Author: Sepideh Yasrebi
Abstract: This single-subject study, aims at tracing English as a New Language (ENL) learners’ attempts in articulating their thoughts in syntactically, semantically and pragmatically mature ways in their L2 writings. While most studies in SLA have explored syntactic maturity developments among native speakers, the current study claims that all three (syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic) elements of language use are equally important. This study seeks to explore two main research questions: (1) To what extent does the implementation of the narrative form in creating writing tasks constitute a change in language use maturity index of the ENL adult learners in diagnostic phases? (2) What general semantic, syntactic and pragmatic patterns emerge during each phase? A non-concurrent multiple-baseline design (MBD) is employed to examine the results of narrative-based assessments on language use maturity index of ENL adult learners. Four ENL adult learners with a mean score of 6 in their IELTS writing skill were selected to complete the writing tasks during the baseline and the three treatment phases. Overall 56 written tasks were collected from all the participants. Visual analyses were conducted, along with estimated effect sizes using quantitative methods at both the individual level and across cases. Visual analyses revealed evidence for a functional relationship between the narrative-based assessment tool and the ENLs’ language use maturity index. Quantitatively, very large effects were noted for all the participants. Anecdotal evidence suggested that narrative as a linguistic form negates any merely unilateral (either bottom-up or top-down), fragmentary approach, but rather foregrounds the necessity for both vertical and horizontal movements, both syntagmatic and paradigmatic, both retrospective and anticipatory, both subjective and objective relations and finally both the registers of form and content in language use. We suggest that these grammatical aspects of dialogue are inescapably intertwined with literary style of narrative. Movement (development), then, rather than stasis, time rather than space, knowledge rather than information constitutes some aspects of the modality of narrative, and it is in this sense that this last must be understood as our optimum pedagogical form. Implementing narratives in classrooms can make for a culturally responsive pedagogy and it should be practiced and promoted in K-12 classrooms. Results suggest that the strategy has potential to improve the language use maturity index with ENL learners.
Keywords: English as a New Language (ENL), Syntactic Maturity, Semantic Maturity, Pragmatic Maturity, Language Use Maturity Index, Multiple-Baseline Design (MBD)
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International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), June 2019, Vol.6, No.1