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Overcoming the Gap in Exposure to Text: Using a reading corpus in an academic writing class Diane Schmitt Nottingham Trent University Norbert Schmitt Nottingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Overcoming the Gap in Exposure to Text: Using a reading corpus in an academic writing class Diane Schmitt Nottingham Trent University Norbert Schmitt Nottingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overcoming the Gap in Exposure to Text: Using a reading corpus in an academic writing class Diane Schmitt Nottingham Trent University Norbert Schmitt Nottingham University

2 The EAP Course Context  MA Journalism No credits awarded, but pass required for progression onto MA program  MA Media and Globalisation 20-credits on a 180-credit course This course was designed specifically to attract international students. However, most of the classes are already existing modules from other existing MAs.

3 Identifying a sub-set of issues for teaching academic writing

4 Student Voices  I can read all of the words, but I don’t understand the sentence.  I wrote every thought I had in everyday language, because I haven’t had any academic vocabulary at that stage.  When I heard about the plagiarism software, I freaked out. How do I express the specialized language? I spent 12 hours a day for two weeks and I got a 7% match.

5 Writing from sources begins with reading Reading Constructs  Reading for basic comprehension recall summarization text-based multiple choice questions  Reading to learn – connecting new information with background knowledge recognition of text structure create a representation of content knowledge  Reading to integrate link texts with regard to their individual text structure link content knowledge from a single text with that from one or more texts (Trites and McGroarty, Language Testing, 2005)

6 Reading to Learn  Learning content When the linguistic load rises, can students still learn new content from what they are reading?  Learning language When the content requirements increase (or kick in for the first time), can students still acquire language?

7 Consider…  A study by Van Patten (1990) demonstrates that learners cannot pay attention to form without a loss of attention to content, and that when confronted with the choice between attention to content or form, they prioritize content.

8 So….  We need to consider how the increased cognitive load of writing from source texts impacts on students’ ability to control other aspects of the writing task, e.g: organizational structure, vocabulary choice, grammatical choice and accuracy.

9 Creating a mini-corpus from topic-based readings How does the media influence the migration debate? (asylum, refugees, migrant workers)

10 Types of Reading Texts  Newspapers  On-line news  Textbooks  Journal Articles  Government and NGO reports

11 Creating a mini-corpus: Sample Academic Texts  Allan, S. (1999). Making news: Truth, ideology and newswork, News Culture. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press (pp )  Colville, R. (2006). Words and images. Refugees, 142, 1,  Coole, C. (2002). A warm welcome? Scottish and UK media reporting of an asylum seeker murder. Media Culture Society,  van Ginnekin, Jaap, (1998). Introduction. Understanding Global News. London: Sage. (pp. 1-21)  Guedes Bailey, O. and Harindranath, R. (2005). Radicalized ‘othering’: The representation of asylum seekers in the news media. In S. Allan, Journalism: Critical Issues. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press (pp )  McNair, B. (1999). News and Journalism in the UK. 2 nd ed. London: Routledge. (pp )  Mollard, C. (2001). Asylum: The truth behind the headlines, UK Poverty Programme of Oxfam GB. Oxford: Oxfam.  ter Wal, J. (ed.) (2002). Racism and Cultural Diversity in the Mass Media. Vienna: European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations.  van Dijk, T. (2000). New(s) racism: A discourse analyltic approach. In S. Cottle (ed). Ethnic Minorities and the Media. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.

12 Text Size – Word Counts   2867  5257  7943  5248   2500  8004 Don’t be afraid of dealing with the real reading requirements of university life. Ensure massive exposure!

13 Allan, S. (1999). News Culture. Open University Press. Frequency List FamiliesTypesTokensPercent % % Sub-total73.66% AWL % Off-List? % Total %

14 Nature of Texts Chosen  Directly and indirectly related to the essay topic More general readings on the role of journalism More specific readings on representations of asylum seekers in the media or media bias.  Readings should include references to external sources  Linked articles The articles cite each other.

15 Reading Sequence for Migration Essay Task Read and Discuss and Apply  Intro to Journalism News Values – Identify news values used in today’s papers. Apply, Read, Discuss and Apply - Vocabulary Focus  Understanding Global News Identify own cultural bias through map drawing exercise. Identify cultural orientation or bias in sample news stories. Focus on word meanings, word associations, connotations and collocations. Read, Discuss and Consider Notemaking Techniques  Journalism’s Social Role Read, Discuss and Analyse Language  Making News (1) Sentence study - unpack the grammar of sentences. Recognize the use of nominalization in academic texts.

16 Reading Sequence for Migration Essay Task Read, Discuss and Formulate a Viewpoint to take into an Essay on a Specific Topic  Making News (2) How does the media influence your viewpoint? Jigsaw Reading of Newspaper Articles on Migration, Asylum and Refugees  Read a non-academic report. Refugee Magazine – Words and Images Compare claims in the magazine report with your own views and with the newspaper articles you read.

17 Reading Sequence for Migration Essay Task Read, Discuss – Raise Awareness of Cultural References and Claims And Support  A Warm Welcome? Scottish and UK media reporting of an asylum-seeker murder Provide political background to help students understand the uniqueness of the Scottish situation. Review organisational structure – how does this structure strengthen the claims being made by the author? Read a full journal article  New(s) Racism: A discourse analysis approach, van Dijk (2000) Focus on vocabulary use – subtle meanings, connotation, collocation Focus on sentence structure – topicalization, use of passive Focus on use of punctuation and fonts Apply this type of analysis to some sample news stories.

18 Reading Sequence for Migration Essay Task Noticing how writers use sources  Radicalized ‘othering’: The representation of asylum seekers in the news media. Mark up a text to show how the author refers to sources. Highlight use of reporting verbs in this and previous texts. Focus on van Dijk (2000) citations. How did the authors of this paper incorporate information from van Dijk into their paper  A Warm Welcome:Scottish and UK media reporting of an asylum-seeker murder Raising awareness of how summary is used as one type of citation. Reading the actual references.doc asylum_truth.pdf

19 Other ways to optimise use of the corpus  Vocabulary learning Word lists, frequency and recycling Words AWL OUTPUT.htm Words (BNC) OUTPUT.htm Global word list.doc Global-SocialCOMPARE output.htm Global-SocialVOCABPROFILE.htm

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21 Other ways to optimise use of the corpus  Grammar and collocation focus Concordance lines for reporting verbs Exemplify and teach grammar points, eg. Use of passive voice, relative clauses Search for formulaic sequences  e.g. transition phrases

22 Argue

23 Summary points for improving the quality of materials for teaching writing from sources  Integrate reading and writing – develop materials in tandem.  Use texts for both reading to learn content and reading to learn language.  Increase the reading load in writing classes. Acknowledge that proficiency in reading to integrate is fundamental to the creation of good quality written texts.  Contextualize quoting, paraphrasing and summary writing practice; work with multiple sources.  Remember that citing sources involves much more than simply learning the mechanical conventions of a specific referencing system.

24 Compleat Lexical Tutor  The Compleat Lexical Tutor or  Vocabulary Profile

25 Useful Resources from UNHCR


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