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ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES AN ADVANCED RESOURCE BOOK

Learning how to write a coherent, effective text is a difficult and protracted achievement of cognitive development that contrasts sharply with the acquisition of speech. By the age of 5, spoken language is normally highly developed with a working vocabulary of several thousand words and an ability to comprehend and produce grammatical sentences. Although the specific contribution of a genetic predisposition for language learning is unsettled, it is apparent that speech acquisition is a natural part of early human development. Literacy, on the other hand, is a purely cultural achievement that may never be learned at all. Reading...

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Resources to support the pilot of functional skills Teaching and learning functional English

Writing an extended text at an advanced level involves not just the language system. It poses significant challenges to our cognitive systems for memory and thinking as well. Indeed, writers can put to use virtually everything they have learned and stored away in long-term memory. But they can only do so if their knowledge is accessible, either by rapidly retrieving it from long-term memory or by actively maintaining it in short-term working memory. Thinking is so closely linked to writing, at least in mature adults, that the two are practically twins. Individuals who write well are seen as substantive...

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Connectives in advanced Swedish EFL learners’ written English – preliminary results

Learning how to compose an effective extended text, therefore, should be conceived as a task similar to acquiring expertise in related culturally acquired domains. It is not merely an extension of our apparent biological predisposition to acquire spoken language. Rather, it is more similar to learning how to type - which is in fact one aspect of composition, as a common means of motor output. Or, it is similar to learning how to play chess - which is another planning intensive task similar to composition in its demands on thinking and memory. Or, it is similar to learning...

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TEACHING TECHNICAL ENGLISH WRITING

The objectives of the present paper are, first, to sketch the broad outlines of how writing skill develops across three stages, as a child matures and learns the craft of composition through late adolescence and into early adulthood. The first two - knowledge-telling and knowledge-transforming - are well documented. A third stage - knowledge crafting - is more speculative, but important for understanding expert or professional levels of writing skill. Second, it is suggested that the primary constraint on progression through these stages is the limited capacity of the central executive of working memory. Executive attention...

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TEACHING WRITING SKILLS A CLOBAL APPROACH

The three stages shown in Figure 1 are intended to demarcate three macro-stages of writing development. Writing skill is shown as continuously improving as a function of practice, as is typical for perceptual-motor and cognitive skills in general. The micro- changes underlying the gradual improvement that drive the transition to the next macro-stage fall beyond the scope of the present article. But, in general, it is assumed that both the basic writing processes of planning, language generation, and reviewing, plus the mental representations that must be generated and held in working memory, undergo continuous developmental changes through maturation and learning within...

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Improving your technical writing skills Version 4.1

In the most advanced stage of knowledge-crafting, the writer is able to hold in mind the author’s ideas, the words of the text itself, and the imagined reader’s interpretation of the text. The representations of the author, the text, and the reader must be held in the storage components of working memory and kept active by allocating attention to them (Traxler & Gernsbacher, 1993). Thus, for expert writers, not only are the basic processes of planning, sentence generation, and reviewing juggled successfully, but so are three alternative representations of content. The author's ideas, comprehension of what the text currently says,...

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EXPLORING ENGLISH SECOND LANGUAGE SPEAKERS’ SCIENTIFIC WRITING SKILLS STRATEGIES OF FIRST YEAR LIFE SCIENCES STUDENTS

The initial stage of knowledge-telling consists of creating or retrieving what the author wants to say and then generating a text to say it. The author is not entirely egocentric in knowledge-telling and can begin to take into account the reader's needs. Specifically, by the time children are beginning to write they realize that another person's thoughts about the world may differ from their own. By about the age of 4, children have acquired a theory of mind that allows them to take another's perspective (Wellman, 1990; Wellman, Cross, & Watson, 2001). This helps them to plan what they need...

