Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the College of Graduate Studies at Bridgewater State University, 2015.

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts in Teaching


The available literature on the writing characteristics and best practices to teach writing to English Language Learners who also present some disability is scarce. In order to understand and provide some insight on the developments in this field, I propose an adaptation of the Process Writing Approach based on a literature review of the existing bibliography about the writing characteristics of English Language Learners, Special Needs Learners, and English Language Learners with Special Needs’ writing, the effects of the Process Writing Approach in teaching writing to these groups, and the use of visuals in writing instruction. The main assumptions of this study are: a) The Process Writing Approach provides an opportunity to differentiate instruction to ELLs with special needs and gives them additional opportunities to bring their funds of knowledge to the classroom, improving their writing, and b) By allowing students to rely on visuals in different phases of the writing process teachers will be addressing the needs of both visual and verbal learners, therefore allowing students more options to develop writing skills. The main pedagogical implication is that by dividing writing in recursive stages and inserting visuals as scaffolding throughout the entire writing process, teachers will provide an alternative approach to writing instruction that may be more effective to English Language Learners with Special Needs.


Julia Stakhnevich (chair)

Anne E. Doyle

John-Michael Bodi

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