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Constructing conceptualizations of English academic writing within an EFL context: streams of influence at a Taiwan university

By Michael Patrick Geary


The thesis draws upon in-depth research into the question of how English Academic Writing (EAW) is conceptualized at a Department of Applied English in a Taiwanese university. A qualitative research approach was taken within a social constructionism framework. Administrators, teachers, and students, were interviewed to explore the impact each of these three streams of influence has on the construction of the idea of EAW within this particular EFL context. These influences add to the mixture forming the conceptualization of EAW with a knock on effect to curriculum planning, teaching pedagogy, and the academic texts students produce.\ud Administrators' design of a writing program and teachers' conceptualizations of EAW have implications for students' experience in learning to write and their own conceptualizations of what EAW is. Excerpts from interviews with teachers across the writing programme reveal how teachers do not share a coherent approach to teaching writing and yet have the understanding that they are conforming to a standardized conception of EAW.\ud This research has important implications for curriculum design and lesson planning in EAW and EFL teacher training. Administrators need to implement a writing program with clear mutual goals as conceptualizations of EAW in an EFL context may be particularly fragile and lack consistency. Further implications of this research touch upon the training EFL teachers receive in graduate programs abroad which contribute to molding their conceptualizations of EAW. This research also points to the importance for administrators, teachers, and students to share a common language with which to discuss EAW issues

Topics: LB2300, PE
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