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Legitimising
Knowers’
Multiple Voices
in L2
Postgraduate
Writing
A Case Study
CHEUNG Lok Ming Eric
Department of English
H...
“Power is Struggle.”
Struggling for power through discourse
(Fairclough and Wodak, 1997) to become “like-
minded peers” in...
Motivations
• Previously focus on dynamic variation of evaluative lexis in
postgraduate written genres
• Doctorate longitu...
Theoretical Background
• Identity and self(Clark and Ivanic, 1998)
• Stance and voice as registerial key (Hood, 2012; Hyla...
Knowledge Structures & Semantic
Gravity
Semantic Gravity Discourse Knowledge
structures
Learning
Weaker
Stronger
Vertical
...
Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes
ER+
ER-
SR- SR+
knowledge
relativist
elite
knower
(Maton, 2010, p.45)
Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes
ER+
ER-
SR- SR+
Science
Social
Sciences
Humanities
(Hood, 2011, p.125)
Analytical
o...
SG-, SD+
SG+, SD-
Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes
ER+
ER-
SR- SR+
Science
Social
Sciences
Humanities
(Hood, 2011, p...
Topology of Knowers’ Gaze
SubR+
IR- IR+
Social
Cultivated
(Maton, 2014)SubR-
Born
Trained
Lenses of Cultivated Knowers’ Gaze
TOR+
IDR- IDR+
Interpretative
Rhetorical
TOR-
Elitist
Novice
(Luckett et al., 2012)
Using SFL to understand LCT
• Transitivity analysis
• (Un)packing of
grammatical metaphor
• Appraisal analysis
• Focusing ...
Knowers’ Processes
Process Types Examples N
Material Meanwhile, I, and other colleagues, teach preparation
courses for sta...
APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005)
APPRAISAL
ENGAGEMENT
ATTITUDE
GRADUATION
monoglossic
heteroglossic
appreciation
judgeme...
ENGAGEMENT up-close
ENGAGEMENT
monoglossic
heteroglossic
expand
contract
disclaim
proclaim
entertain
attribute
acknowledge...
The Corpus (ALPC)
• 90 written texts from 30 students
• 170,000 words approx (still growing)
• Assignments including resea...
Knowers’ Processes
86
45
101
29 27
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
Material Behavioural Mental Verbal Relational
Frequency
The Case Study: Flo
• From China – Non-native English speaker
• Had teaching experience – TOEFL private tutoring in China
...
The Assignments
• Both from “Second Language Teaching”
• Requirement: Summary, Synthesis, Evaluation
• Linking theories to...
Teacher Perspective
• Making the theories appliable for teachers’ further
development (Knowledge  Elite)
• Critical discu...
Methods
Appraisal Analysis with
UAM CorpusTool
(O’Donnell, 2008)
Examining other
texts (readings,
lecture notes, etc.)
Stu...
Construction of
Voice in Writing:
Flo
• Note taking as unpacking
device and basis of
integration
• Explicit self-mention t...
APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005)
APPRAISAL
ENGAGEMENT
ATTITUDE
GRADUATION
monoglossic
heteroglossic
appreciation
judgeme...
ENGAGEMENT up-close
ENGAGEMENT
monoglossic
heteroglossic
expand
contract
disclaim
proclaim
entertain
attribute
acknowledge...
Voice Sourcing: ENGAGEMENT
Research Paper Literature Review
Feature N % N %
monoglossic 119 60.4 37 27.6
heteroglossic 78 ...
ENGAGEMENT in Research Paper
ENGAGEMENT
monoglossic (N=119; 60.4%)
heteroglossic
expand
contract
disclaim
proclaim
enterta...
ENGAGEMENT in Lit Review
ENGAGEMENT
monoglossic (N=37; 27.6%)
heteroglossic
expand
contract
disclaim
proclaim
entertain
at...
Semantic Profile/Wave
Time
SG-, SD+
SG+, SD-
High-stake
reading
High-stake
writing
Unpacking (e.g.
definitions, examples,
...
Semantic Profile: Research Paper
Time
SG-, SD+
SG+, SD-
Unpacking terms,
e.g. sentence
variety; relating
problems to
liter...
