Why is a researchers’ professional life important to students?

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Why is a researchers’ professional life important to students?

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Publication Conference Poster
Title Why is a researchers’ professional life important to students?
Author(s) Bergman, Lotta ; Olsson Jers, Cecilia
Date 2014
English abstract
Previous research indicated students’ difficulties in acquiring academic reading and writing literacies. Achieving language proficiency expected in higher education often requires hard work from students. Their problems with reading and writing academic texts also presents a challenge for university teachers, who are expected to support students in their academic language development. Our research project aims at exploring how text-based conversations can be used to develop students' understanding of the conventions in academic texts, as well as students’ ability to examine these texts critically. Students’ need for continuous support, related to the educational content, has been discussed before (e.g. Lea & Street, 1998; Monroe, 2003). University teachers, regardless of their subjects or disciplines, can support students’ reading and writing development in a variety of ways (e.g. Lillis & Scott, 2007; Wingate, 2011). Our point of departure is in socio-culturally oriented research on academic writing (e.g. Lea & Street, 1998; Blåsjö, 2004). For this investigation of text-based conversations, however, we also use more text-oriented and genre-based approaches (e.g. Hyland, 2004; Bazerman, Bonini & Figueiredo, 2009). Our project is based on a qualitative study of students' conversations on a scientific text included in their course. The text-based conversations were conducted during a three-hour session, in which the first part included a joint teacher-led discussion between the students and the teacher. This discussion was based on issues focusing some fundamental aspects of a text and its context: what is the problem and purpose of the study, what methods are used and for whom is this article written. The second half of the session was devoted to group discussions, where the task was to examine critically the qualities of the text based on a number of typical features in scientific texts, such as clarity, transparency, independency of context, text structure, and validity claims. The purpose of the assignment was for students to engage in a close reading of the text. These text-based conversations were recorded in several student groups. The recorded material was subsequently transcribed and analysed. We identified three themes relevant to the students’ comprehension of the academic text discussed: the text's usability, the text's reliability, and students' attitudes towards the text and the researchers. The results highlight the teacher’s role in supporting students' reading and writing. Furthermore, the study indicates that students need knowledge about researchers’ working conditions and their writing to understand why academic texts look as they do. In this talk, we focus on the critical potential of text-based conversations as a tool for students’ reading and writing development. References: Bazerman, C., Bonini, A. & Figueiredo, D.D.C. (Eds.). (2009). Genre in a changing world. Fort Collins, Colorado: WAC Clearinghouse. Blåsjö, M. (2004). Studenters skrivande i två kunskapsbyggande miljöer. Stockholm: Almqvist och Wiksell International. Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary Discourse. Social Interactions in Academic writing. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. Lea, M. R. & Street, B. V. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2), 157-172. Lillis T. M. & Scott, M. (2007). Defining academic literacies research. Issues of epistemology, ideology and strategy. Journal of Applied linguistics, 4(1), 5-32. Monroe, J. (2003). Writing in the disciplines. Peer Review, 6(1), 5-32. Wingate, U., Andon, N. & Cogo, A. (2011). Embedding academic writing instruction into
Publisher WRAB
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Note WRAB : Writing Research Across Borders III, Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 19-22/2 2014
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/17119 (link to this page)
Link http://conference2014.fr/wrab_accueil_en.php (external link to related web page)

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