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2009 CALL Conference Can Paraphrasing be Taught? Determining and Analyzing Paraphrasing Strategies of English L1 and English L2 Learners at a Community.

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Presentation on theme: "2009 CALL Conference Can Paraphrasing be Taught? Determining and Analyzing Paraphrasing Strategies of English L1 and English L2 Learners at a Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 2009 CALL Conference Can Paraphrasing be Taught? Determining and Analyzing Paraphrasing Strategies of English L1 and English L2 Learners at a Community College in Ontario Lara McInnis, Humber College and OISE/UT, Toronto, ON May 28, 2009

2 Quick Survey 1. Have you ever been taught summarizing or paraphrasing techniques? 2. a) Have you ever taught summarizing or paraphrasing techniques? b) If yes, were you generally pleased with the learning outcomes? Do you feel that your students successfully learned these skills? How did you assess learning outcomes (e.g., quiz, essay)? b) If yes, were you generally pleased with the learning outcomes? Do you feel that your students successfully learned these skills? How did you assess learning outcomes (e.g., quiz, essay)? 3. What language skills and features do writing students need to have acquired before they can paraphrase successfully? 4. At what point in an English student’s academic career should he/she first learn how to paraphrase?

3 I. Rationale & Background My experience teaching paraphrasing skills My experience teaching paraphrasing skills Definitions and brief review of literature Definitions and brief review of literature II. My Research Research question Research question Design: Purpose Participants, Materials, Methods Design: Purpose Participants, Materials, Methods Data Collection, Analysis and Preliminary Findings Data Collection, Analysis and Preliminary Findings Limitations Limitations III. Discussion Implications Implications Idea sharing Idea sharing

4 I. Rationale Why can’t my students follow the step- by-step instructions to paraphrasing? Why can’t my students follow the step- by-step instructions to paraphrasing? My experiences teaching in EAP, ESL and COMM led me to question my own success as an instructor of paraphrasing. My experiences teaching in EAP, ESL and COMM led me to question my own success as an instructor of paraphrasing.

5 It is necessary for college students to understand, appreciate, and value someone’s intellectual property It is necessary for college students to understand, appreciate, and value someone’s intellectual property Research methods and idea synthesis are inevitable realities within mainstream course assignments Research methods and idea synthesis are inevitable realities within mainstream course assignments Understanding and using quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing skills are essential skills for students to develop and use in an authentic academic setting (Barks & Watts, 2001; Campbell, 1987). Understanding and using quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing skills are essential skills for students to develop and use in an authentic academic setting (Barks & Watts, 2001; Campbell, 1987). What we know:

6 Institutional Approaches “Triadic model” of quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing “Triadic model” of quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing Examples: Examples: OWL at Purdue OWL at Purdue George Brown College George Brown College University of Toronto University of Toronto

7 (Keck, 2006) What do educators and researchers know about paraphrasing? A strategy to avoid plagiarism A strategy to avoid plagiarism Shows proof of understanding Shows proof of understanding Writing students often confuse paraphrasing with patch writing Writing students often confuse paraphrasing with patch writing

8 (Barks & Watts, 2001) How demanding is paraphrasing? High lexical proficiency High lexical proficiency Advanced reading comprehension Advanced reading comprehension Syntactical sophistication Syntactical sophistication

9 Factors influencing how students paraphrase (or don’t paraphrase): Cognitive factors Cognitive factors Linguistic factors Linguistic factors Cultural factors (Pennycook, 1996) Cultural factors (Pennycook, 1996) Students’ and teachers’ attitudes towards plagiarism as an unethical practice Students’ and teachers’ attitudes towards plagiarism as an unethical practice Pragmatic factors Pragmatic factors

10 Rebuttals to “Western” Concepts of Plagiarism Plagiarism is a concept interpreted uniquely among a variety of cultural groups and their respective academic settings. (Pennycook, 1996) Plagiarism is a concept interpreted uniquely among a variety of cultural groups and their respective academic settings. (Pennycook, 1996) “Educators in post-secondary education have an “oversimplified view of plagiarism” (Currie, 1998, p. 1), refusing to acknowledge its complexities, and treating it as a simple act of cheating rather than part of an essential process of language learning. “Educators in post-secondary education have an “oversimplified view of plagiarism” (Currie, 1998, p. 1), refusing to acknowledge its complexities, and treating it as a simple act of cheating rather than part of an essential process of language learning.

