The importance of response to ELL student writing: IEP instructors and teaching assistants

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Patrick Thomas


As the field of composition changes for both students and teachers, the focus on the global scale becomes more prominent, specifically when discussing schools with large amounts of international students. With the ever-growing amount of international students, the need to examine how we respond to ELL (English Language Learners) student writing is extremely pressing. The key to an international student's success is the written response given to the student by their instructor, specifically with regards to IEP (Intensive English Program) instructors and teaching assistants. When examining ELL student writing, it is important to consider the response methods used by IEP and TA (Teaching Assistant) instructors. The main issue to be surveyed is where disconnects between IEP instructors and teaching assistants are happening and how these disconnects can be fixed to improve ELL students' writing and overall education. I have looked into the response to ELL student writing, specifically using one IEP instructors and two TAs' written response on ELL student papers to discover where the disconnect between IEP and college-level prose happens. My thesis will pinpoint what is happening with teacher response to ELL student writing, specifically what IEP instructors and TAs are looking for when responding to student writing. By looking at these factors, I will be able to show how these findings will establish a better relationship between the teaching assistants and the IEP instructors, lead to future collaborations with each other, and help ELL students improve how and what they are learning.


English language Study and teaching Foreign speakers Evaluation, Students, Foreign Study and teaching Evaluation, Composition (Language arts) Study and teaching Evaluation, Teacher-student relationships, Education; Educational evaluation; English as a second language; teacher education; teaching; IEP; teacher response; teaching assistants; L2; FL; TOEFL; ELL; ESL; comments; feedback; types of comments; number of comments; response methods; response tactics; teaching; responding; written products; product vs. process

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