Philosophy Project - T&L

Philosophy Project - T&L

LEARNING TO WRITE FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES: HOW NEW MASTERS STUDENTS LEARN THE RULES OF THE GAME Click icon to add picture. Visit www.reading.ac.uk/imagebank for more. Clare Furneaux University of Reading PedRIO Masters Conference Plymouth 8 January 2016 1 Copyright University of Reading LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT BACKGROUND: WRITING ON MANY UK MA PROGRAMMES essayist literacy tradition (Scollon and Scollon 1981) = the dominant Western, rationalist tradition of literacy = an ideologically inscribed practice (Lillis, 2001: 39) = an institutional practice of mystery (Lillis, 2001: 53) for many students

2 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT MY STUDYS RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. How do taught postgraduate students develop an understanding of the writing demands of the academy in the early stages of their study? 2. What differences are there in the experiences of students developing academic writing skills within this context? LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT BACKGROUND Longitudinal study: 1-year Case studies Students x 6 MAELT/AL students, University of Reading, UK Gender: 3 men + 3 women Age range: 21-33 years

Language skills Non-native English speakers x 5 IELTS 6.5-8.0 Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Turkish Native English speaker: x1 (British) Language teaching experience: 1-7 years LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT FOCUS: FIRST THREE ESSAYS- WRITTEN BY ALL STUDENTS Assignment Deadline Length (words) Credit s Formative precourse Term 1, Week 4

1,000-1,500 0 Discourse Analysis Term 1, Week 10 2,000-2,500 10 Second Language Acquisition Term 2, Day 1 3,000-4,000 20 5 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: English for Academic Purposes (Flowerdew and Peacock 2001, Hyland 2003) Academic Literacies (Lea and Street 1998, 2006; Lillis 2001, 2003) Discourse community (Swales 1990) Community of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991) LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT CORE INFORMATION SOURCES: Interviews : students (5 times over the academic year) and staff Student questionnaires (pre-course, one-year after leaving) Student e-mail reports at key points Assignment rubrics and briefings Assignments Feedback on assignments (written and f2f) 7 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT FINDINGS All students are individuals BUT

common issues/challenges Not a community of practice More a discourse community 8 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT Personal characteristics Developing academic literacy in this context Programme expectations Level of applicationto learning Approach Response to feedback Developing writer strategies/ writing process Awareness of criteria Audience

awareness Developing voice Personal background Professional Discipline Academic Linguistic Motivation Identity/personalit Previous writing ytasks and feedback Previous reading (genre-awareness) Literacy brokers

Task-based factors Writer-based factors Programme-related Non programmeLIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES related | LIMITLESS IMPACT PEDAGOGIC IMPLICATIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. Departmental support Developing a community Broadening genre awareness Meeting readers expectations 10 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT PRINCIPLE: LOCATING

ACADEMIC WRITING SUPPORT WITHIN THE DISCIPLINES All students need writing support while studying: from subject-discipline teachers? from non-subject specialist EAP/Study Support teachers? From both, as appropriate for a students needs Drawing on: EAP pedagogy and Academic Literacies 11 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT 1. DEPARTMENTAL SUPPORT Module tutors: more in-class time on writing; more detailed explanations than might be thought necessary: 1. to explain assignment demands/marking criteria in detail > once 2. to emphasise /exemplify advantages of any presubmission support 3. for in-class tasks: analyses of 12 successful/unsuccessful previous student writing LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT

DEPT SUPPORT CONTD. 4. to give: criterion-linked feedback re specific strengths & weaknesses in assignments general points about lessons future writing 5. to help to develop audience-awareness eg by ref to themselves as readers in feedback 13 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT 2. DEVELOPING A COMMUNITY 1. out-of-class small study groups 2. these need developing and practising inclass 3. group collaboration can then be extended to writing, with students being encouraged to read each others work 14 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT 3. BROADENING GENRE AWARENESS

1. broadening the range of assessment types beyond the essay 2. students studying egs of appropriate writing in a limited range of genres 3. the authors of these egs = previous students on same programme so: writing situated in the same context 15 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT 4. MEETING READERS EXPECTATIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. identifying who the readers are developing own voice understanding the UK grading system using feedback understanding its purpose 5. Johns and Swales (2002)four layers of socio-cultural expectation that affect genre requirements for doctoral students

