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Learners First: Explicit Language Instruction in EAP Writing Courses Gena Bennett

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1 Learners First: Explicit Language Instruction in EAP Writing Courses Gena Bennett

2 Learners First In making decisions about grammar in the L2 writing classroom, Byrd and Reid (1998) advocate beginning with learners rather than structures. In making decisions about grammar in the L2 writing classroom, Byrd and Reid (1998) advocate beginning with learners rather than structures. Ferris (2008) cautions against expecting error free writing. Ferris (2008) cautions against expecting error free writing. Error analysis helps to prioritize language instruction. Error analysis helps to prioritize language instruction.

3 Computer-Aided Error Analysis (CEA) CEA is the use of computers to analyse learner errors in a learner corpus. CEA is the use of computers to analyse learner errors in a learner corpus. Areas for CEA in L2 Writing Instruction Areas for CEA in L2 Writing Instruction Grammar, Lexis, Pragmatics, Discourse Grammar, Lexis, Pragmatics, Discourse

4 Tools Error tagging code Error tagging code Learner essays Learner essays Collaborators for reliability (ideally!) Collaborators for reliability (ideally!) Concordancing program Concordancing program Classroom Materials Classroom Materials

5 Error Tagging Code SymbolErrorExplanation vtVerb tenseIncorrect verb tense vfVerb formVerb incorrectly formed woWord orderIncorrect or awkward word order sva Subject Verb Agreement Subject and verb do not agree in number artArticleIncorrect or missing article csComma spliceComma inserted unnecessarily lcLowercaseUse a lower case letter --Join wordsPut words together (class room) #spaceAdd a space or remove extra space ~TransposeTranspose elements paAgreementPronoun/antecedent agreement /DeleteDelete word cCommaNeeds a comma inserted oWord omittedA word has been omitted from the sentence popossessivePossessive error

6 Error Tagging Code General Codes General Codes Verbs Verbs Noun endings Noun endings Articles Articles Word Choice Word Choice Sentence Structure Sentence Structure Mechanics Mechanics

7 Learner Essays (& Collaborators) What was_vt amazing about her is her perseverance. One day her mum told her to not attend Central High because it was a harsh_nonid decision they will_vt all regret, but she_pa said she had to go. Many teenage girls should_wc have given up at that time_c but Melba was more perseverant than ever when she said that.

8 Concordancing Program MonoConc, WordSmith Tools, TEXTStat MonoConc, WordSmith Tools, TEXTStat Search for error codes Search for error codes Compile concordance lines Compile concordance lines

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11 Classroom Materials Consciousness Raising/Noticing activities Consciousness Raising/Noticing activities Traditional grammar activities Traditional grammar activities Communicative activities Communicative activities

12 Concordance Lines Melba suffered for all black people and people who sacrifice their life for others are great warriors. Melba suffered for all black people and people who sacrifice their life for others are great warriors. Melba was determined to fight for integration and determination is one of the characteristics of a warrior. Melba was determined to fight for integration and determination is one of the characteristics of a warrior. She had to give up almost all her hobbies for her new life and she was not supported by her circle. She had to give up almost all her hobbies for her new life and she was not supported by her circle. Melba reacted with non violence and this is an unbelievable thing. Melba reacted with non violence and this is an unbelievable thing. Melba suffered not only for her benefit but also for the rights of all black people. Melba suffered not only for her benefit but also for the rights of all black people. She did not like to let the segregationist do their thing but she knew not responding to them was the best thing. She did not like to let the segregationist do their thing but she knew not responding to them was the best thing. Melba fought not only so she could attend a good school but also so all black people could attend a good school. Melba fought not only so she could attend a good school but also so all black people could attend a good school.

13 PPP Authentic Practice Authentic Practice

14 Conclusion “…Learner corpora give us access not only to errors but to learners’ total interlanguage” (Granger, 1998, p. 6). “…Learner corpora give us access not only to errors but to learners’ total interlanguage” (Granger, 1998, p. 6). Instructors may be aware of their students’ difficulties, but the only way to uncover error in context and become more aware of general performance is through CEA. Instructors may be aware of their students’ difficulties, but the only way to uncover error in context and become more aware of general performance is through CEA. CEA discloses pedagogical need and can lead to increased autonomy. CEA discloses pedagogical need and can lead to increased autonomy.

15 References Dagneaux, E., et al (1998). “Computer-aided error analysis”. System 26, p Byrd, P., & Reid, J. (1998). Grammar in the composition classroom: Essays on teaching ESL for college-bound students. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Granger, S. (1998). Learner English on computer. London: Longman Publishers. Granger, S. (1999). “Use of tenses by advanced EFL learners: evidence from an error-tagged computer corpus.” In Out of corpora: Studies in honour of Stig Johannson. Eds. H. Hasselgard & S. Oksefjell. Amsterdam: Rodopi, p

16 References Granger, S. (2002). “A bird’s-eye view of learner corpus research.” In Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition, and foreign language teaching. Eds. S. Granger, J. Hung, & S. Petch-Tyson. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, p Granger, S. (2003a). “The international corpus of learner English: a new resource for foreign language learning and teaching and second language acquisition research”. TESOL Quarterly 37(3), p Granger, S. (2003b). “Error tagged learner corpora and CALL: a promising synergy.” CALICO Journal 20(3), p Granger, S. (2004). “Computer learner corpus research: Current status and future prospects.” In Applied corpus linguistics: A multidimensional perspective. Eds. U. Connor & T.A. Upton. Amsterdam: Rodopi, p

17 References Hinkel, E. (2002). Second language writer's text: Linguistic and rhetorical features. Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

18 Learners First: Explicit Language Instruction in EAP Writing Courses Gena Bennett


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