AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics


by Maria Houston

Institution: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Year: 2015
Keywords: book construction ; Composition ; multilingual ; narrative ; second language ; writer development
Record ID: 2058226
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2069/2284


This study explores the experiences of multilingual writers in an Intensive English Institute (IEI), English for Academic Purposes Program (EAP), composing short personal-narrative-based books. The short books consist of three components: a narrative chapter, a research chapter, and a foreword composed by a peer. The short book writing pedagogy, borrowed from the work of Dr. Claude Hurlbert and adapted to the EAP context, allows multilingual writers to compose work that is centered around their lives. This study is a practical application of post-method (Kumaravadivelu, 2006) to the EAP context. It demonstrates that when students are taught to engage, and not comply with many of the conventions of writing in English, they develop a wide repertoire of means and ways of self-expression in English, confidence as writers, and a passion for writing, which has meaning beyond a class. The following research questions are answered in this study: 1. What were multilingual students' experiences constructing short books in an EAP writing course? 1.1. How did the students perceive the impact of personal-narrative-based short book writing pedagogy on their writing in English? 1.2. In what ways did short book construction process impact the EAP students' development as writers? The study shows that the short book writing pedagogy impacted EAP students in a number of ways. It positively impacted their attitudes to composing in English, academic lives, personal lives, confidence to compose in English, motivation to write, and writing in English. In addition, all the 13 study participants perceived to have evolved as writers in the course of the academic semester when constructing short books. Twelve participants also indicated that peer readings, freewriting, and whole class discussions about composing made them feel as writers and authors. This dissertation demonstrates the underexplored potential of multilingual writers as users of and writers in English. It provides the fields of Second Language Writing and Composition with insight into writing practices of multilingual learners and how they can transform and enrich both multilingual and mixed (monolingual and multilingual) composition classrooms.