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Investigating the relationship between the use of English for academic purposes and academic attainment

Donohue, James P. and Erling, Elizabeth J. (2012). Investigating the relationship between the use of English for academic purposes and academic attainment. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11(3) pp. 210–219.

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The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in academic attainment between university students could be correlated with their use of English for academic purposes. Using the diagnostic language assessment procedure known as Measuring the Academic Skills of University Students (MASUS2), as well as informal analysis of assignment feedback and interviews with students, students' performance in assignments in three subject areas was investigated. Results confirmed that there was a strong correlation between the overall scores students obtained in the MASUS language assessment and their attainment as represented by their assignment grade. However, analysis of the five separate categories of the MASUS scores showed that only the scores for the category, use of source material, correlated strongly with student attainment and that the scores on the more explicit language categories, structure and development of the text, academic writing style, and grammar, did not. The paper considers the implications of these findings for future studies of the role of English for academic purposes in students' attainment and for EAP pedagogy.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 Elsevier
ISSN: 1475-1585
Keywords: academic attainment; academic writing; diagnostic writing assessment; measuring the academic skills of university students; systemic functional linguistics
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 33021
Depositing User: James Donohue
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2012 10:20
Last Modified: 26 May 2017 12:14
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