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Home Journal Index 2021-1

Writing and Writing Motivation of Students Identified as English Language Learners

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Steve Graham
Arizona State University, USA
Australian Catholic University, Brisbane and Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher
Education, Australia


April Camping
Arizona State University, USA


Karen R. Harris
Arizona State University, USA
Australian Catholic University, Brisbane and Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher
Education, Australia


A. Angelique Aitken
University of Nebraska at Lincoln, USA


John M. Wilson
Tempe Elementary School District, USA


Jeanne Wdowin
Tempe Elementary School District, USA


Clarence Ng
Australian Catholic University, Brisbane and Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher
Education, Australia


Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the writing performance and motivational beliefs of students who were identified by their school district as English language learners. The study included 880 students (463 girls; 417 boys) in grades three to eight who wrote an informative/explanatory essay on information technology and completed a motivational survey assessing their intrinsic, extrinsic, and self-regulation incentives for writing. Ninety-seven percent of students’ scores on the writing measure did not meet grade-level proficiency for writing, girls received higher scores than boys, and writing scores generally increased across the six grade-levels. A majority of students agreed that intrinsic and extrinsic incentives drive their writing behavior, but only 38% of students indicated that self-regulation incentives had such an effect. Gender was not related to students’ motivational scores, but scores for the three motivational incentives declined from lower to higher grades. Recommendations for future research and suggestions for classroom practice were provided.

 

Keywords
Extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, self-regulatory motivation, writing, English language learners