TitleThe information seeking and use of English language learners in a high school setting
NameKim, Sung Un (author), Todd, Ross J. (chair), Gordon, Carol Ann (internal member), Kuhlthau, Carol Collier (internal member), McNally, Mary Jane (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectCommunication, Information and Library Studies,
English language--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Foreign speakers,
High school students--New Jersey,
Information behavior--New Jersey,
DescriptionThis study examines the information seeking and use behaviors of English language learners (ELLs) while performing a research task, using Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process as theoretical frameworks. The research tasks implemented in this study were curriculum based units where students engaged a diverse range of information sources to demonstrate their understanding of a topic. Participants of this study were 48 ELL students from three classes at a public high school in New Jersey. During a 4-5 week period, 10 students from one class were required to choose potential future careers and write a research paper on the college preparation, whereas the 38 students from the other two classes were required to create a foldable on a genetic disorder of their choice. Data were collected through a demographic questionnaire, process surveys at three times (initiation, mid-point and completion), observation, and semi-structured interviews with students and teachers. All manipulated data from the questionnaire and process surveys were statistically analyzed. To corroborate the findings from the questionnaires and process surveys, field notes and transcripts were underwent content analysis. This study shows what ELL students experience when searching for information throughout the course of a research project in English and what factors interact with individuals’ primary patterns in their information behavior. The findings indicate that having a fluent English speaker or using some English at home gives ELL students more confidence in their English language abilities, which might impact their information behavior. Among the ELL groups, only the intermediate ELL group exhibited significant increases in estimated knowledge and in positive feelings, particularly relief and satisfaction, as they progressed in their research project. In addition, this study addresses how ELL students’ research process is influenced by gender, ethnicity, and the nature of the research task. This study sheds light on how cultural and linguistic background can influence people’s information seeking and use. At a pedagogical level, the findings facilitate understanding of the unique needs of ELL students in K-12 school contexts and suggest effective strategies and instructional interventions for meeting those needs.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sung Un Kim
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.