October 2013
TESOL HOME Convention Jobs Book Store TESOL Community

CONFERENCE REPORTS
SCHOLARSHIP ON L2 WRITING IN 2012: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Tony Silva, Mei-Hung Lin, & Suneeta Thomas, Purdue University, Indiana, USA

 

Tony Silva

 

Mei-Hung Lin

 

Suneeta Thomas

At TESOL 2013 in Dallas, Texas, USA Tony Silva, Mei-Hung, and Suneeta Thomas did a presentation designed to help attendees interested in second language (L2) writing keep up with the research in this area of study. This article, an overview and synthesis of scholarship on L2 writing in 2012, was a result of this presentation. This follows in the tradition of the presentation of reviews of L2 writing scholarship done in 2010 (Silva, McMartin-Miller, Jayne, and Pelaez-Morales) and in 2011 (Silva, Pelaez-Morales, McMartin-Miller, and Lin), both also published in SLW News.

Data for this presentation come from a database of scholarship on L2 writing assembled over the past 30 years. This database is the result of a regular review of relevant databases such as Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA), Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI), and Worldcat (an online database that provides access to the collections of 71,000 libraries in 112 countries) as well as a regular perusal of more than 50 journals that, to a greater or lesser extent, typically publish articles on L2 writing. The types of publications primarily include journal articles, books (authored and edited), book chapters, dissertations, and ERIC documents.

We reviewed the materials and categorized them by topic or focus, including language, academic writing challenges (in the form of strategies, publication and research writing, plagiarism and textual borrowing, and curriculum), pedagogy, L2 writing research, feedback (including written corrective feedback and peer/self-feedback), populations (children, adult multilingual writers, generation 1.5 learners), technology, identity, culture, assessment, and corpus-based studies.

Language

As one of the most prevalent themes in L2 writing research, the “language” category is composed of seventeen articles, two conference proceedings, three dissertations, and one book. Some of the major subthemes are cohesion, errors, strategies that encourage learning, analysis of specific linguistic features, and application of approaches to L2 writing. Of these subthemes, linguistic features are the most common. For instance, Cons identified some uses and misuses of academic words by L2 learners, while Alonso, Alonso & Marinas describe the treatment of hedging and how it leads to pragmatic transfer among Spanish researchers. Wang & Qi observe the rhetorical structures used by Chinese English majors, while Giles considers the use of evaluative language by two Mexican student writers. Li & Wharton analyze the metadiscourse repertoire of Mandarin undergraduates, and Macqueen explores patterns that emerge through lexical trails in L2 writing. Liu examines features of Chinese EFL learners’ thesis statements, and Li analyzes theme-rheme progression in EFL writing. Additionally, two articles, written by Bi & Qin, and He & Shi discuss the importance of topic knowledge in L2 academic writing.

Strategies that encourage learning represent another common theme in this category. Such studies disclose attempts of researchers to actively enhance L2 writing in the classroom. Yanguas & Lado discuss the importance of reading aloud when writing in L1 while Yasuda looks at the effects of implementing genre-based tasks in the classroom. Plata Ramirez presents the significance of “language switching” in L2 writing where L2 learners use both their L1 and L2 linguistic repertoires during the composing process, while Pomerantz & Kearney provide a narrative framework to understand how multilingual graduate students interact with their writing. Furthermore, Hirvela, Nussbaum, & Pierson report university ESL students’ attitudes towards punctuation.

With regard to cohesion, Yang & Sun, and Yang investigate the usage of cohesive devices among Chinese learners, while Crossley & McNamara assess text cohesion to predict L2 writing proficiency. Kooshafar, Youhanaee, & Amirian further observe the effect of dictogloss technique in encouraging coherent texts. Three studies focused on errors—Erkaya finds lexicon errors to be the strongest in Turkish students’ essays; whereas Wang investigates errors in grammar, sentence structure, and coherence in Chinese English majors’ essays; and Dunlap analyzes spelling errors of ESL students. Finally, two studies adopted approaches to augment L2 writing: Tang measures the effectiveness of the lexical approach to teaching writing, while Huang tries applying the cognitive approach to process writing to non-English major students.

