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Factors impacting the usage of international foundation students’ academic vocabulary in assessed writing

Therova, Dana (2018). Factors impacting the usage of international foundation students’ academic vocabulary in assessed writing. In: 9th Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies International Biennial Conference, 13-15 Jun 2018, University of Malta.

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Abstract

To date little research has been conducted into the writing of international foundation students at UK-based universities. This is surprising considering that academic writing is one of the core academic skills that foundation-level students are expected to develop during the course of the foundation year. Moreover, since written assignments continue to remain the main mode of assessment in higher education institutions in the UK, it is crucial for foundation students to meet the required standards of writing if they are to succeed and progress to an honours degree.
This study therefore focuses on assessed writing of international foundation students at a UK-based university and aims to investigate the main contributing factors to the deployment of academic vocabulary used in their written assignments. The aim of this longitudinal study, conducted over a period of one academic year (equalling 24 teaching weeks), was addressed by the identification of individual academic expressions on the
basis of the combination of the Academic Word List (Coxhead 2010) with the more recent New Academic Vocabulary List (Gardner and Davis 2013) with the assistance of AntWordProfiler (Antony 2013). The identified academic items were subsequently analysed in their co-textual
environments for grammatical accuracy and appropriateness of usage in the given contexts using AntConc (Antony 2014). The textual analysis was complemented by individual semi-structured interviews identifying the students’ perceptions of the main factors that impacted the
usage of academic lexis in their assessed writing.
The findings have potentially important pedagogical implications not only for international foundation practitioners, but also for broader EAP and other higher education contexts characterised by a diverse student population as they highlight the students’ reflections on the
different ways of acquisition of academic vocabulary used in assessed writing as well as difficulties encountered with certain aspects of grammar relating to these items shared by a multilingual group of international foundation students.

References:
AntConc (Version 3.4.4) [Computer Software]. Developed by Anthony, L. (2014), Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Available from http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/
AntWordProfiler (Version 1.4) [Computer Software]. Developed by Anthony, L. (2013), Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Available from:
http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antwordprofiler/
Coxhead, A. (2000). ‘A New Academic Word List’, TESOL Quarterly, 34(2), 213 – 238.
Gardner, D. and Davies, M. (2013). ‘A New Academic Vocabulary List’, Applied Linguistics, 31(4), 1 – 24.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 55514
Depositing User: Dana Therova
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 10:12
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2019 19:04
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/55514
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