Semantic Profile: Literature Review
Time
SG-, SD+
SG+, SD-
Unpacking with
note-taking
Paraphrasing by locating
similaritie...
Minute-by-minute Variations
Time
SG-, SD+
SG+, SD-
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
Teachers adopting the top-down model are encouraged to
think about whether the teaching materials help learners to
focus o...
Align/Disalignment strategy
• [ent●(ack)● count ● grad] ^ app
• This approach sounds [ent] adoptable, but [count] in the
p...
Evaluate as an “insider”: Flo
This approach sounds adoptable [app: val], but in the practice of
question 6 in TOEFL speaki...
What the Successful Writer Tells Us
• Manipulate voice sources according to the task
nature
• Dynamic variation of knower’...
“But I don’t wanna do research…”
• In reality, Flo disengages herself from further
research works – e.g. a dissertation
• ...
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Legitimising Knowers’ Multiple Voices in L2 Postgraduate Writing

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In academic writing, L2 postgraduate (PG) writers often find negotiating a space for their own authorial voice challenging. In addition to overcome proficiency issues, it is difficult to appropriate discourse strategies to assert their own voices, display and evaluate knowledge. Focusing on PG writing, I adopt a case study approach in this paper to follow two Master of Arts (MA) Applied Linguistics students in a Hong Kong university. The case study examines their “journeys” searching for authorial voice within two semesters in their one-year postgraduate study. In this paper, I examine the academic context through the data collected in six rounds of group and individual semi-structured student interviews in two semesters. The student interview data is supplemented by eight individual semi-structured interviews of four MA course instructors. I then move on to discuss the discourse and lexicogrammatical features of the eight papers submitted by the two students. These written texts were analysed using APPRAISAL framework (Martin and White, 2005). I focus on ENGAGEMENT resources, investigating the writers sourcing of their own and other voices for (dis)alignment with readership. I also analyse the PG students’ written texts in terms of semantic profile and legitimation codes of specialization (Maton, 2009). The notions help us understand the shift of "the context-dependence and condensation of meaning of knowledge practices... over time" (Maton, 2013, p.8). The findings demonstrate the two student writers’ ability to contextualise the learnt theories explicit sourcing of their own voice and evaluating their objects of study. Meanwhile, the findings also reflect the two writers’ weaknesses in abstracting their experiences as condensed knowledge through strategies such as nominalisation. The implications can shed light on academic writing pedagogy and provide a clearer understanding of explicit lexicogrammatical resources PG writers may use to source, balance and evaluative their own and other authorial voices.

References

Martin, James & White, Peter. 2005. The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Legitimising Knowers’ Multiple Voices in L2 Postgraduate Writing

  1. 1. Legitimising Knowers’ Multiple Voices in L2 Postgraduate Writing A Case Study CHEUNG Lok Ming Eric Department of English Hong Kong Polytechnic University eric.lm.cheung@connect.polyu.hk
  2. 2. “Power is Struggle.” Struggling for power through discourse (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997) to become “like- minded peers” in a society (Ivanic, 1998).