Academic Writing Challenges

Strategies. With a total of 40 studies under this category, academic writing challenges constitute by far the most important trend in L2 writing research in the past year. These studies can be further divided into five subcategories, namely: strategies, creative strategies, publication and research writing, plagiarism and textual borrowing, and curriculum.

In 15 studies, researchers investigated different strategies or methods used to tackle L2 writing challenges. One of the strategies suggested is to engage in critical learning practices. Huang finds critical writing practices in an EFL writing curriculum that integrated both critical and literacy education, to be a source of empowerment to the EFL learner. Fahim & Hashtroodi explore the effect of critical thinking in the development of argumentative essays among Iranian undergraduates. Two studies, by Myskow & Gordon, and Yang look into audience engagement strategies and test-taking strategies, respectively. Additionally, Harwood & Petric inspect the citation behavior in two student writers.

Six studies specifically describe methods used in L2 writing. While Tuan advocates integration of reading when teaching writing, Yang & Plakans monitor the manner in which L2 writers strategically perform on a reading-listening-writing task. Dobao describes the benefits of collaborative writing tasks in an L2 classroom. More specifically, Souza demonstrates that appropriate written prompts can help L2 learners understand teacher expectations and respond better to writing assignments. Zhang, in particular, examines “discourse synthesis writing,” or how L2 students integrate information from multiple source texts, whereas Hawes & Thomas discuss students’ problems with theme choice.

Lastly, four studies—three books and one article—provide a broad-spectrum of suggestions to improve L2 writing. Andrade & Evans suggest self-regulated learning for the L2 learner, while Craig discusses various ways of implementing a writing-across-the-curriculum approach in an ESL/EFL setting. Jordan goes on to advocate the importance of multilingualism and provides both theoretical and practical perspectives on implementing it in the L2 classroom. Finally, on a more general note, Kim proposes several strategies for teachers, such as providing language support and the provision of writing centers to help students learn better.

Creative strategies. Among strategies, three in particular focus on creative techniques to motivate writing. Ismail proposes the use of drawings and visual representations in writing, while Hanauer suggests strategies in implementing poetry writing in the ESL classroom. Friesen goes a step further and suggests combining photography and haiku writing as a means to engage students in writing.

Publication and Research Writing. There has also been strong interest in L2 writing in publication and research writing for graduate students. Six articles and two books comprising eight studies indicate the significance of this area of research. Olsson & Sheridan observe how the use of English affects academic domains and possibly disadvantages Swedish scholars. Similarly, in the context of Thailand, Jaroongkhongdach, Todd, & Keyuravong note the problems that Thai scholars may face when trying to publish in international journals. Cargill, O’Connor, & Li demonstrate the increasing necessity of Chinese scientists to publish in international journals in English. Tang and Roux discuss the issues and challenges ESL/EFL academic writers face in writing and publishing. More specifically, Gao uses first-person narration to discover the potential problems ESL graduate students face in academic English writing, while Wang & Yang document the strategies MA graduates use and the problems they face when writing a thesis proposal. In terms of possible solutions, Patten and Matarese’s book analyzes the different services available to nonnative speakers for research writing and publication.

