Evaluating student learning in a university-level EAP unit on writing using sources

Published on Sep 1, 2010in Journal of Second Language Writing4.2
· DOI :10.1016/j.jslw.2010.06.002
Rosemary Wette7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Auckland)
Abstract There has been extensive discussion of the difficulties experienced by tertiary students when writing using sources in both first- and second-language (L1, L2) writing literature; however, few studies have reported on instructional interventions that aim to assist students to master this complex academic literacy. The action research study described in this paper recruited 78 undergraduate students from six strands of credit-bearing L2 writing courses. A pre-unit quiz and guided writing task ascertained participants’ current level of skill and knowledge. After 8 hours of instruction and practice on technical and discourse skill components, students completed a post-unit task and wrote reflective comments. Out-of-class assignments were also submitted for analysis. Findings showed a significant improvement in students’ declarative knowledge, and in the rule-governed aspects of the skill. Instances of direct copying from the sources decreased in post-tasks and assignments. While there was a modest overall improvement across the cohort, students were clearly not yet proficient, particularly in the more sophisticated and subtle aspects of writing using sources. They had difficulties comprehending complexities in texts, summarising propositional content accurately, and integrating citations with their own voices and positions. This paper discusses implications for teachers, and the desirability of establishing a body of practice-oriented research.
  • References (67)
  • Citations (52)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
279 Citations
172 Citations
158 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Ling Shi (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 17
This article explores the citing behaviors of 16 undergraduates in a North American university. After completing a research paper for their disciplinary courses, each participating student was interviewed to identify in his/her writing words and ideas borrowed from source texts and to explain why and how the relevant texts were appropriated with or without citations. Analysis of students’ writing and comments illustrates how they relied on source texts for various aspects of their essays, some o...
83 CitationsSource
Abstract The number of international ESL students completing their degree programs in Australia has risen dramatically in the past decade. One factor that may be motivating students to undertake tertiary studies in Australia is the expectation that this form of immersion will lead to improved English language skills. However, existing research, such as research on the impact of study abroad programs on learners’ L2 skills, has produced mixed findings. Furthermore, most of this research has tende...
88 CitationsSource
Abstract Although plagiarism is considered among western academic circles as one of the worst “crimes” a student can commit, many scholars suggest that these attitudes do not apply to students from areas outside this sphere. They believe that in many countries, plagiarism is considered culturally acceptable. As such, ESL or EFL instructors in charge of students from these places must be sensitive to their backgrounds. Japan is often believed to be one of these countries in which plagiarism is no...
67 CitationsSource
#1Diane PecorariH-Index: 12
I: Plagiarism in Context 1. Plagiarism as a pedagogical question 2. Plagiarism as a linguistic question II: Investigating Plagiarism 3. Source dependence in academic writing 4. The role of intention in inappropriate source use 5. Explaining inappropriate source use III: Implications 6. The problem 7. Disciplinarity and standards 8. Solutions 9. Changes in the university References.
97 Citations
#1Qing Gu (University of Nottingham)H-Index: 24
#2A. Jane Brooks (University of Sussex)H-Index: 1
The paper explores the complexity of the notion of plagiarism from sociocultural and psychological perspectives. Plagiarism is a dynamic and multi-layered phenomenon (Russikoff et al., 2003; Sutherland-Smith, 2005) and needs to be understood in relation to a specific context of academic conventions and environment. Drawing upon the experiences of ten Chinese students on a pre-sessional course and subsequently their postgraduate courses, the paper investigates change in these students’ perception...
81 CitationsSource
#1Diane PecorariH-Index: 12
7 Citations
#1Ali R. Abasi (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 6
#2Nahal Akbari (U of O: University of Ottawa)H-Index: 2
Research has increasingly pointed to a range of cognitive and social reasons behind ESL students’ transgressive textual appropriation, defined as students’ source use that contravenes acceptable borrowing practices. However, one aspect that has received little attention is the role of the immediate pedagogical context in this type of textual appropriation by students. Drawing on the social literacies perspective (Barton, Hamilton, & Ivanic, 2000), the theory of symbolic power (Bourdieu, 1991), a...
60 CitationsSource
#1Casey Keck (NAU: Northern Arizona University)H-Index: 5
158 CitationsSource
#1Ling Shi (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 17
This study examines interviews with 46 undergraduates to explore if participants with differing language and cultural backgrounds view plagiarism or textual appropriation primarily as a) a language problem because of a lack of words of one’s own, or b) a cultural challenge as a result of either some first language (L1) cultural training to privilege a collective ownership of words and ideas or the blurring boundary of originator and collaborator in the current digital world of hypertext. The par...
66 CitationsSource
#1Ruby Pi-Ju Yang (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 3
#2Kimberly A. Noels (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 27
Last. Kristie Saumure (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 6
view all 3 authors...
Abstract The present study examined how both self-construals and communicative competence in the language of the host society contribute to the cross-cultural adaptation of international students to Canada. It was hypothesized that self-construals, and particularly the fit between the sojourner's profile and normative tendency of the host society, would predict better adaptation. Moreover, it was hypothesized that frequent intercultural contact would also contribute to adaptation, but this link ...
126 CitationsSource
Cited By52
AbstractTextual plagiarism is a serious violation of established academic protocols, but it requires considerable writing experience and care to avoid as well. Although student understanding of tex...
#1Ifigeneia Machili (UoM: University of Macedonia)
#2Iris Papadopoulou (UoM: University of Macedonia)H-Index: 2
Last. Zoe Kantaridou (UoM: University of Macedonia)H-Index: 3
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Integrated writing and strategy instruction (SI) in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context have increasingly drawn much research interest in recent years for their strong pedagogical and assessment value. The role of video in integrated writing has also been widely acknowledged for pedagogical and theoretical reasons. However, research on the use of video in integrated writing tasks especially in the EAP context still remains scarce. To address this gap, this paper examines the...
Abstract Paraphrasing research has often been situated as an issue of academic honesty, ownership of knowledge and discourse appropriation (Abasi, Akvari & Graves, 2006; Currie, 1998; Lyon, 2009; Pecorari, 2003; Pecorari & Shaw, 2012). This paper has a pedagogical focus, outlining how the discrete grammatical processes typical of successful paraphrasing (Keck, 2010) are used to support first year university writing students working in English as an additional language. Drawing on Halliday’s (200...
Abstract This study reports on provision to assist students in the health sciences develop knowledge and skill in locating, evaluating, and synthesising sources to use as supporting evidence for the argument essays they are required to produce for first year courses at a university in New Zealand. Students were provided with support in the form of documents, tutorials, online discussion and structured assignment tasks, as well as through embedded instruction offered collaboratively by subject le...
Abstract It is widely believed source-use skills are among the most important academic literacy skills that students need to develop throughout their college years. Although there has been extensive discussion of the difficulties experienced by ESL/EFL students developing these skills, few studies have focused on instructional interventions designed specifically to build source-use skills. To the best of our knowledge, no intervention recorded in the literature has focused on both essential aspe...
#1Xiaoya Sun (Xi'an International Studies University)H-Index: 1
#2Guangwei Hu (PolyU: Hong Kong Polytechnic University)H-Index: 24
Previous research on plagiarism has increased awareness and knowledge of the various aspects of this issue, such as contributing factors to plagiarism, students’ and teachers’ perceptions of plagia...
#1Leonie Wiemeyer (University of Bremen)
#1Bob Ives (UNR: University of Nevada, Reno)H-Index: 3
#2Alicia Nehrkorn (UNR: University of Nevada, Reno)
#1Sue StarfieldH-Index: 12