English language learner's writing practices and attitudes

Sarah J. McCarthey, Georgia Earnest García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study of English language learners, six Mandarin-speaking and five Spanish-speaking elementary students, revealed that students engaged in a variety of writing practices at home and school. A continuum of attitudes, from positive to negative, characterized students' attitudes toward writing in English and their native languages. Students' writing practices and attitudes toward writing were influenced by home backgrounds and classroom contexts. Home background influences included parents' educational backgrounds and income levels, plans for staying in the United States, support for writing at home, and cultural expectations. School and classroom factors included frequency and quality of opportunities for writing and teachers' expectations for writing tasks. Implications of the study include the necessity to provide multiple opportunities for students to write for purposeful audiences in their native language as well as in English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-75
Number of pages40
JournalWritten Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Linguistic diversity
  • Literary practices
  • Mandarin English language learners
  • Spanish English language learners
  • Student attitudes
  • Teacher expectations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'English language learner's writing practices and attitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this