Plagiarism and Textual Borrowing. With 10 articles and one book on this topic, issues related to the appropriate incorporation of source texts and plagiarism have been drawing an increasing amount of attention in L2 writing. Here, the majority of researchers are interested in exploring particular perceptions and attitudes regarding text borrowing from both students and instructors’ perspectives through various methods, such as analysis of texts, text-based interviews, or case studies, aiming at providing pedagogical implications for how the concept can be addressed in an L2 writing classroom. Three studies, conducted by Hu & Lei, Plakans & Gebril, and Petric, explore L2 writers’ perceptions of plagiarism through examining how source texts or direct quotation are used in students’ texts. Additionally, Li, Shi, and Pecorari & Shaw investigate not only students’ perceptions, but also instructors’ attitudes and judgments on plagiarism. Polio & Shi, in particular, address students and instructors’ perceptions towards text borrowing in five research papers that employ various methods. Among the various methods, Li & Casanave, and Kostka look at the issue in detail through case studies. They and Stapleton also examine the influence of the use of Turnitin, an antiplagiarism service, on students’ perceptions of plagiarism in the classroom. On a  more cohesive note, Bloch's book provides a clear understanding of terms 'plagiarism' and 'intellectual property law,' discussion how these terms can be taught and understood in an L2 writing classroom.

Curriculum. Among academic writing challenges, three studies discussed curriculum development. While Shapiro recognizes and documents the resistance to change in an ESL curriculum due to the ideological and political conditions it is situated in, Wu specifically conducts a needs analysis study for students to encourage curriculum development. On a positive note, Ewert reports on the success of an instance of ESL curriculum reform that integrated reading and writing activities with meaning-based tasks.

Pedagogy

With 19 studies, pedagogy is yet another important theme in L2 writing research. Studies in this category discuss topics ranging from application of approaches to pedagogy to teacher development programs and specific strategies for enhancing learning. A focus on theoretical perspectives was the strongest subtheme here. For instance, Hashemnezhad & Hashemnezhad compares the product, process, and postprocess approaches in an Iranian EFL setting, discovering that process and postprocess approaches work far better than product approaches. Whereas Pandey revisits the process approach and suggests an “action-based model of bottom-up teaching” (p. 659), Harris suggests using systemic functional linguistics to supplement learning, which results in positive development in areas of structure and language in bilingual and monolingual students.

Additionally, while Lukkarila proposes the use of critical and feminist pedagogy in L2 academic writing, Kano sees the benefit of translanguaging, with a specific focus on the thought processes of L2 students. Ray further encourages a pedagogy of translingual composition that supports language difference in the classroom. With regard to foreign language teaching, Zong, Zhu, & Liu present principles and methods for implementing the “length approach” in teaching Chinese as a second language writing, discussing its benefits and effectiveness. Li, in her dissertation, discusses the drawbacks of Chinese teaching methods that focus highly on structure and accuracy while effective communication skills are ignored. She suggests a “community-based socio-cognitive instruction approach” (p. iii) as a possible solution. Mo further discusses how personal and instructional factors, such as students’ lack of interest and inefficient teaching, affect writing instruction in China and suggests methods for improvement.

In relation to teacher development, Sangani & Stelma assess studies conducted on teacher development and describe a teacher development initiative in Iran observing challenges and reflecting on the teachers' professional practices in the Iranian context. Kamimura, similarly, highlights challenges and strategies for teaching EFL composition in Japan. Wang, too, by providing a synopsis of studies done in L2 writing in Chinese contexts, provides teachers with a useful resource for their teaching. Reis goes a step further and presents a case study of a nonnative English-speaking teacher, describing his experience as he tried to gain professional recognition in a university context.

Six studies presented various strategies that teachers can apply to their pedagogy to augment L2 writing. Larsen reviews the effect of blended learning pedagogy, while Lei explores the usage of narrative pedagogy to inform learning. Abbuhl observes the effect of explicit instruction on self-referential pronoun use, indicating that explicit instruction is necessary in L2 writing. Chen & Su demonstrate the effectiveness of genre-based teaching in summary writing. Schall-Leckrone & McQuillan discuss how novice history teachers were mentored to teach English learners, and Yang & Gao examine the teaching experiences of four EFL university teachers in China, highlighting the need to develop and strengthen EFL teachers’ abilities.

