Analyzing the preparation of second language writing teachers: A grounded theory approach

2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

This qualitative study aims at understanding how current student-teachers enrolled in MATESOL and its related fields programs are being prepared to teach college-level second language writing. Data collected for this study included course syllabi, member check questionnaires, Conference on College Composition and Communication's (CCCC) position statement, and expert interviews. The research questions are: (1) How are graduate level student-teachers enrolled in teaching second language writing courses being prepared to teach college-level second language composition? (2) What do researchers in the field of second language writing claim as the most important elements when preparing future second language composition instructors? (3) To what degree are teacher-educators implementing second language writing researchers' perceptions about these elements in their teaching of second language writing classes?

From the 161 institutions across the U.S. that offered a degree in MATESOL and its related fields, 38 were found to offer a course on second language writing instruction. Applying grounded theory approach, syllabi from some of these courses were collected and analyzed using open coding. The process of continually collecting and analyzing data is an essential part of developing the grounded narrative. This involved collecting a new sample in order to establish theoretical saturation, which involved examining the 49 teaching second language reading and writing courses. When theoretical saturation of the nine open codes was reached, the researcher used axial coding to detect the relationships between categories. Selective coding helped determine the core category for developing the theoretical narrative. Member checks were employed to obtain feedback from the instructors regarding the narrative. CCCC's position statement concerning second language writers and their texts was also analyzed to ensure triangulation of findings.

The researcher interviewed two experts in the field of second language writing. Thirteen themes emerged from the interviews, which were later aligned with the course syllabi and CCCC's position statement. The findings reveal that second language writing teacher-educators were well-informed with the research regarding ESL composition and had broad experience in the ESL classroom. The theoretical narrative offers evidence that teacher-educators are aware that socialization into a new field involves taking on a new Discourse. Still, the researcher recommends that the subject of second language writing instruction be included in other classes in a second language teacher education program. This study offers insight into what is happening in these L2 writing/ reading and writing instruction courses.

Indexing (details)

English as a Second Language;
Teacher education;
Qualitative research;
Second language learning;
Grounded theory;
Writing teachers
0441: English as a Second Language
0530: Teacher education
Identifier / keyword
Education; L2 composition; MATESOL; Second language; Teacher preparation; Writing teachers
Analyzing the preparation of second language writing teachers: A grounded theory approach
Nihlawi, Amina M. B.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Lincoln, Felicia
University of Arkansas
University location
United States -- Arkansas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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