The Acquisition of Academic Literacy in a Second Language: A Longitudinal Case Study.

Published on Jan 1, 1997in Written Communication
· DOI :10.1177/0741088397014001001
Ruth Spack12
Estimated H-index: 12
This study examines the reading and writing strategies of one student, Yuko, over a 3-year period and traces the process she went through to acquire college-level academic literacy in English, her second language. Multiple data sources included interviews with the student and two of her political science professors, classroom observations, and texts from 10 courses in three disciplines—including course materials and the student's writing, with instructors' comments. The investigation was enriched by a cross-cultural perspective, for Yuko described learning strategies in two languages and learning environments in two countries, Japan and the United States. Data analysis suggests that her educational background shaped her approach to U.S. academic discourse practices and the way she theorized about those practices. Her theory and her analysis of her own experience changed over time, raising questions about cross-cultural interpretations of student learning.
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