Presentation on theme: "Expression of interpersonal meaning in the writings of advanced learners of Persian: An appraisal analysis Ali R Abasi & Nahal Akbari 6th Heritage Language."— Presentation transcript:
Expression of interpersonal meaning in the writings of advanced learners of Persian: An appraisal analysis Ali R Abasi & Nahal Akbari 6th Heritage Language Research Institute UCLA 20 June 2012
Interpersonal meaning & proficiency scales SUPERIOR: ( ACTFL, 2009) Writers at the Superior level are able to produce most kinds of formal and informal correspondence, complex summaries, precis, reports, and research papers on a variety of practical, social, academic, or professional topics treated both abstractly and concretely. They use a variety of sentence structures, syntax, and vocabulary to direct their writing to specific audiences, and they demonstrate an ability to alter style, tone, and format according to the specific requirements of the discourse. These writers demonstrate a strong awareness of writing for the other and not for the self. Writers at the Superior level demonstrate the ability to explain complex matters, provide detailed narrations in all time frames and aspects, present and support opinions by developing cogent arguments and hypotheses.
Interpersonal … (cont’d) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (2009): C1: Can express him/herself with clarity and precision, relating to the addressee flexibly and effectively. B2: Can express news and views effectively in writing, and relate to those of others. Can express him/herself with clarity and precision in personal correspondence, using language flexibly and effectively, including emotional, allusive and joking usage.
Interpersonal … (cont’d) The Canadian Language Benchmarks (2006) Benchmark 11: Can write complex original formal text to inform, recommend, critique/evaluate ideas and information, present and debate complex arguments, or to persuade a mostly unfamiliar audience. Benchmark 9: Can write to offer or request information, clarification, confirmation, agreement, commitment and to express feelings and ideas to mostly familiar and sometimes unfamiliar readers.
Interpersonal … (cont’d) Too broad and acontextual Need elaboration Realizations in learners’ texts
Previous studies of interpersonal meaning in writing ‘Evaluation’ in professional/academic genres (e.g., Hood, 2010; Hyland 2002; Myers, 1989) Comparative studies of ‘evaluation’ by expert L1 writers and novice L2 writers (e.g., Coffin & Hewings, 2004; Gruber, 2004; Hyland, 2002) Cross-cultural/linguistic studies of ‘evaluation’ in published texts (e.g., Dufouz, 2008; Lores-Sanz, 2011; Mauranen, 1993) Studies on effect of instruction on learning to evaluate in L2 writing (Abuhal, 2006; Wisshnoff, 2000).
Gaps in the literature Research context: ‘learning to write in disciplines’ rather than ‘writing to learn languages’ Lack of ‘interactional validity’ (Sarangi, 2003)
This study What are the evaluative choices that advanced-level Persian language learners make in their writings? What kind of a relationship is there between students’ evaluative choices and the language instructor’s assessment of their writing? What is the instructor’s own view on the learners’ evaluative choices in their writings?
The research context The course and students ( PERSIAN FLAGSHIP )course PERSIAN FLAGSHIP The writing task Task guidelines/assessment criteria (TRANSLATION) Task guidelines/assessment criteria (TRANSLATION)
Methodology Theoretical lens for the analysis of ‘interpersonal meaning’: Appraisal framework Appraisal framework Martin & White (2005: 1): “how writers/speakers approve and disapprove, enthuse and abhor, applaud and criticise, and with how they position their readers/listeners to do likewise.” EXAMPLE
Procedure Quantitative stage Corpus =150; Random sample=50 Coding: Trial: Discrepancies/relevant categories Final: Categories: EXAMPLE EXAMPLE
Procedure … (cont’d) Qualitative stage: – Text-based interview (Odell et al., 1983) with the instructor – Course artifacts (syllabus, handouts, packet) – Class observations
Results Distribution of evaluative choices in the sample:
Heritage vs. L2 differences? Infused graduation choices: Traces of informal spoken Persian EXAMPLES
Results … cont’d Patterns of appraisal choices and instructor’s assessment of student writing ( i.e., grades assigned, M = 7.2, SD= 1.5, Min = 4, Max = 10 )
Results … (cont’d) Standard multiple regression analysis:
Results: Qualitative Understanding Reasons for Associations Authorial voice Perceptions Authorial effacement Argumentation vs. polyphonic argumentation Argumentationpolyphonic Modesty ‘Considerate’ writing (Armbruster, et al., 1985; Hinds, 1992)Considerate
Socially powerful genres of writing EditorialsEditorials: Shaping public opinion
Conclusion What is ‘advancedness’ in a foreign language? Curricular implications – Reading tasks – Writing tasks – Assessment: Construct elaboration