Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Vickers, Caroline


The purpose of this study is to examine, gain, and ultimately share an understanding of certain cognitive differences, similarities, intelligence patterns, and preferences between competent monolingual (English) and multicompetent bilingual/multilingual first-year composition (FYC) college students. Within this project is an attempt to address the following questions: Do monolingual and bilingual/multilingual FYC students show different strengths and weaknesses in their cognitive abilities? Are there learning preferences and literacy differences or similarities between monolingual and bilingual/multilingual FYC students?

Primarily, two cognitive concepts were used in this examination to provide perspectives and quantitative data in response to the above questions. First, is Vivian Cook’s (1992, 1999) multicompetence theory, which involves cognitive differences between monolingual (L1) and bilingual/multilingual (L2/L3) speakers/users; and second, Howard Gardner’s (1999, 2004, 2006) multiple intelligences (MI) theory, whereby two types of MI assessments were used to study any such differences and similarities among FYC students.

To fulfill the requirements for this particular thesis, included is a conference proposal (abstract), a conference paper, and a publishable scholarly article. The necessary charts, graphs, tables, and appendices are provided, accordingly.