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Challenges of Selecting Model Texts in Genre-based Writing Classes Ibtesam Hussein April, 2014.

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1 Challenges of Selecting Model Texts in Genre-based Writing Classes Ibtesam Hussein April, 2014

2 Discussion Questions Which model do you think is the best for your students? Why? How do you usually select models for your students? How do you usually use model texts in your class?

3 Definition… Watson (1982) defined models as “the product of other people’s writing, not the student’s own product, and it is the product not the process of writing that is observed” (p. 6). A model is also seen as “a text written by a specific writer in a specific situation that is subsequently reused to exemplify a genre that generalizes over writers in such situations” (Charney & Carlson, 1995, p. 90).

4 Selection of Model Texts Expert model texts Novice models Authentic and specially written models Selection of appropriate model texts is a factor in the value of those models (Charney & Carlson, 1995)

5 Criteria for Selecting Models L2 writing instructors need to be “analytical and critical readers” (Stolarek, 1994). Stolarek (1994) suggests that writing instructors should endeavor to “develop an awareness of the linguistic features which define a particular form of writing, and to select models which present those features in a manner which is most accessible to students” (p. 170)

6 Stolarek (1994) writes: Instruction in which modeling works best would be characterized by a clear conception on the part of the instructor of what, exactly, is to be modeled, along with the presentation of a model which clearly exemplifies the characteristics which are to be modeled (P. 178).

7 Noticing Noticing is defined as “awareness of a stimulus via short-term memory” (Qi & Lapkin, 2001, para 4). Research in second language acquisition, cognitive psychology and cognitive science agrees that attention or noticing is significant for learning to occur

8 How? Model TextsNegotiationIndependent

9 Context for a graduate-level writing course

10 Research Questions Quantitative component Is there a measureable change / progress/ improvement? Qualitative component Does providing students with quality model texts of a variety of genres (genre awareness) in a genre-based writing course have a positive impact on improving international graduate students` academic writing? Does explicit focusing (noticing) of a particular area of language use in a specific writing genre improve performance in that aspect of language use?

11 Participants A total of fifteen international graduate students (Saudi Arabia, Libya, Bangladesh, Columbia and China) enrolled in TL 524 Academic Writing for Dissertations and Publications course at Washington State University (WSU).

12 Data collection and analysis The graduate writing based genre class lasted for four months Articles Themes

13 Students’ rubric Rating rubric Field notes

14 Preliminary Results Ss made a progress

15 Multiple Models Modeling texts Student models Faculty models Published models (student selected) Modeling instruction Responsive classrooms Instructional tools (technology) Modeling professional discourse Oral Written

16 Prediction/Vocab Provider Perspectives on the Use of Assistive Technology for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Wilcox, Guimond, Campbell & Weintraub Moore, 2006 Words associated with expressing perspectives Predictions around study type (design, instruments, sample size, analysis) BeliefOpinion ViewFactors


18 Paragraph Organization

19 Word and Sentence Choices

20 Other Activities… Reconstruction activities Definition: activities that require students to reconstruct a text or diagram by filling in missing words, phrases or sentences, or by sequencing text that has been jumbled. Texts used: modified texts - the teacher modifies the original text, taking out words, phrases or sentences, or cutting the text into segments.

21 Types of activities: Text completion (Fill in missing words, phrases or sentences.) Sequencing (Arrange jumbled segments of text in a logical or time sequence.) Grouping (Group segments of text according to categories.)

22 Table completion (Fill in the cells of a table that has row and column headings, or provide row and column headings where cells have already been filled in.) Diagram completion (Complete an unfinished diagram or label a finished diagram.) Prediction activities (Write the next step or stage of a text, or end the text.)

23 Analysis activities Definition: activities that require students to find and categorize information by marking or labeling a text or diagram. Texts used: unmodified texts Types of activities: Text marking (Find and underline parts of the text that have a particular meaning or contain particular information.)

24 Text segmenting and labeling (Break the text into meaningful chunks and label each chunk.) Table construction (Draw a table. Use the information in the text to decide on row and column headings and to fill in the cells.) Diagram construction (Construct a diagram that explains the meaning of the text. For example, draw a flow chart for a text that explains a process, or a branch diagram for a text that describes how something is classified.) Questioning (Answer the teacher's questions or develop questions about the text.) Summarizing

25 Words and Phrases Graphic Organizers

26 Criticism Ignoring the process of writing (Collins & Gentner, 1980; Werner, 1989; Abbhul, 2011). Presenting students with model texts is meant to present them with a model of how “good writers organize, develop and express their ideas” (Smagorinsky, 1992, p. 162), particularly in genre writing classes

27 Application 1.Form groups of 3 2.Choose a writing genre. Some examples include narrative, critical analysis Argumentative essay science report Compare/contrast essay historical interpretation 3.Model the genre What techniques from our presentation would apply? 4.Share out and discussion

28 Thank you

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