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®Speaking and WritingSAMPLE TESTS.CONTACTING ETSQuestions?For questions on the TOEIC® tests, contact your local ETS Preferred Vendor or ETS directly at: TOEIC@ets.orgPhone: +1-609-771-7170Need information?For updated information on the TOEIC t

What is known empirically is that writers operating at the initial knowledge-telling stage of development clearly struggle with understanding what the text actually says. As Beal (1996) observed, young writers who compose by telling their knowledge have trouble seeing the literal meaning of their texts, as those texts would appear to prospective readers. The young author focuses on his or her thoughts not on how the text itself reads. The verbal protocols collected by Bereiter and Scardamalia (1987) of children clearly document the essential focus on the author’s representation rather than the text and reader representations. The text produced...

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Training writing skills: A cognitive developmental perspective

The third stage characterizes the progression to professional expertise in writing. The writer must maintain and manipulate in working memory a representation of the text that might be constructed by an imagined reader as well as the author and text representations. Notice that this stage now involves modeling not just the reader's view of the writer's message but also the reader's interpretation of the text itself. In knowledge-crafting, the writer shapes what to say and how to say it with the potential reader fully in mind. The writer tries to anticipate different ways that the reader might interpret the...

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Understanding English Language Learners’ Needs and the Language Acquisition Process: Two Teacher Educators’ Perspectives

Holliway and McCutchen (2004) stressed that the coordination of the author, text, and reader representations “builds on multiple sources of interpersonal, cognitive, and textual competencies” and may well account for most of the difficulties that children experience with revision. In an early study of expert versus novice differences in writers, Sommers (1980) documented that professional writers routinely and spontaneously revise their texts extensively and globally, making deep structural changes. They express concern for the “form or shape of their argument” as well as “a concern for their readership” (p. 384). By contrast, college freshmen made changes primarily in the vocabulary...

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WRITING & READING SKILLS IN ENGLISH - UNIT 4: WRITING

Tellingly, college students benefit by simply providing them with 8 minutes of instruction to revise globally before they are asked to start a second and final draft of a text (Wallace, Hayes, Hatch, Miller, Moser, & Silk, 1996). Although this could be interpreted to mean that the students lack the knowledge that revision entails more than local changes, the results of Myhill and Jones (2007) with 13-14 year olds render such an interpretation unlikely. An alternative interpretation is that, when left to their own devices, college students invest their available working memory resources as best they can, but still fail...

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UP AND AWAY: A resource book for English language support in primary schools

Finally, interventions that prompt the writer to “read-as-the-reader” explicitly focus working memory resources on the reader representation. These are effective in improving the revising activities of 5th and 9th graders (Holliway & McCutchen, 2004) as well as of college students (Traxler & Gernsbacher, 1993). However, it is unclear from these studies what costs are incurred when limited attention and storage capabilities are focused on the reader representation rather than on the author and text representations. In all of these studies, the task involved writing a text that described a geometric figure to the reader and thus possibly limited the...

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Investigating the Role of Metacognitive Knowledge in English Writing

The concept of knowledge-crafting proposed here draws from the work of Walter Ong. About 30 years ago, Ong (1978) argued that a skilled author creates a fictional audience for the text to understand its meaning from the prospective readers’ point of view. In contrast to oral communication, the audience for written communication is not actual, but fictional, a product of the writer’s imagination that can play an active role in composition. As Ong explained, the writer must anticipate all the different senses in which any statement can be interpreted and correspondingly clarify meaning and to cover it suitably.” To...

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Workplace Writing Skills Developing Clarity and Accuracy A Resource to Supplement Existing Published Materials

Writing development, then, is not complete at the end of university or even post- graduate work. An individual who writes on the job as a professional, even if it is but a part of his or her work, is preoccupied with what the text says in relation to what the writer already knows. Scientific writers, for example, must know “what problems the discipline has addressed, what the discipline has learned, where it is going, who the major actors are, and how all these things contribute” to the writer’s own project (Bazerman, 1988). Such domain-specific knowledge may have several beneficial effects...

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COMPASS/ESL ® Sample Test Questions— A Guide for Students and Parents Writing Skills

Academic writing is complex in that it involves more than grammar. It involves familiarity with the writing conventions of university culture and disciplinary subcultures in which the second/foreign language learner participates (Schneider & Fujishima, 1995). Ballard and Clanchy (1984) found that while a student is inducted into a particular discipline through lectures, discussions, and laboratory work, it is through the written assignments that success is most commonly judged. Although foreign language proficiency is at the heart of writing, the real problem for overseas students is not language-related errors, but the fact that students have not met the expectations of the...