L2 Writing Research

With 16 studies that describe and theorize the field of L2 writing research, this category represents a significant trend. The primary focus here was on description of the L2 writing research field, the emerging trend of replication studies in L2 writing research, and specific theories that can be used to study L2 writing.

Five studies document the development of L2 writing research as a field. While Power, in her dissertation, provides a holistic review of the social history of second language writing in the postprocess era, Belcher points out avenues in the field that have received far less attention, such as research on younger L2 writers and teaching and learning in foreign language contexts. On a similar note, Wang describes the current developments of L2 writing research in China and abroad. With regard to foreign language teaching, Yigitoglu & Reichelt observe problems in teaching Turkish and Turkish-language writing. Additionally, Reichelt, Lefkowitz, Rinnert, & Schultz document key issues in foreign language writing.

Another set of studies in this section presents a discussion on replication studies in the field of L2 writing research. Composed of one article and five consequent responses on the topic, replication studies are looked at through a critical lens. Porte & Richards, in their focus article, discuss the range of replication studies in L2 research, both in quantitative and qualitative domains. However, Casanave criticizes their work as only being applicable to some studies in L2 writing research, indicating a broader set of avenues that needs to be explored in the field. She additionally recommends that more studies that cannot be replicated must be encouraged, since L2 writing research is “not a biomedical field, but a human science” (p. 297). Polio takes a more neutral stand and states that although replication is not fully possible because every context is different, it is important, and well-designed replicated studies are the key. Cumming, too, expounds on this and suggests the possibility of partial replicability as a solution for L2 writing research. He reiterates Polio’s contention that every sociolinguistic context will prevent complete replicability from being fully achievable. Matsuda points out that L2 writing research as a field has been engaging in systematic research since the early 1960s. In terms of replication, he states that qualitative research at best can engage in approximate replication where the methodology might be the same, but the results may be different and generalizability is not possible. Sasaki puts forth an ecological perspective on replication studies.

Finally, three studies report on specific theories employed in studying L2 writing. Bhowmik, for example, applies a sociocultural approach to analyzing L2 writing, discovering that students engage in various context-specific, social, and cultural affordances to augment their writing. Johnson, Mercado, & Acevedo, in an experimental study that used the limited attentional capacity model and cognitive hypothesis, explore the effects of pretask planning on writing fluency. They discover that in order for pretask planning to be effective, L2 writers must possess a general threshold of L2 proficiency. Fraiberg & You argue that Chinese learners have always functioned in a multilingual mode in L2 writing, and present a multilingual and multimodal framework to study L2 composition. Two more studies, one by Grigorenko, Mambrino, & Preiss, and the other by Manchon, discuss multiple perspectives on L2 writing development.

Feedback

Provision of the right kind of feedback has always been a major concern in L2 writing research. With 18 studies in this category, feedback continues to be a significant strand in L2 writing research. The foci of these studies can be further divided into written corrective feedback (CF) and peer/self-feedback.

Written Corrective Feedback. Both Bitchener and Ferris, in their studies, provide a general overview on corrective feedback literature and elaborate on avenues for future research. Brown analyzes the points of contention in the field and provides suggestions for teachers on CF in light of this debate.

Four studies explicitly looked into the degree, attitudes, and effectiveness of CF. McMartin-Miller, in her qualitative case study, discusses to what degree teachers provide CF and why, and student perceptions of CF. Wang & Wu present a similar discussion in the Chinese context and observe that teachers are more interested in providing uncoded CF (writing the correct forms above each error) to avoid the same error, rather than helping students learn on their own, while students expected comprehensive and frequent use of error codes. Norouzian & Farahani, too, document student perceptions of and teaching practices in using CF and lay out the various mismatches between them in their study. Additionally, Van Beuningen, Jong, & Kuiken describe positive effects of comprehensive, direct, and indirect CF.

