Essay: Final Project Analysis of Student Work Samples

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ELL Analysis

English language learning students within the United States face a challenge when entering the classroom. Unlike other students who already know English and are simply expected to write, ELL students are still expected to write the assignment, but barely grasp the language (Hill, 2009). To make matters even more complicated, ELL students acquire the language very differently than native speakers. Remarkably, even with such pressure, most ELL children learn the language at a proficient level very quickly and are able to adapt. This transition is best seen in the student's completed work.

Student one is most likely a middle school aged ELL student. The student most likely has an Asian native language. This student is at near fluency with regard to her writing.

This student was assigned the task of writing her version of a narrative story. This person chose to write about a time when she found a diary and how she tried to open it. The student was required to write one full page on the subject.

From the student's writing sample, it is clear that this student is at the intermediate fluency stage of her ELL training. This is the stage where children use roughly 6,000 words actively, can share their opinion, and form complex sentences (Haynes, 2005). There are three clear examples in the sample that point to this conclusion. The first example is her sentence structure. The sentences are complete with expression added. For example she wrote, "I saw her...diary!" It is clear that this student understands how to combine words and punctuation to form sentences. The second example of her intermediate level is her vocabulary. In one sentence she wrote, "I secretly looked everywhere so I could see if it is ther (sp)." She used an advanced adjective and full descriptive words. The final example of her intermediate level is one that separates her from an advanced fluency student: errors. Among other things including spelling errors, there are very few periods used throughout the paper, examples of incorrect singular/plural usage, and no commas. This student is clearly very close to grasping the English language, but is not there yet.

A student at this level is very easy to help move in the right direction. I would first encourage the student to become familiar with the English dictionary by circling all of her errors and asking her to correct them. This will help solidify proper spelling. I would also drill this student with some sentence and grammar worksheets to ensure she comprehends how to properly form sentences.

Student Two

Student two is most likely a high school aged ELL student. The student most likely has a Spanish native language. This student is at emergence with regard to her writing.

This student was assigned the task of writing a scary story. This person chose to write about a haunted house adventure. The student was required to write one full page on the subject.

From the student's writing sample, it is clear that this student is at the emerging stage of her ELL training. This is the stage where children use roughly 3,000 basic words, can sound out stories phonetically, and can write brief stories and dialogue journals. (Haynes, 2005). There are three clear examples in the sample that point to this conclusion. The first example is her sentence structure. The sentences are complete but simple. For example she wrote, "Chelsea has black hair and straight hair blue eyes and she is age ten" it is clear that this student understands how to combine words and punctuation to form sentences but the words used are basic vocabulary. None of the words are more than two syllables and all are basic description words including colors. The second example of her emerging level is her vocabulary. In one sentence she wrote, "Chelsea was playing tag..." This is the most basic a statement can be, there is a name, a passive verb, and a subject. All the words are simple English words, but they are used properly. The final example of her basic level is one that separates her from an emerging fluency student: substantial errors. For instance, in just the first paragraph she made the following spelling errors: hase, carls, hase, strate, cary, hase, tomd, scaerdy. She does have a better grasp of grammar than the previous student, however, that can be accounted for by her age. This student is clearly beginning to experiment with the language and learn its nuances.

This student seems eager to fully use her vocabulary, so I would give her extra vocabulary building activities. I would also encourage her to correct her spelling errors through my circling the errors and having her consult a dictionary and make the corrections.

Student Three

Student three is most likely a high school aged ELL student. The student most likely has a Spanish native language. This student is at emergence with regard to her writing.

This student was assigned the task of writing a scary story. This person chose to write about a haunted house adventure. The student was required to write one full page on the subject.

From the student's writing sample, it is clear that this student is at the emerging stage of her ELL training. This is the stage where children use roughly 3,000 basic words, can sound out stories phonetically, and can write brief stories and dialogue journals. (Haynes, 2005). There are three clear examples in the sample that point to this conclusion. The first example is her sentence structure. The sentences are complete but simple. For example she wrote, "Kitty saw a scary ghost walk past." It is clear that this student understands how to combine words and punctuation to form sentences but the words used are basic vocabulary. None of the words are more than two syllables and all are basic description words including colors. The second example of her emerging level is her vocabulary. In one sentence she wrote, "Her friend worry about here." This is the most basic a statement can be, there is a name, a passive verb, and a subject. All the words are simple English words. Although the placement is correct, the grammar is not. This is common for an emerging language learner as all errors point to common issues including singular/plural and phonetic spelling. The final example of her basic level is one that separates her from an emerging fluency student: substantial errors. For instance, in just the first paragraph she made the following spelling errors: sed, arip, sed, shacking, fantid, sed, comeone, hosipal, can't, here. She does have a better grasp of grammar than the previous student, however, that can be accounted for by her age. This student is clearly beginning to experiment with the language and learn its nuances.

This student seems eager to fully use her vocabulary, so I would give her extra vocabulary building activities. I would also encourage her to correct her spelling errors through my circling the errors and having her consult a dictionary and make the corrections.

Student Four

Student three is most likely a grade school aged ELL student. The student's native language is inapplicable to her level of language comprehension. This student is at early production with regard to her writing.

This student was assigned the task writing single sentences that correlate to pictures. The activity gave five pictures of people doing typical housework tasks and the student's job was to correctly identify the task and write a sentence about what the person was doing.

From the student's writing sample, it is clear that this student is at the early production stage of her ELL training. This is the stage where children use roughly 1,000 words and are beginning to speak one or two word phrases and is building their vocabulary using pictures. (Haynes, 2005).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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