11 Definitions Discourse Synthesis: writing from sources – a hybrid task of reading and writing requiring students to “select, organize, and connect content from source texts” (Segev-Miller, 2004, p. 6)

12 Paraphrasing: a restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form (Mirriam-Webster online dictionary)

13 Research on paraphrasing 1) Campbell (1987) summary task for L1 and L2 summary task for L1 and L2 seven paraphrase types seven paraphrase types native English speakers provided less directly copied material than non-native English speakers native English speakers provided less directly copied material than non-native English speakers low inter-rater reliability (.75) low inter-rater reliability (.75)

14 Research on paraphrasing 2) Shi (2004): summary task L1 Paraphrases L2 (Chinese adult students’ ) Paraphrases borrowed 1/4 of original material from source borrowed 1/4 of original material from source rarely extracted strings of words from original text rarely extracted strings of words from original text borrowed 2/3 of original material from source borrowed 2/3 of original material from source sometimes mixed own words in with completely copied text (patch writing) sometimes mixed own words in with completely copied text (patch writing)

15 Research on paraphrasing 3) Keck (2006) looked for “attempted paraphrases” in a summary task looked for “attempted paraphrases” in a summary task “Taxonomy of Paraphrase Types” “Taxonomy of Paraphrase Types” unique links and general links unique links and general links Percentage of unique links determines type of paraphrase Percentage of unique links determines type of paraphrase Inter-rater reliability of 95% Inter-rater reliability of 95% Findings: L2 writers used significantly more Near Copies than L1 writers Findings: L2 writers used significantly more Near Copies than L1 writers

16 II. Research Question What paraphrasing strategies do English L1 and English L2 speakers use in a paraphrasing task ? a. What is the quality of L1 and L2 participants’ paraphrases ? b. What is the appropriateness of L1 and L2 participants’ paraphrases? c. Are there significant differences in the quality and appropriateness of L1 and L2 participants’ paraphrases?

17 II. Design: Purpose of Study to analyze paraphrasing strategies used by L1 and L2 community college students using think aloud protocols (also known as concurrent verbal reports) and stimulated recall protocols to analyze paraphrasing strategies used by L1 and L2 community college students using think aloud protocols (also known as concurrent verbal reports) and stimulated recall protocols similarities and differences are being determined through an analysis of participants’ questionnaires, written work, and verbal data similarities and differences are being determined through an analysis of participants’ questionnaires, written work, and verbal data

18 Participants Five L1 community college students who have completed/exempted from essay writing skills course. Five L1 community college students who have completed/exempted from essay writing skills course. Five L2 community college students who have completed ESL essay writing skills course. Five L2 community college students who have completed ESL essay writing skills course.

19 Primary Sources of Data Questionnaire Questionnaire Audio-recordings of participants’ verbalized thoughts and of interviews Audio-recordings of participants’ verbalized thoughts and of interviews Computer screen recording of changes made during the typing process Computer screen recording of changes made during the typing process Final written product of four paraphrases for each participant Final written product of four paraphrases for each participant

20 Materials Computer with Microsoft Word Computer with Microsoft Word Screen Recording computer software Screen Recording computer software Instruction sheet with four statements to be paraphrased by participants Instruction sheet with four statements to be paraphrased by participants Digital voice recorders Digital voice recorders Photocopied article: “College or University?” by Kimberly Noble, MacLean’s magazine (2006). Photocopied article: “College or University?” by Kimberly Noble, MacLean’s magazine (2006).

21 The article The article “College or University?” by Kimberly Noble MacLean’s magazine, Nov. 13, 2006 MacLean’s magazine, Nov. 13, words 1913 words Flesch-Kincaid scale of readability = 48 = Grade 12 level (fairly difficult) Flesch-Kincaid scale of readability = 48 = Grade 12 level (fairly difficult)

22 (Bauman, 2007) Excerpts for paraphrasing Criteria: 1. At least five content words are high frequency words (Bauman, 2007) 2. At least five words are found in Academic Word List sublists (Coxhead, 2007) 3. Clear main idea 4. Authentic appropriateness for paraphrasing

23 Procedure with Participant 1. Introduction to task (10 minutes) 2. Discuss and practice verbal reports (10 minutes) 3. Participant reads article and makes notes (15 minutes) 4. Participant reads instruction sheet with four sentences to be paraphrased (5 minutes) 5. Participant describes thoughts (into microphone) while completing task (30 minutes) 6. Break (10 minutes) 7. Post-task interview with stimulated recall (15 min) 8. Questionnaire

24 Instructions for participants 1. Considering the context of the article, please paraphrase each sentence below. 2. Pretend you are writing a research essay on why students are choosing Canada’s colleges over universities. Your audience is your writing instructor. (dictionary + spell check are ok) 3. While you type your paraphrases, please describe clearly into the microphone all the thoughts that are going on in your mind. 4. You may use any language(s) to describe your thoughts.

