Presentation on theme: "JOINT CONSTRUCTION WITH SECOND-LANGUAGE WRITERS: COLLABORATIVE WRITING PLUS Katie Smith and Nigel Caplan University of Delaware School of Education CUCMC."— Presentation transcript:
JOINT CONSTRUCTION WITH SECOND-LANGUAGE WRITERS: COLLABORATIVE WRITING PLUS Katie Smith and Nigel Caplan University of Delaware School of Education CUCMC 2012
Source: The Writing Process Colossal Concept Poster
The Teaching-Learning Cycle Martin, 2009; adapted from Rothery, 1996
Joint Construction 1. Pair Writing2. Teacher-as-Scribe
Why should it work? Second Language Acquisition Interaction (Gass) Negotiation (Pica) Languaging (Swain) Genre-Based Pedagogy Explicit attention to genre (Martin, Rothery) Collaborative Writing Benefits of pair writing (Storch & Wigglesworth) Joint construction (Humphrey & MacNaught) Cognitive Strategy Instruction (MacArthur)
Context UD English Language Institute Pre-MBA (Conditionally admitted MBA students) Reading/Writing for Graduate Programs (level VI) Target genres: persuasive writing & data commentary
Research Questions 1. What is the nature of the interactions in two different joint construction tasks? 2. Are the tasks qualitatively and/or quantitatively different? 3. What effects does joint construction have on the language and generic staging of ESL students independent writing?
Methods and Data Collection Session IV (March-April)Session V (May-June) Persuasive EssayPair WritingTeacher-as-Scribe Data CommentaryTeacher-as-ScribePair Writing 12 Chinese pre-MBA students in each session 3 of the students in Session IV repeated the course in Session V Theme of the courses was different: technology (IV) and ethics (V) Data collected: Video/audio recordings of the joint construction tasks Pair/group writing Diagnostic essay Post-instruction data commentary in-class essay Final timed essay (persuasive)
Challenges with Data Collection Limitations of Technology Limited collaboration Task Demands Time Demands
Tentative Findings Teacher-as-ScribePair Writing Teacher can involve more studentsSome pairs are dominated by stronger student Teacher can focus students to stay on topic Students have trouble focusing and/or begin lively discussions that take them off topic Students self-correct and correct one another When writing, students look for perfect wording of each sentence (often independently) Students focus more on structure, less on content In discussions, students construct slowly, focus on word choice and grammar but mostly on content Students rely on the instructor for corrections to grammar or content Students rely on one another and on other class materials for corrections
Future Directions How do these joint construction tasks effect independent student writing? (Is there any evidence of transfer?) Do pair writing and teacher-as-scribe tasks affect student writing in distinct ways? What might be some successful strategies to develop for joint construction tasks in ESL graduate student writing courses?
Nigel A. Caplan PhD Student, School of Education (Literacy) Assistant Professor, English Language Institute Katie Smith PhD Student, School of Education (Literacy) PowerPoint and references available at