Writing experiences of community college students in remedial English who self-report writing anxieties and insecurities: a perspective for college counselors


This explanatory case study researched the writing experiences of 11 community college students who differed subculturally and who were all part of the African diasporic community. The theoretical perspectives used for this study were Arthur Chickering's (1969) classical concept of academic competence and community dialect theory (Baxter & Holland, 2007). Academic competence is a stage in college that explores how students learn acquired skills for educational attainment. Community dialect theory argues that African American dialect writers have a low-to-some awareness of how their dialect differs from standard English in the area of subject-verb agreement. Two research questions guided this inquiry: (a) How does Black English influence writing anxiety in academic settings? (b) Why should college counselors have a strategy to assist students who express fears of enrolling in remedial English? A mixed method strategy was used to gather the data. This strategy consisted of a qualitative interview, and two educational tests. The study found that most of the students had a low awareness of how their dialect differed from standard English. Furthermore, Black English directly induced writing anxiety in academic settings for this group of community college students. Their writing anxieties and insecurities were detected by the words and situational experiences these students related during the interviews. In addition, college counselors should have an intervention strategy in place for this population of students to reduce the gap between academic competence and students of African descent who are dialect writers with writing anxieties and linguistic insecurities in academic settings. (Contains appendices.)

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Dr. Rochelle Holland
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Community College Journal of Research and Practice
Date Published: 
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Place Published: 
New York
Publication Language: 
ISSN Number: 
Associated Awards: 
CUNY Research Grant

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