Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Brett E Blake

Second Advisor

Rachael Helfrick


The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rupture in the trajectory of education worldwide. Students, families and schools are experiencing unprecedented times and are navigating uncharted territory together in how we educate our students. In the U.S., it has been noted that the schism within education as a result of the pandemic is the biggest threat to national security (Choi, 2020), noting the importance of education within our democracy. This includes the trauma experienced by families due to deaths caused by the pandemic, the disproportionality of communities of color losing a parent (Brundage & Ramos-Callan, 2020), and the impact on English language development within immigrant communities and Multilingual Learners (Kim 2020). Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Multilingual Learners, specifically English Language Learners (ELLs), is one of the fastest growing student populations across the United States (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2017), and yet has some of the lowest graduation rates, such as in New York (NYSED, 2021). This study seeks to build equity and access of effective instruction through the exploration of one of the biggest challenges for ELLs within academic settings, which is writing, as linguistic errors in L2 writing are pervasive (Bitchener & Ferris, 2012). Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) is a ubiquitous classroom practice in second language (L2) writing development that directly seeks to increase morphosyntactic accuracy (Kang and Han, 2015). This study performed a case study of an English as a New Language (ENL) high school teacher and three Newcomer ELLs within one of the “Big 5” school districts in New York. Guided by Sociocultural Theory from an ecological perspective, data were collected during the Fall 2020 school re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has positioned schools to integrate more digital tools in their interactions with their students, including feedback. ELL student writing samples with their teacher’s WCF, revisions, interviews, retrospective verbal reports, and classroom artifacts were collected to form cases for intra and inter case analysis to identify the individual and contextual factors that mediate L2 learners’ writing development during the pandemic.