16 these apply here: LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT JOHNS AND SWALES (2002) LAYERS OF EXPECTATIONS Layers of Issues noted in Examples of pedagogic expectatio Furneaux (2012) implications for Masters ns programmes study University- Students More class time required to discuss wide

the mark scheme and bemusement at the expectatio University grading expectations, especially on the ns of return of first pieces of assessed scholarshi scheme work p 17 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT Layers of Issues noted in

Examples of pedagogic expectations Furneaux (2012) implications for Masters study programmes 1. Challenges of 1. Structured, discourse Departmental & discipline assignment topic analysis of assignment topics expectations of choice

in classes appropriate topics 2. Learning that T&L and appropriate experiences = claims evidence + 2. Discussion of when/how to draw on their T&L experience 3. Discussion of egs of learning how to do different uses of reading in

this assignments, including 3. Learning how to draw on reading appropriately 4. Interpreting choice/length of quotations 4 Analysis of FB on successful and unsuccessful assignments Explaining FB, so that feedback (FB) students do not see it as appropriately idiosyncratic to each tutor 18 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT

Layers of Issues noted in Examples of pedagogic expectations Furneaux (2012) study implications for Masters programmes Sub-field Students need to learn As above + highlighting expectations re that MA assignments differences between methodologies,

for different modules assignments in different approaches and could represent sub-disciplines /modules rhetorical different genres, with Tutors must be aware of options different expectations the format/genre of of how to meet core assignments in other criteria modules.

19 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT Layers of Issues noted in Furneaux Examples of pedagogic implications for expectations (2012) study Masters programmes Personal 1. Students need to 1 Departmental discussion, expectations: take note of advice

among staff and with the need to from module tutors, students, about differences in consider in general and with expectations across modules support- regard to their and tutors givers and specific outline 2 Discussion with students of examiners

2. The need to bear the audience, and their their audience, tutors expectations, in assignment and examiners in documents, briefings and mind when writing feedback 3. Differing use of appropriate and inappropriate FB 3 Analysis of assignment marking criteria Discussion with students of what they find to be helpful 20

LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT TIMURS EXPERIENCE I was in the middle of nowhere when I came in this MA programme because I didnt know how to write academic writing. to I know that if I have enough time I can do anything. a year later 21 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT REFERENCES Flowerdew, J. and Peacock, M (eds). (2001). Research Perspectives on English for Academic Purposes. Cambridge: CUP. Furneaux, C. (2015) Supporting students to develop Masters level writing skills. In Kneale, P. & Brown, S (Eds.) (Section 7.1) Masters level teaching, learning and assessment. London: Palgrave Macmillan Furneaux, C. (forthcoming 2016) Becoming a Post/graduate Writer in a Social Science Discipline. In C. Badenhorst & C. Guerin (Eds.) (pp 166-183) Research literacies and writing pedagogies for Masters and doctoral writers, Studies in Writing Series. Leiden. Netherlands: Brill

Hyland, K. (2003). Second Language Writing. Cambridge: CUP. Johns, A. M. and Swales, J. M. (2002) Literacy and disciplinary practices: opening and closing perspectives. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 1, 13-28. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: CUP. 22 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT Lea, M. and Street, B.V. (1998). Student writing and staff feedback in Higher Education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23, 2: 157-172. Lea, M. and Street, B.V. (2006). The Academic Literacies model: theory and applications. Theory into Practice 45,4: 368-377. Lillis, T. (2001). Student Writing: Access, Regulation, Desire. London: Routledge. Lillis, T. (2003). An academic literacies approach to student writing in higher education: drawing on Bakhtin to move from critique to design. Language and Education, 17, 3: 192-207. Swales, J. M.(1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: CUP. Wingate, U. and Tribble, C. (2012). The best of both worlds? Towards an English for academic purposes/academic literacies writing pedagogy. Studies in Higher Education, 37, 4: 481-495. 23 LIMITLESS POTENTIAL | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES | LIMITLESS IMPACT

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