Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice


Lucy Bunning

Publication Date

Fall 2016


This article examines narratives about successful uses of English, told and written by adult learners in a beginning-level class of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). The learners told stories of using English to solve a problem of getting lost by asking for and receiving directions. In their narratives, we see where they were going, their path to get there, their use of English, and their evaluation of these experiences. An analysis of the structure of the stories indicates learners’ inclusion of essential elements of narratives and raises questions about how the learners related to each other’s stories. The extended chunks of discourse that the learners produced when telling their stories were longer than what they produced in other genres of speaking and writing in the class. This finding supports the inclusion of various genres of text and talk in an ESOL class for learners at lower proficiency levels



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