  3. 3. Motivations • Previously focus on dynamic variation of evaluative lexis in postgraduate written genres • Doctorate longitudinal study on postgraduate student’s identity construction – More than just text production • Shell-shocked students • Identity crisis in under new context • Not proficiency/inadequacy issue anymore (Ivanic, 1998) • Current study focus on the discourse strategies and lexicogrammatical resources successful students’ use as legitimate knower – deconstructing good models
  4. 4. Theoretical Background • Identity and self(Clark and Ivanic, 1998) • Stance and voice as registerial key (Hood, 2012; Hyland, 2005; Hunston, 2010) • APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005) • Discourse structure and code theory (Bernstein, 1990, 2000) • Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) (Maton, 2000, 2009)
  5. 5. Knowledge Structures & Semantic Gravity Semantic Gravity Discourse Knowledge structures Learning Weaker Stronger Vertical Horizontal Hierarchical Horizontal Cumulative Segmented (Maton, 2009, p.46)
  6. 6. Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes ER+ ER- SR- SR+ knowledge relativist elite knower (Maton, 2010, p.45)
  7. 7. Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes ER+ ER- SR- SR+ Science Social Sciences Humanities (Hood, 2011, p.125) Analytical observation Testimonial observations Observer’s visibility Observer’s invisibility
  8. 8. SG-, SD+ SG+, SD- Legitimisation of Specialisation Codes ER+ ER- SR- SR+ Science Social Sciences Humanities (Hood, 2011, p.125) Analytical observation Testimonial observations Observer’s visibility Observer’s invisibility Building of knowledge over time
  9. 9. Topology of Knowers’ Gaze SubR+ IR- IR+ Social Cultivated (Maton, 2014)SubR- Born Trained
  10. 10. Lenses of Cultivated Knowers’ Gaze TOR+ IDR- IDR+ Interpretative Rhetorical TOR- Elitist Novice (Luckett et al., 2012)
  11. 11. Using SFL to understand LCT • Transitivity analysis • (Un)packing of grammatical metaphor • Appraisal analysis • Focusing on Engagement strategies for voice sourcing • Explicit self-reference • Interpersonal meaning traversing the information waves of theme-rheme (Adapted from karlmaton.com)
  12. 12. Knowers’ Processes Process Types Examples N Material Meanwhile, I, and other colleagues, teach preparation courses for standardized tests… 86 Mental Understanding the meaning behind a text is difficult if we don't understand the register… 101 Behavioural I will examine how the words are used in the concordance… 27 Verbal I shall discuss the listening activities designed from the top-down interpretation view… 45 Relational Although we are unable to decipher the intonation of the comments… 29
  13. 13. APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005) APPRAISAL ENGAGEMENT ATTITUDE GRADUATION monoglossic heteroglossic appreciation judgement force focus affect
  14. 14. ENGAGEMENT up-close ENGAGEMENT monoglossic heteroglossic expand contract disclaim proclaim entertain attribute acknowledge distance deny counter concur pronounce endorse
  15. 15. The Corpus (ALPC) • 90 written texts from 30 students • 170,000 words approx (still growing) • Assignments including research-based papers, literature reviews, commentaries (dissertations to be added) • Transitivity analysis: how students represent themselves as they are explicitly present in the writing • Suggesting the types of gaze students may have towards their objects of study
  16. 16. Knowers’ Processes 86 45 101 29 27 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Material Behavioural Mental Verbal Relational Frequency
  17. 17. The Case Study: Flo • From China – Non-native English speaker • Had teaching experience – TOEFL private tutoring in China • Enrolled in MA English Language Teaching; • Did not opt for dissertation but performed constantly outstanding in various coursework throughout • Two high-graded assignments from same subject selected from the corpus • Active participant among the volunteers
  18. 18. The Assignments • Both from “Second Language Teaching” • Requirement: Summary, Synthesis, Evaluation • Linking theories to practice • Assignments: • 1st: Research-based paper – Solutions to avoid sentence fragments and run-ons • 2nd: Literature review – Using listening comprehension to teach oral English