25 Sample Excerpt Original Passage: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (44 words, Difficult Readability, 13 on Flesch- Kincaid scale) Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (44 words, Difficult Readability, 13 on Flesch- Kincaid scale)

26 Content Words yellow & underlined Original Passage: Canada’s college sector is (no) longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (44 words) Canada’s college sector is (no) longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (44 words)

27 General Service List (Baumann, 1995) Words in red Original Passage: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (29 words, 64% of total word count) Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. (29 words, 64% of total word count)

28 Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000) Original Passage: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational – change. Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational – change. (7 AWL words, 16% of total word count) (7 AWL words, 16% of total word count)

29 Sample Paraphrase: Elizabeth (L1 speaker) Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Elizabeth: Many people have the notion that Canadian colleges are purely vocational, but recently, they have been changing and will continue to do so for years to come. Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol What strategies does Elizabeth use to paraphrase? Do you feel Elizabeth plagiarized? What strategies does Elizabeth use to paraphrase? Do you feel Elizabeth plagiarized?

30 Sample Paraphrase: Elizabeth (L1 speaker) Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Elizabeth: Many people have the notion that Canadian colleges are purely vocational, but recently, they have been changing and will continue to do so for years to come. Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol What strategies does Elizabeth use to paraphrase? Do you feel Elizabeth plagiarized? What strategies does Elizabeth use to paraphrase? Do you feel Elizabeth plagiarized?

31 Sample Paraphrase: Namie (L2 speaker) Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Namie: Canada’s college sector is not the same as it used to be. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have experienced lots of changes in the last ten years. Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol What strategies does Namie use to paraphrase? Do you feel Namie plagiarized?

32 Data Analysis: Participant Profile To measure paraphrasing strategies: CVP will be transcribed (recruit translators if necessary) CVP will be transcribed (recruit translators if necessary) List of strategies used (1 Unit of Analysis = one strategy mentioned in the CVP or the stimulated recall) List of strategies used (1 Unit of Analysis = one strategy mentioned in the CVP or the stimulated recall) To measure attempted paraphrases: Based on Keck’s (2006) Taxonomy of Paraphrase Types with some modifications Based on Keck’s (2006) Taxonomy of Paraphrase Types with some modifications

33 I will label each attempted paraphrase as one of the following types: I will label each attempted paraphrase as one of the following types: Keck’s Taxonomy of Paraphrase Types Type of Attempted Paraphrase% Unique Links* Exact Copy100% Near Copy50% Minimal Revision20-49% Moderate Revision1-19% Substantial Revision0% Unique links are “individual lexical words (i.e., nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs), or exactly copied strings of words used in the paraphrase that also occurred in the original excerpt. Non-lexical words were also counted if they were copied in the string of content words matched those words in the original text.

34 Data Analysis, cont: Paraphrasing strategies and paraphrase types will be compared across: Paraphrasing strategies and paraphrase types will be compared across: - L1 and L2 - areas of study For example: shared strategies within L1 (or L2) I will match strategies used by each participant with the participant’s typed paraphrases I will match strategies used by each participant with the participant’s typed paraphrases

35 Findings Make some general observations about: participant strategies for paraphrasing participant strategies for paraphrasing similarities/difference between L1 and L2 groups similarities/difference between L1 and L2 groups link participants’ experience in explicit paraphrasing instruction with strategies used link participants’ experience in explicit paraphrasing instruction with strategies used

36 Limitations Limitations Inter-rater reliability Inter-rater reliability Defining paraphrase types: Links? Continuum? Defining paraphrase types: Links? Continuum? Verbal report difficulties for L2 students Verbal report difficulties for L2 students Fuzzy recall of past instruction: explicit or implicit? Fuzzy recall of past instruction: explicit or implicit? The influence of participants’ vocabulary levels The influence of participants’ vocabulary levels Can discovering strategies (or differences in language groups) transfer into effective teaching practice? Can discovering strategies (or differences in language groups) transfer into effective teaching practice?