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Sách WRITING IN ENGLISH - A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL WRITERS

For some overseas students, essays have to be written in the unfamiliar rhetorical styles of the target culture (Crowe & Peterson, 1995). An added complexity is that different cultural conventions are involved in academic argument. These conventions are important from the point of view of the teacher in that overseas students may have a logical orientation, but it may be perceived to be illogical to a reader anticipating a different culturally-constrained demonstration of logic. Jordan (1997) looked at the writing difficulties of overseas postgraduates attending writing classes at a university in the U.K. The students were asked to comment...

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GUIDELINES FOR WRITING WORK METHOD STATEMENTS IN PLAIN ENGLISH

The results illustrate the mismatch between student and instructor perceptions of the problems associated with students' written work. Whereas students selected vocabulary as offering the greatest challenge (62%), instructors clearly indicated style as being of greatest concern (92%). Students generally underestimated their problems, with large discrepancies for style and grammar when compared with the instructors’ perceptions. Clearly this academic barrier will lead to an escalation of academic culture shock for the overseas students, especially as it was not seen as a barrier by nearly 50% of the students surveyed. Weir (1988) also conducted a wide-ranging survey of instructors ...

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Second Edition FOR ESL LEARNERS Writing Better English

Achieving success in a new culture does not, however, lie solely in learning the grammar and lexicon of the language. Ability to negotiate cultural barriers and develop new ways of learning are also essential. Teachers need to be familiar with the socio-cultural sources of the problems encountered by overseas students writing in a foreign language, including differences in rhetorical styles (Cai, 1993). As most overseas students bring with them linguistic, cultural, attitudinal, and academic experiences (Leki, 1992), and many of them already possess study skills at an advanced level in their own language, what they actually need is help in...

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A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York WRITINGNEXT EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE WRITING OF ADOLESCENTS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS

Such studies show how writers' cultural backgrounds influence their organisation of writing; what they choose to use as evidence in supporting their main ideas; how they express their main ideas; and how they write in the foreign language (Benda, 1999). They also show how different rhetorical preferences are reflected in textual organisation in different languages (Grabe & Kaplan, 1989). Contrastive rhetoric is also an area of research in second/foreign language learning that identifies problems in composition encountered by second/foreign language writers by referring them to the rhetorical strategies of the first language. It maintains that language and writing are cultural...

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Student Success Guide Writing Skills

Learning to compose in a foreign language is not an isolated classroom activity, but a social and cultural experience. For example, the rules of English composition encapsulate values that are absent in, or sometimes contradictory to, the values of other societies. Likewise, the rules of Chinese writing reflect beliefs and values that may not be found in other societies. Therefore, learning the rules of composition in a foreign language is, to a certain extent, learning the values of the corresponding foreign society (Shen, 1989). The process of learning to write in the target language is a process of creating and...

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RAISING STUDENTS' AWARENESS OF CROSS-CULTURAL CONTRASTIVE RHETORIC IN ENGLISH WRITING VIA AN E- LEARNING COURSE

This study investigated the potential impact of e-learning on raising overseas students' cultural awareness and explored the possibility of creating an interactive learning environment for them to improve their English academic writing. The study was based on a comparison of Chinese and English rhetoric in academic writing, including a comparison of Chinese students' writings in Chinese with native English speakers' writings in English and Chinese students' writings in English with the help of an e-course and Chinese students' writings in English without the help of an e-course. Five features of contrastive rhetoric were used as criteria for the comparison. The...

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WRITING ENGLISH ESSAYS WITHIN DOMINANT DISCOURSES IN MALAYSIAN SCHOOLS*

The aim of this document is to provide guidance for teachers, and learning support assistants where appropriate, on ways to teach writing skills in order to help learners to become more effective writers. This document is designed to raise awareness of the many individual skills that a learner has to grasp (including consideration of the content of their writing, the ideas, arguments or plot) when learning to write. Faced with such multiple challenges it is not surprising that young learners, or those identified by school data as underattaining in literacy, make many errors when they try to do all this at once. This document suggests, therefore, that attention needs to...

