Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gloria Park

Second Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth

Third Advisor

David I. Hanauer

Abstract

More commonly, English as an additional language (EAL) students are being taught writing by teachers from across the curriculum, yet these teachers have not been the subject of many studies. The few studies that have been done provide evidence that some writing across the curriculum (WAC) teachers felt they were not prepared to teach EAL students, and some teachers asked for assistance. However, more research needs to be done to understand the situation. For this reason, this study was conducted to investigate the sentiments of WAC faculty members teaching EAL students.

To conduct this mixed-method study, a survey questionnaire was sent to 240 WAC faculty members who teach at a single university. One hundred and twenty-two responded and 30 of them were interviewed. Results from the survey indicated that 59% of participants were knowledgeable about teaching EAL students, 52% had academic training to teach EAL students, 55% were positive or very positive about training to teach EAL students, and 71% were positive about receiving more training. In sum, this study presents evidence that the majority of WAC faculty participants had experience teaching EAL students and were interested in receiving training.

Qualitative findings give some indication of how WAC faculty perceived teaching EAL students and what training might benefit them. In general, some contextual factors affected if faculty members altered their pedagogies to accommodate EAL students. Some of these factors were academic, such as the field teachers worked in. Other factors were personal, such as teachers’ backgrounds. These factors and other study findings were used as a framework to start to build relevant training and other assistance that might be suitable for WAC faculty teaching EAL students.

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