77 research outputs found

    Generic structures and linguistic features of TESOL master’s thesis acknowledgements written by Vietnamese postgraduates

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    Acknowledgements are a widely used genre in academic discourse to express gratitude towards various types of assistance and contribution of individuals and institutions, and they have been reported to be contextually and culturally interwoven. Despite a number of acknowledgement studies in various settings, little is known of how these texts are composed by EFL writers in Vietnam and whether or not the culture has any influence on the composition of acknowledgements as reported in previous studies of acknowledgements. Following Hyland’s (2004) and Hyland and Tse’s (2004) frameworks, this study investigates the generic structures and linguistic elements of acknowledgements in 202 TESOL master’s theses written by Vietnamese postgraduates. The findings were compared with those in the literature to explore cross-cultural variations in acknowledgement writing. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with actual thesis writers. The results revealed that these writers generally followed Hyland’s (2004) three-tier structure of writing thesis acknowledgements, but they were frank and less reserved in expressing their gratitude than their Chinese-speaking counterparts. Moreover, socio-cultural expectations, personal dispositions, and individual writing styles mainly affected their move constructions, inclusions of acknowledgees and linguistic choices


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    Writing in English is challenging for ESL writers, so feedback is crucial in assisting them. Although several studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of peer and teacher-feedback in ESL writing, studies on the combined peer-teacher feedback model tend to be scarce. This study thus reported on the combined feedback model in two paragraph-writing classes of sixty students at a university in Thailand where English is taught as a foreign language, students are reported to be passive in class activities and most writing programs are still taught using the traditional method. Students’ peer comments (both valid and invalid ones), their revisions based on both their peers’ and teacher’s feedback (correct and incorrect revisions) and their grades on each paragraph were recorded, and a five-point Likert scale survey and a focus group interview were conducted. The findings indicated its success in terms of students’ positive attitudes towards this feedback model, the usefulness of peer comments, high percentages of feedback incorporations and the high overall writing scores. This paper is thus expected to shed some light on how Thai university students with their passive style of learning English positively react to this interactive activity and partly reflect how in-service teachers adjust feedback strategies in their actual teaching situations

    Selection of Research Paradigms in English Language Teaching: Personal Reflections and Future Directions

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    Learning and teaching English in the age of globalization, digitalization and diversifications has constantly challenged our current understanding about the learners. In order to maximize the effectiveness of education, we need to continuously innovate our curriculum, pedagogy, assessments and evaluation. Research has helped this continuous innovation by providing key insights about students and teachers’ demands and needs and then shaping the strategies, policies and innovations in education. This paper attempts to explain this phenomenon from my perspective. First, I will provide a brief review of research paradigms and dominant research paradigms in English Language Teaching (ELT), followed by my personal reflections on what research approaches I followed, why I selected them and what procedures I followed. The discussion on my selected approaches and what I learned from my research will also be shared together with my opinion on the possible directions for future research in ELT.   Keywords: research paradigms; mixed methods; methodologies; English Language Teaching; multilingual writers, pre-service teacher

    Citations in literature review chapters of TESOL master’s theses by Vietnamese postgraduates

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    Citing other works poses difficulties for novice writers, especially the non-native English speaking students in their first experience of writing for academic purposes; the master’s (M.A.) thesis. However, few studies were conducted on these students’ citations in their M.A. theses. This paper, therefore, presents the study of in-text citations in 24 literature review (LR) chapters of TESOL M.A. theses written by Vietnamese students. Employing the Antconc software, Thompson and Tribble’s (2001) framework for citation types and functions, and discourse-based interviews with the actual thesis writers and their thesis supervisors, the study confirmed the claim that non-native novice writers cannot fully learn crucial citation practices from mere reading of the guidelines. Besides these writers’ preference for integral citations and a very limited number of citation functions used in their LR chapters, this study also identified the presence of several secondary citations, the students’ “invented” ways of citing previous researchers, grammatical mistakes and the absence of further discussions of the cited works. These findings tend to render the students’ LR chapters as ineffective, in terms of grammar and the rhetorical functions of LR chapters in synthesizing, arguing and indicating the relevancy of the reviewed literature for the niche of their research to be established. Furthermore, these findings indicate a need for an increased amount of formal instruction in academic writing courses which aims at equipping novice writers with the means to successfully acknowledge the sources and at raising their awareness about the various functions and rhetorical effects of the students’ citations in their academic writing

    Citation practice in the whole TESOL master’s theses by Vietnamese postgraduates

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    Citing previous works is an important rhetorical feature of academic writing and it is challenging for novice writers, especially non-native English writers (NNEWs). However, little is known about how NNEWs cite in each chapter of their master’s (M.A.) theses. This paper thus reports on the citation practice in 24 TESOL M.A. theses written by Vietnamese students. Citation types were first searched on the Antconc software with the use of the Regular Expressions (Regex) written for both conventional and ‘invented’ citing ways by this group of writers, and then based on Thompson and Tribble’s (2001) framework, citation functions were investigated and classified. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with thesis writers and thesis supervisors. Besides the general citation practice by this group of NNEWs, and the different citation functions and types in different chapters of their theses, the study also found that these writers were not fully aware of the significance of citations as a rhetorical device in their thesis writing, and insufficient attention was paid to the in-text citations in the TESOL discourse community in Vietnam. These findings suggest explicit instructions on citations in order to help novice writers to fully acquire the citation use