37 III. Discussion: Implications Addresses (but does not answer) the question, “Can paraphrasing be taught?” Addresses (but does not answer) the question, “Can paraphrasing be taught?” Could argue that paraphrasing is undervalued as a skill to avoid plagiarism Could argue that paraphrasing is undervalued as a skill to avoid plagiarism Enlightens researchers and instructors to the needs of students (L1 and L2) in discourse synthesis and how those needs might differ among students of different language groups Enlightens researchers and instructors to the needs of students (L1 and L2) in discourse synthesis and how those needs might differ among students of different language groups

38 Recommendations for teaching paraphrasing Focus on strategies rather than analyzing what constitutes plagiarism (Keck, 2006) Focus on strategies rather than analyzing what constitutes plagiarism (Keck, 2006) Emphasise “rhetorical planning” Emphasise “rhetorical planning” Emphasise the oral nature of paraphrasing Emphasise the oral nature of paraphrasing Read, read, read Read, read, read Practice, practice, practice Practice, practice, practice Don’t jump to accuse. View textual appropriation as essential to building academic literacy skills. Don’t jump to accuse. View textual appropriation as essential to building academic literacy skills.

39 Final Thoughts Are writing students who “commit” plagiarism being deliberate or careless? Are writing students who “commit” plagiarism being deliberate or careless? Concept of “voice” in writing (Socio-cultural) Concept of “voice” in writing (Socio-cultural) “If I steal someone else’s sentences, I get in trouble. If I steal someone else’s idea, that’s fine, right?” “If I steal someone else’s sentences, I get in trouble. If I steal someone else’s idea, that’s fine, right?” Bruce Headlam, New York Times (May 26, 2009)

40 References Barks, D., & Watts, P. (2001). Textual borrowing strategies for graduate-level ESL writers. In D. Belcher, & A. Hirvela (Eds.), Linking literacies: Perspectives on L2 reading-writing connections (pp ). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Barry, E. (2006). Can paraphrasing help students define plagiarism? College Student Journal, 40(2), 377. Bauman, J. (2007). Vocabulary resources. John Bauman.com. Retrieved on November 3, 2007 from Britton, J., Burgess, T., Martin, N., McLeod, A., & Rosen, H. (1978). The development of writing abilities No Urbana, Il: National Council of Teachers of English. Campbell, C. (1987). Writing with others' words: Native and non-native university students' use of information from a background reading text in academic compositions No. CLEAR-TR4. Connor, U., & McCagg, P. (1983). Cross-cultural differences and perceived quality in written paraphrases of English expository prose. Applied Linguistics, 1983, 4, 3, autumn, 4(3), Coxhead, A. (2007) Academic Word List. Massey University School of Language Studies. Retrived November 3, 2007 from Studies. Retrived November 3, 2007 from Cumming, A. (1990). Metalinguistic and ideational thinking in second language composing. Written Communication, 7(4),

41 Currie, P. (1998). Staying out of trouble: Apparent plagiarism and academic survival. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7, Kaplan, R. B. (1966). Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education. Language Learning, 16, Keck, C. (2006). The use of paraphrase in summary writing: A comparison of L1 and L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15, Meyrowitz, J. (1982, August 30). Where have the children gone? Newsweek, 94 (13). Pennycook, A. (1996). Borrowing others' words: Text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), Plotnick, J. (2007). Paraphrase and summary. Retrieved Oct. 27, 2007, from Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2007). Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. Retrieved October 27, 2007, from Risemberg, R. (1993). Self-regulated strategies of organizing and information-seeking when writing expository text from sources. Unpublished Dissertation, University of New York. Segev-Miller, R. (2004). Writing from sources: The effect of explicit instruction on college students' processes and products. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 4(1), Shi, L. (2006). Cultural backgrounds and textual appropriation. Language Awareness, 15(4), Shi, L. (2004). Textual borrowing in second-language writing. Written Communication, 21(2),

42 Sample Paraphrase: Namie (L2 speaker) Original: Canada’s college sector is no longer what you, your parents and even some of your guidance counsellors think it is. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have undergone a dramatic evolution in the past decade, and are poised for further – some even say transformational– change. Namie: Canada’s college sector is not the same as it used to be. Once purely vocational institutions, colleges have experienced lots of changes in the last ten years. Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol Excerpt of Think Aloud Protocol


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