  19. 19. Teacher Perspective • Making the theories appliable for teachers’ further development (Knowledge  Elite) • Critical discussion is essential (Elitist lens) • Assignment topics and arguments identified and justified with literature and data • Independence of student writers (developing cultivated gaze with an elitist lens) • Term papers over exams or quizzes • Reflective of academic writing/genres • Advancement of career and academic pursuit
  20. 20. Methods Appraisal Analysis with UAM CorpusTool (O’Donnell, 2008) Examining other texts (readings, lecture notes, etc.) Student and teacher interviews (15-min each)
  21. 21. Construction of Voice in Writing: Flo • Note taking as unpacking device and basis of integration • Explicit self-mention to recount on teaching experience and evaluation • Backgrounding other voices using non-integral citations • Foregrounding her own critique or affiliating sources with integral citations
  22. 22. APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005) APPRAISAL ENGAGEMENT ATTITUDE GRADUATION monoglossic heteroglossic appreciation judgement force focus affect
  23. 23. ENGAGEMENT up-close ENGAGEMENT monoglossic heteroglossic expand contract disclaim proclaim entertain attribute acknowledge distance deny counter concur pronounce endorse
  24. 24. Voice Sourcing: ENGAGEMENT Research Paper Literature Review Feature N % N % monoglossic 119 60.4 37 27.6 heteroglossic 78 39.6 97 72.4 Total 197 100.0 134 100.0
  25. 25. ENGAGEMENT in Research Paper ENGAGEMENT monoglossic (N=119; 60.4%) heteroglossic expand contract disclaim proclaim entertain attribute acknowledge distance (N=0; 0%) deny (n=1; 12.5%) counter (n=7; 87.5%) concur (n=0; 0%) pronounce (n=1; 20%) endorse (n=7; 80%) Sentence fragments and run-on sentences break the structural rule of forming a correct sentence. Fitzpatrick and Ruscica (2000) once pointed out that However; although; but It is clear that Syntactic variety can hardly be achieved This evaluation is, of course, based on individual teaching context (N=78; 39.6%) (N=13; 16.7%) (N=65; 83.3%) (N=8; 61.5%) (N=5; 38.5%) (N=42; 64.6%) (N=23; 35.4%) (N=23; 100%)They might misunderstand sentence variety This research indicates the strong relationship
  26. 26. ENGAGEMENT in Lit Review ENGAGEMENT monoglossic (N=37; 27.6%) heteroglossic expand contract disclaim proclaim entertain attribute acknowledge distance (N=0; 0%) deny (n=5; 45.5%) counter (n=6; 54.5%) concur (n=3; 33.3%) pronounce (n=3; 33.3%) endorse (n=3; 33.3%) Spoken language is increasingly demanded by learners in EFL classroom… Tavil (2010) points out… It seems feasible… However; although; but Flowerdew and Miller show… I found… Teaching speaking is not just the matter of teaching how to speak fluently and accurately. Contextural guesswork in top- down model is commonly used (N=97; 72.4%) (N=20; 16.7%) (N=77; 83.3%) (N=11; 55%) (N=9; 45%) (N=43; 55.8%) (N=34; 44.2%) (N=34; 100%)
  27. 27. Semantic Profile/Wave Time SG-, SD+ SG+, SD- High-stake reading High-stake writing Unpacking (e.g. definitions, examples, observation, lectures) Congruent, commonsense knowledge Repacking (e.g. paraphrasing, framing concepts, research papers)
  28. 28. Semantic Profile: Research Paper Time SG-, SD+ SG+, SD- Unpacking terms, e.g. sentence variety; relating problems to literature Summary of study Repeated un-/re-packing in each section with personal experience General education context: identifying problems in student TOEFL writing Recontextualise problem and how the solution operates in a wider context ||This study reveals ||that the students tended to combine two simple sentences with coordinating conjunction and a comma, ||or add a semicolon between two independent clauses, ||and even tried to expand the sentence into a more complex one. || e.g. …while students’ performance in the independent written task was of considerable problems, one of which was the frequent emergence of sentence fragments and run-on sentences. e.g. This article has investigated the teaching approach of avoiding sentence fragments and run-on sentences to address the problem of lack of syntactic variety in the independent written task of TOEFL iBT.
