An Argument for a Multimodal, Online System to Support English Learners' Writing Development

An Argument for a Multimodal, Online System to Support English Learners' Writing Development

Jo Anne Kleifgen (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA), Charles K. Kinzer (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA), Daniel L. Hoffman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Kristin Gorski (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA), Jean Kim (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA), Andrea Lira (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA) and Briana Ronan (California Polytechnic State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5982-7.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter describes a technology-centered intervention project to demonstrate the benefits of a multimodal, Web-based platform, STEPS to Literacy, for teaching academic writing to Latina/o adolescent learners of English. After laying out a theoretical and empirical rationale, the authors provide details about the design features and instructional approach that support student writing. Next, an example is given of the use of STEPS in the classroom, in which eighth-grade students with the teacher's guidance analyze multimodal documents, take notes, and write an essay for a unit on the Civil Rights Movement. A summary of the benefits of such an online system for academic writing development is outlined, and a set of points for teachers to consider for planning and implementation in the classroom concludes the chapter.
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Theoretical And Empirical Rationale

Our Web-based design and approach are based on the theoretical underpinnings of social studies of literacy and on current empirical research in this area. Two conceptual developments in the field are relevant to the project: “New Literacy Studies” and “Multiliteracies.”

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