The effectiveness of dual language programs in the writing development of second language learners
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Researchers have found that in order for English Language Learners to be academically successful in a second language, they must be immersed in an environment where their needs are being met, socioculturally, linguistically, academically and cognitively. Such an environment has been highly debated between proponents of English-only instruction and those of native language instruction. The purpose of this paper is to review the current issues and language studies relating to the best environment for the development of second language writing. A study was conducted to investigate the differences between second language writing from English language learners participating in a dual language classroom to those participating in an English-only classroom in attempts to provide insight on how the dual language program can provide the right conditions for successful interlingual transfer skills in L2 writing development. Results from text analysis of the writing samples demonstrate how L2 writers appear to benefit from native language instruction as they transfer their knowledge of writing skills acquired from L1 instruction and apply it into their L2 writing creating meaningful genre-appropriate texts. The results also show that the writing of students placed in English-only classes was less developed.
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