ESL writing strategies for art instruction



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The purpose of this study was to investigate English as a second language (ESL) strategies and modify them for use in the art classroom. The goal of this research was to help improve writing skills for English language learners (ELLs). This study utilized collaborative action research to understand teaching practices and develop curriculum for 4th grade students at Texas Elementary School in the Lejana Independent School District. During this study I collaborated with Ana Rivera, the art teacher at Texas Elementary School. Through a semi-structured interview and informal discussions, we developed an art lesson, Creating a Comic Book, which combined writing and drawing activities. Several lesson resources were also created as a result of our collaboration. Data was collected from the semi-structured interview, teacher and student reflections, field notes, and photos of students’ writing and artwork. By identifying academic areas that need support, I was able to draw conclusions and provide suggestions for ESL strategies. The findings of this study indicate that art educators can help improve writing skills for ELLs by utilizing vocabulary development, physical gestures, body language, visuals, and demonstrations. After reviewing a final lesson evaluation and analyzing data, I was able to provide recommendations for other art educators. These recommendations include support for native languages, create connections between home and school, encourage rigorous thinking, and edit student writing. It is my purpose that my research be shared with educators and administrators in the Lejana Independent School District and other professional venues of research dissemination.