Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Macdonald, Doris

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


English as a second language; Pedagogy; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers


In her ground-breaking work Errors & Expectations, Mina Shaughnessy suggests that freshman composition instructors learn how to empower their students by "understanding not only...what is missing or awry but...why this is so" (1977a, p. 6). She believed that this approach would help emerging writers by responding to individual learner needs in their contexts of learning. This dissertation expands Shaughnessy's notion of "basic writer" to include English language learners while refining and reclaiming her approach for a one-on-one tutorial setting.;'A unique cultural-awareness approach was designed for implementation in a tutorial setting to engage learners in significant thought-based and error-based composition pedagogy. In this mixed-methods case-study project, four student-participants were tutored in using the cultural-awareness approach, and their spoken interactions and written reflections were analyzed for evidence of culture-specific audience awareness. This research design, therefore, deepens the discussion of the "what" and "why" of composition pedagogy to include issues of culture and audience-awareness. Results provide mixed but generally positive support for the application of the tutorial approach and justify modifying Shaughnessy's approach to include ESL composition pedagogy and andragogy.


Advisors: Doris Macdonald.||Committee members: Gulsat Aygen; Thomas McCann; Bradley Peters.


224 pages




Northern Illinois University

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