Knowing and Writing School History: The Language of Students' Expository Writing and Teachers' Expectations

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IAP, 2011 - Education - 152 pages
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Because school history often relies on reading and writing and has its own discipline-specific challenges, it is important to understand the language demands of this content area, the typical writing requirements, and the language expectations of historical discourse. History uses language in specialized ways, so it can be challenging for students to construct responses to historical events. It is only through a focus on these specialized ways of presenting and constructing historical content that students will see how language is used to construe particular contexts. This book provides the results of a qualitative study that investigated the language resources that 8th and 11th grade students drew on to write an exposition and considered the role of writing in school history. The study combined a functional linguistic analysis of student writing with educational considerations in the underresearched content area of history. Data set consisted of writing done by students who were English language learners and other culturally and linguistically diverse students from two school districts in California. The book is an investigation of expository school history writing and teachers' expectations for this type of writing. School history writing refers to the kind of historical writing expected of students at the pre-college levels. The audience for the book includes researchers and students in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in applied linguistics and education. The book is particularly valuable for those interested in applications of systemicfunctional linguistics in education. The issues covered in the book make it appropriate for those concerned with the expectations and challenges of literacy development in secondary content area classes.
 

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Contents

Background
1
History Teaching and Language Needs in California
3
Methodology and Data Sources
4
Roles of the Researcher
5
Data Sources and Participants
6
Data Analysis
9
Teaching Learning and Writing School History
13
Teaching and Learning History
14
Elaboration
59
Logical Relationships
62
Reference
63
Text Two
65
Summary
73
English Language Learners
74
Text Four
80
Discussion
83

Making History More than Memorization of Facts
15
Challenges of Teaching History
16
Text Dependence and Language Demands
17
Content Coverage
18
Writing in History
19
Writing as a Form of Historical Understanding Display
21
Expectations for Historical Genres
23
History Teachers Challenges and Reported Practices Using and Teaching Writing
29
Goals of History as a School Subject
30
Implications for the Teaching of School History Writing
31
Themes about Challenges in School History
32
Teachers Perspectives and Instructional Practices in Teaching Writing
41
Teachers Instructional Practices
43
Discussion and Implications
45
Student Writing in History
49
Teachers Expectations for the Expository Writing Task
50
Text Analysis and Results
53
Text One
54
Theme and Method of Development
55
Differences Between More and Less Effective Texts
84
Student Writing in History
89
Text Analysis and Results
91
An English Speaker and an English Language Learner
92
Example of an Essay in Need of Improvement
116
Discussion
121
Notes
123
Conclusions and Implications
125
The DisciplineSpecific Nature of School History Writing
127
Supporting History Educators
128
The Role of Theme Evaluation and Elaboration
130
Providing MeaningBased Feedback
134
Developing Students Literacy and Historical Understanding
135
Questionnaire
137
Interview 1 Questions
141
Interview 2 Questions
143
References
145
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