Writing Conversations: Exploring How Metalinguistic Understanding Fosters Young ESL’s Writing in Classrooms (75909)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This study serves two purposes. Firstly, the study investigated and identified syntactic structures in young ESL writers’ writing. Using a coding frame that coded several syntactic complexity key features at the sentential, clausal and phrasal levels, 92 ESL secondary students’ essays at advanced and intermediate levels were manually analysed. Through writing conversations, the study also explored young ESL writers’ metalinguistic understanding and how this affects their writing in classrooms. Using their essays as prompts, writing conversations comprising open-ended questions were conducted to elicit writers’ metalinguistic understanding of writing. The first phase of the study, which involved manual linguistic analysis, revealed a consistent pattern among advanced writers. It also suggests that syntactic complexity of writing based solely on the presence of syntactic features may not determine essay quality and effectiveness. In the second phase of the study involving the writing conversations, it was evident that students do not rely on their metalinguistic understanding when writing; instead, students’ perceptions of good writing mirrored their teachers’, which are very much focused on accuracy. Furthermore, the conversations revealed no evidence of students or teachers discussing their linguistic choices in writing, especially in achieving the rhetorical goals. Although different studies suggest that explicit grammar knowledge may help improve accuracy, it should also be used in writing classrooms to foster discussion about writing that goes beyond language accuracy.

Nur Najla Zainal Anuar, Rabdan Academy, United Arab Emirates

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Nur Najla Zainal Anuar is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Rabdan Academy in United Arab Emirates

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00