Enhancing the writing development of english language learners: Teacher perceptions of common technology in project-based learning

Teresa Foulger, Margarita Jimenez-Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Results from this study suggest teachers believe technology may provide English language learners (ELLs) an advantage in developing writing skills. Using a theoretical framework by Hadaway, Vardell, and Young (2002) citing seven teacher practices that support the writing of ELL students when writing processes are embedded in real-world activities, this research sought to isolate technology supports within the framework. Practices include: time and opportunity to write, a reason for writing, a genuine audience, access to role models, a safe environment, useful feedback, and a sense of community. Fourteen K-8 classroom teachers reflected on specific classroom events whereby technology was used to support activities in which ELLs wrote within a project-based environment. Using a collective case study approach, the yearlong investigation used qualitative analyses of impressions from the teachers and the professional developer who supported these teachers. The study concluded that the Hadaway, Vardell, and Young (2002) framework could be strengthened by integrating technology. Results suggested that expanding the seven teacher practices to include specific student uses of common technology within each category would be even more beneficial to the development of ELLs’ writing skills. In addition to being supportive to teachers of ELLs, these findings may apply to teachers and administrators of other student populations who want to amplify learning opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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