LINGUIST List 14.578

Fri Feb 28 2003

Diss: Applied Ling: Frankenberg-Garcia "Second..."

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  1. ana.frankenberg, Applied Ling: Frankenberg-Garcia "Second Language Writing..."

Message 1: Applied Ling: Frankenberg-Garcia "Second Language Writing..."

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:23:58 +0000
From: ana.frankenberg <ana.frankenberglx.isla.pt>
Subject: Applied Ling: Frankenberg-Garcia "Second Language Writing..."


New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Edinburgh University
Program: Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1990

Author: Ana Frankenberg-Garcia 

Dissertation Title: 
Second Language Writing: a study of the effects of a
discourse-oriented programme upon the ability of skilled writers to
improve their written production

Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics

Subject Language: 
Portuguese (code: 5044)
English (code: 1738)

Dissertation Director 1: Hugh Trappes-lomax


Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis argues that process-oriented approaches to second language
writing intruction have been overly influenced by first language
writing theory and that, in consequence, these pedagogies have paid
too much notice to the difficulties encountered by unskilled
writers. The thesis calls for the need for second language writing
instruction to recognize the differences between skilled and unskilled
writers and address the specific difficulties of the former. It is
reasoned that skilled writers using L2 need far more support with
regard to acquiring language-specific standards with which to evaluate
their own prose than with regard to developing writing process
planning, writing, rereading and revising skills (which they already
possess). 

The empirical part of this study investigates the effects of
a discourse-oriented programme of L2 writing instruction upon the
ability of skilled writers to improve their written production. The
pedagogy tested did not attempt to teach writing process
strategies, but seeked to provide a group of eight Brazilian
researchers writing in English with parameters with which to improve
the readability of their writing products in the absence of teacher
feedback. Pre and post-instruction samples of expository texts and
revision data by these writers disclose evidence that the instruction
carried out was effective and efficient: the writers were able to
improve the readability of their writing products and acquire
standards with which to evaluate their own prose in the absence of
teacher feedback after a very short instructional period. Although it
was not possible to work with a control group, a detailed analysis of
the revision data suggests that the above developments are more likely
to have been outcomes of the specific intruction provided than
outcomes of any type of writing instruction. It was concluded that
skilled writers using L2 may greatly benefit from instruction which
focuses on how L2 discourse is organized, and that the teaching of
writing process strategies need not be a priority when the learners in
question are already skilled writers. 

A final concern of the study was to learn more about instruction for
skilled writers using L2. Its most important exploration in this
respect suggests that instruction must strive to help these writers
overcome language-specific difficulties that emerge during the process
of writing. These difficulties are not always visible in finished
products, and may easily be mistaken for lack of writing skill.
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