Thesis Title

Writing Conventions for English Language Learners: A Study of the Use of the Past Tense

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


The population of English language learners has steadily risen m California during the last two decades. Current literature supports the use of standards and explicit language instruction to guide classroom practices for students learning English. The purpose of this research was to study the effectiveness of explicit language lessons on the use of past tense in children’s writing.

Effectiveness was measured by student performance on teacher-designed pre- and post-assessment of writing samples. Participants included 19 third grade students in a suburban area north of San Francisco. Results indicated that participants used of a greater variety of past tense verbs at the end of the study but the percentage of correct usage did not show significant change.

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