Four more studies looked into specific analyses of CF. While Suzuki advocates written languaging of CF as a means to mediate L2 learning, Riazantseva examines the effects of outcome measures in L2 writing through CF. Additionally, Yu encourages the use of varied speech functions in written feedback as a means of improving student understanding of teacher expectations. Sampson, in his analysis of coded and uncoded CF, concludes that coded CF (writing symbols to encourage self-correction) is more effective in learning.

Peer/Self-Feedback. Many L2 researchers advocate the importance of peer and self-feedback when it comes to L2 writing. While both Goldburg and Qian highlight student perceptions and preferences in peer feedback, Yang & Chen and Su reiterate the positive effects of self-feedback and peer feedback. Chang investigates the use of three modes (face-to-face, synchronous, and asynchronous computer-mediated communication) in peer review and its benefits in the EFL classroom, whereas Zhu & Mitchell employ activity theory to understand the stances and motivations of students involved in peer feedback. Finally, Johnson’s dissertation compares peer and self-feedback and presents a holistic review on its effects on EFL writing.

Populations

2012 also saw publications on research that focused on L2 writers from a variety of populations. Three categories comprise the studies here: child, adult multilingual, and generation 1.5 writers. With a total of 18 articles, this is clearly a popular area of study in second language writing.

Children. Composed of eight articles, this section focuses on the English writing skills of children. Bae & Lee, in a longitudinal study, investigate the development of grammar, coherence, and text length in children’s English writing, while Gort observes code-switching patterns in writing-related talk in Spanish first graders. Valdez, by comparing the L1 instruction and L2 immersion of fourth graders, advocates for effective writing instruction. Brisk, in addition, relates young writers’ use of grammatical person to their understanding of genre and audience. Zainal, using a sociocognitive framework, validates the use of an ESL writing test in a Malaysian school context and provides practical suggestions for teachers. Wei & Zhou highlight the effects of parental intervention in the L2 writing development of children. Curcic, Wolbers, Juzwik, & Pu examine theoretical framing in L2 writing research for prekindergarten to twelfth grade students, while You addresses English writing research in China.

Adult Multilingual Writers. Four dissertations and two articles discussed adult multilingual writers. While Tanova investigates language use in third language writing, Gilliland notes the significant challenge multilingual writers experience when transitioning from a developmental class to a mainstream English class. Sharma explores language variation among multilingual writers in an engineering setting. Lorimer shows how multilingual writers use mobile resources to adapt their writing to social settings as they travel. Marshall, Hayashi, & and Yeung observe how multilingual writers use their multiliterate competencies in informal versus high-stakes academic contexts; and Miller-Cochran discusses the implementation of a cross-cultural composition course to enhance ESL writing.

Generation 1.5 Learners. This set of studies focuses on generation 1.5 students and their experiences. While Doolan & Miller conduct a comparative study on error patterns among generation 1.5 students, Riazantseva reports on the success in college of three generation 1.5 students. Similarly, Hodara’s dissertation analyzes the impact of developmental education and its outcome on first and second generation students. Di Gennaro discusses the importance of designing writing programs to meet multilingual student needs.

Technology

With at least 20 articles addressing the use of various technologies in L2 writing classrooms around the world, it is clear that incorporating technology in the teaching of L2 writing has become a trend. The majority of these articles have reported that the use of technology has positively influenced L2 learners’ writing abilities, particularly their motivation for learning to write because of the highly interactive and collaborative learning environments brought by the use of technology. The various types of media used in L2 writing classrooms include both synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated tools such as online forums, Twitter, text chat, wikis, interactive whiteboards, and blogs.