  29. 29. Semantic Profile: Literature Review Time SG-, SD+ SG+, SD- Unpacking with note-taking Paraphrasing by locating similarities in literature Repeated un-/re-packing in each section with personal experience Tavil (2010), Nunan (2002) notions related to the role of listening in spoken language Benefits and challenges of top- down processing e.g. “Although grasping actual content… it might be difficult to realise the goal…” e.g. “… the bottom-up processing (…) and top- down interpretation (…)(Nunan, 2002).” e.g. “… a number of contradictions and inapplicabilities have been revealed in the practice of teaching…”
  30. 30. Minute-by-minute Variations Time SG-, SD+ SG+, SD- Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
  31. 31. Teachers adopting the top-down model are encouraged to think about whether the teaching materials help learners to focus on top-down listening skills. In developing materials for top-down processing, it is important to teach students to use context and situation as prior knowledge of the topic to comprehend the upcoming listening task (Nunan, 2002). … Nunan (2002), for example, suggested that teachers can use students’ speech which includes their own background knowledge and personal experience as listening materials… It seems [ent] feasible in classrooms where students’ level are relatively similar, supported by Wilson (2003) while choosing listening text [concede]. In my present TOEFL training course, however [count], advanced-level students may find it so easy to respond speech from less-advanced students. Thus, the teaching and learning becomes inefficient. One possible solution is that teachers can select speech from students of higher level, which may benefit students of different levels. High semantic density awaiting the writer to unpack. Unpacking the concept through scholarly works. Concede-counter pairing: contract the dialogic space by saying the approach is less feasible in a certain context. Realign with readership with solutions. Academic reader: Cultivated: Elitist (SubR-, IR+; TOR+, IDR+) Teacher: Social (SubR+, IR-) Teacher: Social Academic reader: Cultivated: Rhetorical (SubR-, IR+; TOR+, IDR-)
  32. 32. Align/Disalignment strategy • [ent●(ack)● count ● grad] ^ app • This approach sounds [ent] adoptable, but [count] in the practice of question 6 in TOEFL speaking which includes academic topics [grad], it is too difficult [app]... • It seems [ent] feasible… supported by Wilson (2002) [ack]. In my present TOEFL training course [grad], however [count], advanced-level students may find it so easy [app]…
  33. 33. Evaluate as an “insider”: Flo This approach sounds adoptable [app: val], but in the practice of question 6 in TOEFL speaking which includes academic topics, it is too difficult [app: comp] for students to discuss especially when they do not acquire the knowledge [-jud: cap] of particular areas. Usually, it is the teacher who plays a role in introducing the background, but in the real test, such activity will not occur. Therefore, brainstorming of the topic sometimes cannot help [- app: val] to provide prior knowledge.
  34. 34. What the Successful Writer Tells Us • Manipulate voice sources according to the task nature • Dynamic variation of knower’s gazes and voices within single text instance • Sensitive to language features achieving appropriate voices • Material processes as a researcher/teacher • Mental as a commentator/critic • Use (dis-)alignment strategies eloquently to propose new ideas
  35. 35. “But I don’t wanna do research…” • In reality, Flo disengages herself from further research works – e.g. a dissertation • Still assumes researcher and academic voice in writing • Currently employed as Teaching Assistant in an international school • Moving down from Elite Code (ER+, SR+) to Knower Code (ER-, SR+) to contextualise her study into practice
  36. 36. Thank You!
  • DanielOSullivan6

    Oct. 30, 2018

In academic writing, L2 postgraduate (PG) writers often find negotiating a space for their own authorial voice challenging. In addition to overcome proficiency issues, it is difficult to appropriate discourse strategies to assert their own voices, display and evaluate knowledge. Focusing on PG writing, I adopt a case study approach in this paper to follow two Master of Arts (MA) Applied Linguistics students in a Hong Kong university. The case study examines their “journeys” searching for authorial voice within two semesters in their one-year postgraduate study. In this paper, I examine the academic context through the data collected in six rounds of group and individual semi-structured student interviews in two semesters. The student interview data is supplemented by eight individual semi-structured interviews of four MA course instructors. I then move on to discuss the discourse and lexicogrammatical features of the eight papers submitted by the two students. These written texts were analysed using APPRAISAL framework (Martin and White, 2005). I focus on ENGAGEMENT resources, investigating the writers sourcing of their own and other voices for (dis)alignment with readership. I also analyse the PG students’ written texts in terms of semantic profile and legitimation codes of specialization (Maton, 2009). The notions help us understand the shift of "the context-dependence and condensation of meaning of knowledge practices... over time" (Maton, 2013, p.8). The findings demonstrate the two student writers’ ability to contextualise the learnt theories explicit sourcing of their own voice and evaluating their objects of study. Meanwhile, the findings also reflect the two writers’ weaknesses in abstracting their experiences as condensed knowledge through strategies such as nominalisation. The implications can shed light on academic writing pedagogy and provide a clearer understanding of explicit lexicogrammatical resources PG writers may use to source, balance and evaluative their own and other authorial voices. References Martin, James & White, Peter. 2005. The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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