Vol. 1. No. 1 A-3 April 1994
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The Role of Topic and the Reading/Writing Connection

Barbara L. Kennedy
University of Kentucky


This study was originally constructed to examine the effect of content-area reading on ESL writing proficiency. The experiment was restructured and extended because composition topics proved to be confounding factors. Although the results raise several issues, the most significant are 1) the influence of topic on the acquisition of ESL composition skills and 2) the influence of topic on the cognitive task of demonstrating ESL writing proficiency. More specifically, an information-process explanation is offered for some of the confounding factors the topic variable introduced into the equation.

Keywords: Writing and content; writing and culture; ESL (English as a Second Language)

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