The purpose of this hermeneutic study was to understand, describe and interpret secondary English Language Arts (ELA) teacher candidates'(TC) experiences with writing instruction while attending English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) methods courses. The study included a purposeful convenience sample of 15 (fifteen) secondary ELA teacher candidates' (TC) attending 4 (four) different sections in 2 (two) ESOL methods courses. TCs were invited to participate in inquiry driven activities including written reflections in response to a literacy questionnaire, oral interviews responding to open-ended questions and focus/work groups' discussions, which allowed them to reflect about their past and present literacy and learning experiences and become reflexive about the application of knowledge and practices in their future classrooms. The phenomenological hermeneutic qualitative design granted the researcher insight into participants' literacy and learning experiences as lived in relationship with their contexts, in a specific place and time. Colaizzi's (1978) seven-stages data analysis procedure, enabled the analysis and thorough description of TCs' experiences with writing instruction along their schooling and teacher education career. The following thematic categorization of participants' experiences was outlined: a)- TCs' experiences with instruction received and knowledge developed in teacher education programs, b)- TCs' recognition of good and bad practices in educational settings, including planning accommodations in general education classrooms, c)- TCs' experiences with ELs in authentic settings, d)- TCs' awareness process of ELs in schools, and e)- TCs' experiences with and about writing instruction to teach ELs. Further in depth data analysis guided the researcher into the interpretation of the fundamental structure of the phenomenon of teacher education experiences with writing instruction. TCs' experiences, drawn from different learning settings (including methods and content courses and field practicum), were articulated thanks to their participation in inquiry based learning activities. This breath of experiences specifically informed TCs' writing instruction experiences while attending ESOL methods courses. TCs' reflective and reflexive stances position them at the center of the educational phenomenon, in which TCs develop from facilitators of classroom communication to facilitators of learning processes and intercultural mediators. The phenomenon of TCs' lived experiences with writing instruction while attending ESOL methods courses, and by extension, content area courses and field practicum, needs to be analyzed, described and interpreted in order to develop practices conducive to inform the curricular development of teacher education programs and courses, to better prepare TCs to teach every learner develop knowledge and literacy, paying special attention to ELs'proficiency in English as a second language (ESL).


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Graduation Date





Olan, Elsie


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages









Release Date

February 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)