    The Effect of Combined Peer-Teacher Feedback on Thai Students’ Writing Accuracy

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    Nowadays, language errors are viewed as indicators of learners’ existing knowledge of the target language. Several studies have thus been conducted on the types and sources of these errors in order to help learners effectively acquire language skills. This is not an exception in Thailand where students’ English writing has been reported to be a chronic problem. However, there has been little research on the ways to help Thai students improve their English writing skills. Adopting the combined peer-teacher feedback model developed by Nguyen (2017, 2018) and employing a survey and a focus group semi-structured interview, this study reports on how this feedback model helped reduce Thai university students’ writing errors and how they responded to each error for the improvement of their writing accuracy. In addition to confirming the effectiveness of this feedback model in assisting Thai students, the study also discussed their evaluations of each error difficulty level, their revision strategies and the frequencies of their accurate corrections. The results of this study are therefore expected to shed more light on how to help Thai students overcome their English writing difficulties, reduce their writing errors and improve their writing skills. Furthermore, the study is hoped to partly reflect how in-service teachers tailor teaching approaches and materials to enhance the writing ability of EFL learner

    Rhetorical structures and linguistic features of English abstracts in Thai Rajabhat University journals

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    Abstracts are an essential part of research articles (RAs) because they are the readers’ first encounter in their search for relevant literature. Writing an effective abstract in English which can “sell” the article to a wider circle of readers is therefore important to novice writers, especially multilingual ones. Based on the corpus of 584 English abstracts of Thai empirical RAs published by six Rajabhat (teacher-training) university journals which are indexed in the Thai-journal citation index center (TCI), this study aims to explore not only their rhetorical structures but also the grammatical and interactional metadiscourse features. The results show that there were three types of abstracts (Informative, Indicative and Combinatory) and the absence of certain moves in a large number of abstracts of each type. Moreover, this abstract corpus had a few instances of move embedding, a complete absence of move cycles and the existence of abstracts with several paragraphs. Regarding the linguistic features, there was a prominent presence of active voice, future tense and the sparing use of interactional meta-discourse devices across the moves. These findings tend to indicate a need for journal editors and novice writers, especially those from non-English backgrounds to be informed about the characteristics of good RA abstracts in English (i.e., rhetorically and linguistically) and an increased amount of form-based instruction in academic courses to address the linguistic deficiencies of new multilingual writers

    TESOL conference abstracts: discrepancies between potential writers‘ knowledge and actual composition

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    The ability to write a successful conference abstract seems to be one barrier preventing new researchers from disseminating their research work in their particular disciplinary community. However, very few studies on how conference abstracts are structured have been conducted in order to help such novice researchers. This study, thus, aims to examine the rhetorical structure of conference abstracts in two TESOL conferences in Asia with the purpose of informing a particular group of new researchers in Asian settings about the actual practice of writing this particular genre. The findings from the open-ended questions and the move analysis of 137 abstracts indicated that there was a mismatch between these potential conference abstract writers’ knowledge and the actual composition of these conference abstracts. Besides the rhetorical structures of conference abstracts, this paper also provided some pedagogical suggestions on dealing with this mismatch

    On stability problem for the stationary Boussinesq system in Morrey-type spaces

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    In this paper we establish the asymptotic stability of steady solutions for the Boussinesq systems in the framework of Cartesian product of critical weak-Morrey spaces on Rn\mathbb{R}^n, where n3n \geqslant 3. In our strategy, we first establish the continuity for the long time of the bilinear terms associated with the mild solutions of the Boussinesq systems, i.e., the bilinear estimates by using only the norm of the present spaces. As a direct consequence, we obtain the existence of global small mild solutions and asymptotic stability of steady solutions of the Boussinesq systems in the class of continuous functions from [0,)[0, \infty) to the Cartesian product of critical weak-Morrey spaces. Our techniques consist interpolation of operators, duality, heat semigroup estimates , Holder and Young inequalities in block spaces (based on Lorentz spaces) that are preduals of Morrey-Lorentz spaces. Our results are generalized the previous ones of the steady Boussinesq systems in weak-LpL^p spaces obtained by Hishida [T. Hishida, {\it On a class of Stable Steady flow to the Exterior Convection Problem}, Journal of Differential Equations, Vol. 141, Iss. 1 (1997), pages 54-85] and Ferreira et al. [L.C.F. Ferreira and E.J. Villamizar-Roa, {\it On the stability problem for the Boussinesq equations in weak-LpL^p spaces}, Commun. Pure Appl. Anal. (2010), Vol. 9, No. 3, pages 667-684] and of the Navier-Stokes equations in Morrey spaces obtained by Kozono et al. [H. Kozono and M. Yamazaki, {\it The stability of small stationary solutions in Morrey Spaces of the Navier-Stokes equation}, Indiana University Mathematics Journal, Vol. 44, No. 4 (1995), pages 1307-1336].Comment: 17 page