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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55273
Doc. No:TL25227
Call number:‭3224640‬
Main Entry:Yildiz Turgut
Title & Author:Social construction of meaning by English language learners from different cultural backgroundsYildiz Turgut
College:University of Florida
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:229
Abstract:This qualitative study describes the meaning making process of English language learners with different cultural backgrounds during reading and writing activities based on a social constructionism theoretical framework. The data were collected through participant observations, interviews, archival documents and a feedback session. Six participants are from Venezuela, Honduras, Poland, Switzerland, South Korea and Japan. As a researcher, I was a participant with a Turkish cultural background. Through James Gee's macro and micro discourse analysis, the findings indicate that reading and writing discussions unite participants despite cultural and linguistics differences. Due to the culture, Asian participants' perception of classroom talk is to teach knowledge they are sure of whereas European and Hispanic participants consider it as a brainstorming tool that they learn together. Gradually, participants have constructed a group identity and served to the group through different roles. Towards the end of the study Asian participants became more talkative even on a topic considered taboo in their culture. Through reading the writing of other participants, awareness of an audience developed in their writing. Also, peer corrections and suggestions have been considered more meaningful and easier to remember compared to the teacher's corrections. Even though participants' previous experiences on English language learning were based on focus on form, through this study they both focused on form and meaning. The implications of this study indicate that teachers should be aware of the importance of learning students' cultural backgrounds. We can inform Asian participants about the multifarious purposes of having discussion, which include brainstorming and thinking together not simply replacing the teacher. Applying small-group activities might be used as a transition period for those learners to speak in class. Small-group activities help them to share their ideas with few members first and then to share and verbalize in front of the whole class. For teachers who do not use group activities (e.g., this teacher) and who might considered reading and writing activities as separate from conversation (e.g., this teacher), this study can provide a guide to help them understand and apply collaborative activities in their classroom. Researchers need to investigate in more detail where and when we should apply group work activities so that it will be more helpful to students' language learning during reading and writing. Through a longitude study the transition from the participants' second/foreign language acquisition to literacy development should be observed. This way the long term effects of group discussions on reading and writing can be better understood. More advanced research might evaluate different, non-traditional, classroom arrangements and the effect of these arrangements on student behavior as well as the overall learning process. This kind of research might provide information about the role of teachers and student training.
Subject:Education; Language, literature and linguistics; Cultural diversity; English as a second language; Language learners; Meaning construction; Social construction; Curricula; Teaching; Literacy; Reading instruction; Linguistics; Bilingual education; Multicultural education; 0282:Multicultural education; 0535:Literacy; 0290:Linguistics; 0535:Reading instruction; 0727:Curricula; 0727:Teaching; 0282:Bilingual education
Added Entry:D. Fu
Added Entry:University of Florida