Developing writing proficiency through cooperative learning strategies in limited English proficient college students

Epsey Medora Gooden-Jones, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to describe the process involved in the implementation of cooperative learning strategies in the development of writing proficiency of limited English proficient college students. Cooperative learning strategies in this study involved: (a) metacognitive text structure awareness and awareness of students' performance in peer and group settings, (b) reading-writing interaction and process writing, (c) thinking-writing and writing-thinking processes, and (d) reading- and writing-based prose in narrative and expository patterns. The study examined, through observations, questionnaires, interviews, and students' written essays, how students develop writing proficiency in cooperative learning settings. Participants were involved in the use of cooperative learning strategies as a mode of learning and writing in the second language. By using writing as a mode of learning, participants learned the academic language and context by using different styles of writing. Students needed to know how to think, organize their ideas through logical reasoning, and write them on paper. The findings of the study suggested that cooperative learning strategies are effective strategies to improve LEP college students' writing proficiency in English. When they exchanged ideas they learned new content, vocabulary, essay structure, and they understood the language they were learning and experimented freely with new concepts of writing. They learned, preferably through small-group and peer interactions, to develop and improve writing skills. Students' perceptions of their personal experiences of writing indicated that writing was a difficult task, but cooperative learning strategies helped them to discover writing as a mode of learning, and as a result they have improved their writing skills and are better writers.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|British and Irish literature|Teacher education|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Gooden-Jones, Epsey Medora, "Developing writing proficiency through cooperative learning strategies in limited English proficient college students" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9631038.