Poetry Centers for the Purpose of Lowering Inhibitions of English Language Learners in the Constructivist English Language Arts Classroom
Type of Degreedissertation
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The purpose of this study was to examine what happened in terms of lowering ELL students’ affective filters when a particular teacher of English language learners introduced her poetry activities, centered on aesthetic response and scaffolding transactions, to a group of English language learners who varied in fluency from nonfluent to near fluent English proficiency. Ten ELLs from grades 8 and 9 who have different L1 backgrounds and who vary in fluency from non-English speaking to near-native English fluency participated in the study. The activities were developed based on an argument that transactions with particular poetry activities structured through centers will result in the lowering of students’ inhibitions, thus accommodating access to the target language in the learner’s environment and consequent target language acquisition in the academic domains. The results of the study demonstrated that transactions with particular poetry activities structured through centers indeed resulted in the lessening of participants’ inhibitions, thus providing access to the target language in the learner’s environment and consequent target language acquisition in the English language arts academic domain. Participant products, both tangible and oral, seemed to indicate that learners’ transactions with these poetry activities lowered inhibitions and resulted in interactions with and among other participants, thus suggesting evidence consistent with a lowered affective filter.