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postgraduate thesis: An integrated genre-based approach to scaffolding novice academic writers : genre awareness, academic lexical phrases and student uptake

TitleAn integrated genre-based approach to scaffolding novice academic writers : genre awareness, academic lexical phrases and student uptake
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Lin, AMYLi, Y
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Cai, J. [{275572}竞]. (2014). An integrated genre-based approach to scaffolding novice academic writers : genre awareness, academic lexical phrases and student uptake. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5204903
AbstractIn EFL contexts like China where research and application of findings in the field of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is still in its infancy, graduate students are in urgent need of support in developing their academic literacy, especially in terms of academic writing and research article writing skills under the forces of globalization of education. This study sets out to develop a contextualized EAP genre-based approach to scaffold novice academic writers and examine its impact through assessment tasks and analysis of students’ uptake. The theoretical traditions of ESP research article (RA) genre analysis (e.g. Swales, 1990, 2004; Swale & Feak, 2004) and lexical bundle studies (e.g. Biber & Barbieri, 2007; Hyland, 2008)are drawn upon and two dimensions of building blocks of academic discourse are conceptualized: the top-down dimension (i.e., genre schematic structuring) and the bottom-up dimension(i.e. general and move-specific academic lexical phrases). Then, the Sydney School genre-based Teaching and Learning Cycle and corpus-informed explicit bundle instruction were incorporated into the ESP genre-based framework to generate a new theoretical and pedagogical model taking into consideration the needs of the local context. In order to evaluate this innovative course thoroughly in a natural and intact classroom, careful triangulations of data were achieved. A mixed-methods programme evaluation framework was developed with two major components, namely an intervention study and individual case studies. In terms of the average gains of the whole class, there was significant improvement in the receptive test of knowledge of genre and bundles after the course. In addition, the instruction significantly narrowed the achievement gap among the high, mid and low starting level students. Most importantly, the increase in the appropriate use of lexical phrases in rewriting suggests the effectiveness of the course in enabling active production. Regression analysis further indicated a strong relationship between the development of bundle knowledge and that of genre and genre-specific features. The rich descriptions of the two student cases delineate the different learning trajectories of learners of distinct starting levels. Although the low starting level learner showed much slower in-class uptake, her active engagement and integration of knowledge in the rewriting task by drawing on various resources has increased her understanding of the RA genre. The high starting level learner with satisfactory in-class uptake, however, suffered from lots of textual borrowing in writing due to her high expectation of academic content but lack of corresponding genre and linguistic competences. The fact that both learners exhibited a strong lack of basic linguistic resources to verbalize their sophisticated thinking in the rewriting task pointed to the importance of developing the linguistic aspects in the initial stage of genre knowledge development in EFL contexts, which has been neglected in previous studies focusing on ESL contexts. The careful investigation of the instructional context has led to detailed discussions of a few prominent issues in the pedagogical design, in particular, the importance of focusing on the role of “task” in curriculum and pedagogical design in future research of genre-based pedagogy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectAcademic writing - Study and teaching (Higher)
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198828

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLin, AMY-
dc.contributor.advisorLi, Y-
dc.contributor.author{275572}竞-
dc.contributor.authorCai, Jing-
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-10T04:10:18Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-10T04:10:18Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationCai, J. [{275572}竞]. (2014). An integrated genre-based approach to scaffolding novice academic writers : genre awareness, academic lexical phrases and student uptake. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5204903-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198828-
dc.description.abstractIn EFL contexts like China where research and application of findings in the field of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is still in its infancy, graduate students are in urgent need of support in developing their academic literacy, especially in terms of academic writing and research article writing skills under the forces of globalization of education. This study sets out to develop a contextualized EAP genre-based approach to scaffold novice academic writers and examine its impact through assessment tasks and analysis of students’ uptake. The theoretical traditions of ESP research article (RA) genre analysis (e.g. Swales, 1990, 2004; Swale & Feak, 2004) and lexical bundle studies (e.g. Biber & Barbieri, 2007; Hyland, 2008)are drawn upon and two dimensions of building blocks of academic discourse are conceptualized: the top-down dimension (i.e., genre schematic structuring) and the bottom-up dimension(i.e. general and move-specific academic lexical phrases). Then, the Sydney School genre-based Teaching and Learning Cycle and corpus-informed explicit bundle instruction were incorporated into the ESP genre-based framework to generate a new theoretical and pedagogical model taking into consideration the needs of the local context. In order to evaluate this innovative course thoroughly in a natural and intact classroom, careful triangulations of data were achieved. A mixed-methods programme evaluation framework was developed with two major components, namely an intervention study and individual case studies. In terms of the average gains of the whole class, there was significant improvement in the receptive test of knowledge of genre and bundles after the course. In addition, the instruction significantly narrowed the achievement gap among the high, mid and low starting level students. Most importantly, the increase in the appropriate use of lexical phrases in rewriting suggests the effectiveness of the course in enabling active production. Regression analysis further indicated a strong relationship between the development of bundle knowledge and that of genre and genre-specific features. The rich descriptions of the two student cases delineate the different learning trajectories of learners of distinct starting levels. Although the low starting level learner showed much slower in-class uptake, her active engagement and integration of knowledge in the rewriting task by drawing on various resources has increased her understanding of the RA genre. The high starting level learner with satisfactory in-class uptake, however, suffered from lots of textual borrowing in writing due to her high expectation of academic content but lack of corresponding genre and linguistic competences. The fact that both learners exhibited a strong lack of basic linguistic resources to verbalize their sophisticated thinking in the rewriting task pointed to the importance of developing the linguistic aspects in the initial stage of genre knowledge development in EFL contexts, which has been neglected in previous studies focusing on ESL contexts. The careful investigation of the instructional context has led to detailed discussions of a few prominent issues in the pedagogical design, in particular, the importance of focusing on the role of “task” in curriculum and pedagogical design in future research of genre-based pedagogy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshAcademic writing - Study and teaching (Higher)-
dc.titleAn integrated genre-based approach to scaffolding novice academic writers : genre awareness, academic lexical phrases and student uptake-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5204903-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5204903-

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