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Examples of the Standards for Students’ Writing 2009: English Language Arts Grade 9

It is crucial that the teaching of writing skills is carried out in a consistent way across the whole school. In a primary setting, this means that all teachers should have reached agreement on the messages about required structure and content that they will give to learners (for example about the layout of a particular genre of writing) so that learners are not confused when they move into a class taught by someone new. In a secondary setting, as learners move between different departments as part of their learning, this is particularly important. This means that writing skills need to be taught consistently, not only by designated language teachers...

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Developing Learners’ Academic Writing Skills in Higher Education: A Study for Educational Reform

The Skills framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales (Welsh Assembly Government, 2008) makes it clear that teachers need to respond to learners where they currently are in their learning, not where they think they ought to be according, for example, to their age. Effective assessment procedures (formative, diagnostic and summative) will provide teachers with the necessary evidence for them to tailor the specific teaching of writing skills to meet individual needs within the class. This teaching should take place, however, as a support for the writing of whole texts rather than as discrete lessons out of any context. Learners need to be encouraged to see writing as a process...

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The Handbook of English Linguistics

The activities in this document aim to outline the various stages in the teaching of writing that a teacher needs to consider. No-one would advocate giving a learner an empty sheet of paper and a title and telling them to write a story or a report, except in an examination for which they had been fully prepared. The fear of that empty page is very real to many learners who have no idea how to begin the process and feel they are devoid of ideas and expertise; they can become demoralised, lose confidence and be put off writing for life unless they are explicitly taught strategies to cope....

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Relationships of L1 and L2 Reading and Writing Skills

This document contains 10 units organised as in-service training (INSET) sessions, each of which can be used singly or as part of a continuing programme of work. Although the document is arranged in a logical sequence, it is not necessary to use the units in order. Each is designed to be free-standing and could be used alone to meet a particular need identified by teachers. Units summarise current thinking on the most effective ways to teach and to achieve progression in writing, using available research and resources to provide a comprehensive one-stop shop for teachers in Wales. Clearly, a document of this kind cannot provide much more than the main...

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A HANDBOOK FOR THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH 87: BASIC WRITING SKILLS II

Most units will be appropriate for use with all teachers in primary, special and secondary schools where their subjects will support the application and reinforcement of the skills that are the unit’s focus. The document might well be used, for example, if a school’s self-evaluation process has indicated that the standard of learners’ writing is a problem either in English, Welsh or in subjects across the curriculum. In a Welsh or bilingual school setting, it might be more useful to use the Welsh version of the document for the majority of units, looking at the English units where there are differences between both languages, for example Units 6 and...

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Academic Writing Development of ESL/EFL Graduate Students in NUS

Each unit is structured so that it can be delivered without the need for extensive preparation by the group leader. This might be the English and/or Welsh language coordinator of a primary or special school and/or the appropriate head(s) of department in a secondary school, a member of the school’s senior management team (SMT) or the LA advisory team, or a tutor in initial teacher training. The development of writing skills should be part of a whole-school strategy, led by a senior teacher, that involves every teacher in the school. The document aims to provide material that might form part of whole-school training as well as work in LAs...

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Easy English Writing Style Guide

The skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening are of vital importance in many areas. Not only are they essential in many careers, they also underpin successful study at all levels, and a proficiency in them can also add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life. This specification is designed to aid and assess such development, and to encourage learners to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices and to use language to...

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MASSACHUSETTS CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND LITERACY

The most effective way for students to learn words they need for adult life is through reading a variety of materials. Indeed, it is estimated that “the average child enters school with a reading vocabulary of only a handful of words but learns reading vocabulary at a rate of 3,000 to 4,000 words a year, accumulating a reading vocabulary of something like 25,000 words by the time he or she is in eighth grade and one that may be well over 50,000 words by the end of high school.” 4 A well planned vocabulary program will also contribute to vocabulary...

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