Two studies conducted by Bauler and Ritchie & Black report how the interactive nature of online forums helps develop L2 writers’ academic literacy, particularly argumentative writing skills. Another two studies find that incorporating Twitter improves L2 writers’ learning attitudes as the medium helps to form a collaborative community in which learners can reflect and share; however, its impact on learners’ writing performance seems to be uncertain (Lomicka & Lord, Cheng). As for the use of text chat, Garratt describes students’ positive perceptions of using text chat to learn to write while Alwi, Adams, & Newton examine specifically how different implementation features used in text chat may result in differences in attention to language expression. In addition, Pellet demonstrates how using wikis in L2 writing facilitates building content knowledge. Chen & Brown suggest that the interactive characteristics of Web 2.0 raise L2 writers’ awareness of audience and authorship. Alqadoumi contends that both asynchronous and synchronous conferencing benefit L2 writers from more conservative societies. Sun & Chang report how the use of blogs helps to engage students’ learning and develop their sense of authorship, and Kessler, Bikowski, & Boggs suggest that web-based collaborative writing projects enable L2 writers to focus more on meaning than form while increasing grammatical accuracy.

The use of technology is also employed in studying other aspects of writing. For example, two studies address types and effects of online peer feedback (Ciftci & Kocoglu, Diez-Bedmar & Perez-Paredes). Warhol & Fields discuss the importance of teaching L2 writers about organization while composing with digital media or in traditional texts. Yang examines L2 writers’ composing processes in digital storytelling.

Identity

In 2012, the issue of identity construction in L2 writing, particularly self-representation of L2 writers in academic discourse, continues to be an important research topic with at least 15 publications representing this category. Among them, some studies reveal challenges or struggles L2 writers encounter when presenting their authorial voice in an L2 while others focus on proposing various methods in teaching or raising L2 learners’ awareness about self-representation in written texts.

Studies conducted by Yeh, Christiansen, Wandermurem, Tudor Sarver, and Wharton all attempt to explore how L2 writers represent themselves and, specifically, what kinds of difficulties they encounter when negotiating their self-representation in writing. Yeh, for instance, reports Taiwanese L2 writers’ challenges in appropriately projecting themselves and how they gradually overcome the problem through continued socialization with teachers and peers in the United States. Similarly, Wharton examines L2 writers’ stance options when making propositions using a small learner corpus.

Another strand of studies emphasizes using various approaches to assisting L2 writers to develop authorial presence. Vinogradova demonstrates using multiliteracies such as digital stories in encouraging L2 learners to explore their identities. Chang reports positive results of adopting a textlinguistic approach to improving L2 writers’ self-representation with the use of a corpus. Chen devotes part of her dissertation to exploring how the use of social networking sites helps L2 writers develop authorial presence, and Jwa suggests that design features of online discourse, namely fan fiction, are of great help in shaping the voices of L2 writers.

There are various other issues discussed under this category. Gao, for instance, examines interpersonal functions of epistemic modality, including how it represents writers’ identities. Deng’s article investigates Chinese doctoral students’ self-representation in the Discussion and Conclusion sections of their theses. Belcher addresses the role of writing in cultural identity and bilingual competence, and Tardy explores how readers’ perceptions of authors influences voice construction and evaluation of the authors.

Culture

Another theme in 2012 is the role of culture in L2 writing. Seven studies examine how L2 writers’ own culture influences their development of rhetorical structure and sociolinguistic and intercultural competence in writing in English. Booker reports that female Hispanic ESL learners regard English learning as an integral part of cultural assimilation, and Zhao & Coombs describe how learning to write in English serves as a way for Chinese student writers to reexamine their own cultural beliefs. Another focus in understanding the role of culture in L2 writing is the use of contrastive rhetoric in teaching and studying the rhetorical structure or linguistic features of L2 writers’ texts. Quinn, for instance, proposes using contrastive rhetoric in the ESL classroom. Similarly, Abasi reports on how American learners of Persian perceived the rhetorical structure of the target language. Additionally, three studies specifically examine how a particular linguistic feature is used differently by L1 and L2 writers, drawing on the concept of contrastive rhetoric. Adel & Erman, for instance, observe the difference in the use of recurrent word combinations by L1 speakers of Swedish who learn to write in English and native English speakers. Uysal compares how argument patterns are used by L1 and L2 writers, and Gao contends that Chinese writers of English and U.S. students employ different lexical devices to achieve coherence.

