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‘Enjoyable’, ‘okay’, or ‘like drawing teeth’? Chinese and British students’ views on writing Assignments in UK Universities

Leedham, Maria (2014). ‘Enjoyable’, ‘okay’, or ‘like drawing teeth’? Chinese and British students’ views on writing Assignments in UK Universities. Journal of Academic Writing, 4(1) pp. 1–11.

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Abstract

Research in academic writing is a growing field within Applied Linguistics, yielding a wide range of conferences, journal publications and books. However, comparatively little work has been conducted on students’ attitudes towards the production of writing for assessment. This article reports findings from a questionnaire study of Chinese and British students (n=202) across 37 UK universities. The study aims to uncover the extent to which students feel they were prepared for tertiary-level writing, how useful they find assignment-writing, and whether they enjoy this activity. The focus of the article is on the similarities and differences in attitudes towards assessed writing given by the two student groups. Chinese students were selected as a contrast to British students as the former are now the ‘largest single overseas student group’ in the UK with more than 60,000 Chinese people studying in 2008 (The British Council, 2010). Detailed, open-ended responses from the questionnaire were coded and followed up with email and face-to-face interview questions with a subset of students (n=55). The findings indicate that neither student group feel well-prepared for the challenges of tertiary-level writing, and reveal a depth of feeling regarding the enjoyment and perceived utility - or otherwise - of academic writing.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 The Author
ISSN: 2225-8973
Keywords: Chinese students; British students; student writing; academic writing; attitudes; questionnaire; interview; tertiary education;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Item ID: 40582
Depositing User: Maria Leedham
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2014 08:40
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2019 17:35
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/40582
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