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Does one academic year make a difference? A longitudinal study into academic vocabulary in foundation-level students’ assessed writing

Therova, Dana (2019). Does one academic year make a difference? A longitudinal study into academic vocabulary in foundation-level students’ assessed writing. In: 6th International Language in Focus Conference, 2-4 May 2019, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Abstract

Academic vocabulary is indisputably one of the most important features of academic texts and several studies (e.g., Csomay and Prades 2018; Durrant 2016; Storch and Tapper 2009) have examined the coverage of academic vocabulary in university students’ writing. However, little research has considered the usage of academic vocabulary in foundation-level students’ summative assignments from a longitudinal perspective. This study, conducted at a UK university, seeks to address this gap by applying a corpus-based approach to the investigation of academic vocabulary in assessed academic writing produced by a multilingual group of 30 foundation-level students over one academic year.
Textual analysis of academic vocabulary was conducted using AntWordProfiler (Anthony 2013) and drawing on the Academic Word List (Coxhead 2000), New Academic Vocabulary List (Gardner and Davies 2013) and New General Service List (Brezina and Gablasova 2015). To complement the textual data, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 participants to gain insights into the students’ perceptions of the main contributors to the deployment and development of their academic vocabulary.
The findings highlight the effect that the topic and writing genre have on the usage of academic expressions in academic writing production as well as the importance of teacher feedback and exposure to academic vocabulary in reading materials. These findings have potentially important pedagogical implications, not only for foundation-level provisions but also for broader EAP contexts catering for a diverse student population.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 60926
Depositing User: Dana Therova
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 08:39
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 23:05
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/60926
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