adolescents, but two main issues are the lack of time between students entering school and graduation and the ability to teach students the complex skill of writing in a second language. Therefore, results suggesting an improvement in writing quality using adapted SRSD in a short period of time is promising. However, research will need to continue to be conducted to identify the most effective accuracy level (i.e., grammar, punctuation, sentence level error) for this diverse population.