Assessment

Assessing L2 writers’ skills has long been of importance in the development of L2 writing. Of the 11 studies that address various aspects of assessment in L2 writing, two of them focus on examining the effect of self-assessment while the rest of them explore the possibility of using dynamic approaches to evaluating L2 writers’ performance. In the two studies that investigate the effect of self-assessment on writing ability, Birjandi , Hadidi, & Tamjid suggest that the employment of self-assessment and peer assessment accompanied by teacher assessment benefit EFL student writers the most, and Khodadady & Khodabakhshzade report that incorporating portfolio and self-assessment helps improve L2 learners’ writing abilities.

In addition, a number of studies aim at measuring L2 writers’ performance with various dynamic approaches. Verspoor, Schmid, & Xu assess L2 learners’ written texts from a dynamic usage based perspective; likewise, Isavi proposes using dynamic assessment as a way to get a more comprehensive understanding of L2 writers’ developmental levels. Weigle discusses considerations in the use of automated scoring systems in L2 writing while Tsagari & Csepes address various issues related to the realities of and prospects for employing collaboration in language testing and assessment. Soltero-Gonzalez, Escamilla, & Hopewell suggest that evaluating the writing abilities of L2 writers from a holistic perspective is more likely to provide a comprehensive understanding of the language development of these learners.

Other subthemes in assessment in L2 writing are also addressed. Huang, for instance, examines the accuracy and validity of ESL writing assessment in Canada by using generalizability theory. Johnson & VanBrackle report raters’ different reactions to African American “errors” and ESL errors in writing assessment. Tillema, Bergh, Rijlaarsdam, & Sanders propose a rating procedure for evaluating L1 and L2 writing using bilingual raters and L1 and L2 benchmark essays. Weigle & Parker specifically discuss the effect of using source-based writing in the examination of students’ writing skills.

Corpus-Based Studies

With at least seven studies on the subject, using a corpus-based approach in exploring move structures and linguistic features of certain genres, particularly genres in academic discourse, continues to be popular in the field of L2 writing, and results derived from these studies all attempt to offer implications for teaching and research in L2 writing. A study by Deng, Xiao, Xu, Chen, & Liu investigates more general research trends, content, method, viewpoints, and subjects of Chinese domestic foreign language core journals using a corpus-based approach.

Three studies, on the other hand, focus on examining more specific aspects of genres. Tehrani & Dastjerdi find that the use of discourse markers in lectures facilitates L2 writers’ comprehension and helps them produce more cohesive texts. Salmani Nodoushan & Montazeran observe differences in the use of moves and move structures in the genre of book reviews written by native English speaking, ESL, and EFL authors. Lei, through compiling a corpus of Chinese doctoral dissertations, reports the overuse, underuse, and limited use of linking adverbials by Chinese doctoral students in comparison to a corpus of published articles. In addition, two studies address particularly the use of learner corpora in the L2 writing classroom. Vyatkina investigates linguistic complexity of L2 beginner writers’ texts using an annotated, longitudinal learner corpus, and Park examines L2 writers’ interaction with a corpus system, demonstrating how corpus systems can be incorporated to facilitate L2 learners’ textual awareness.


Tony Silva is a professor of English and the director of ESL Writing Program in the Department of English at Purdue University.

Mei-Hung Lin received her PhD in second language studies/ESL at Purdue University. Her research interests include second language writing, English for specific/academic purposes, and corpus studies.

Suneeta Thomas is a fourth year PhD student in the SLS/ESL program at Purdue University. Her academic interests include World Englishes, second language writing, and sociolinguistics.

« Previous Newsletter Home Print Article Next »
In This Issue
LEADERSHIP UPDATES
ARTICLES
REVIEWS
CONFERENCE REPORTS
ABOUT THIS MEMBER COMMUNITY
Tools
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Print Issue
RSS Feed