Visualizing genre knowledge: metacognitive scaffolds in the L2 writing for research classroom.
Paper i proceeding, 2017
Genre analysis (Swales, 1990) as a pedagogical approach has proven to be a powerful catalizer of students’ understanding of writing as disciplinary communication and a means to knowledge construction (e.g. Hyland, 2007, 2010). Nonetheless, key voices within genre pedagogy (Johns, 2011, Devitt, 2015) have called for more research into activities that scaffold students beyond the acquisition of rhetorical structures, towards an awareness of genres as variable and the performance og genre across disicpinary contexts and time. Could we combine this aim with creative ways of conceptualizing writing? Our study explores how visualization in the EAP classroom can contribute to this goal. Visualization has already proven promising for students’ revision, as the technique promotes a conceptual perspective on text and a meta-awareness of what is missing (Olmanson et al., 2015). In light of these findings, the aim of our ”genre visualization” task is twofold: first, to help students summarize their observations about the scientific genres in their specific research area (genre awareness); and second, to derive concrete insights that could be applied to their ongoing writing (genre performance). A course for PhD students in various hard sciences was selected, as visualizations, or graphic representations of concepts, phenomena or data play a key role in the ideation of scientific research articles (Curry, 2014). At the end of the course, students submit a visual representation of research-based writing in their specific scientific community, accompanied by a written reflection on genre characteristics observed, how these charactersistics reflect the goals of their community, and which specific observations they can apply to their immediate writing context. The data is analyzed qualitatively to identify themes and commonalities in the way students depict their specific community's genre practices, and reveals how creative pedagogical activities may scaffold students towards a metacognitive and self-regulated use of genre analysis.
Curry, M. J. (2014). Graphics and invention in academic engineers’ writing for publication. Language, Literacy, and Learning in STEM Education: Research Methods and Perspectives from Applied Linguistics, 1, 87.
Devitt, A. J. (2015). Genre performances: John Swales' Genre Analysis and rhetorical-linguistic genre studies. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 19, 44-51.
Hyland, K. (2007). Genre pedagogy: Language, literacy and L2 writing instruction. Journal of second language writing, 16(3), 148-164.
Hyland, K. (2010). Community and individuality: Performing identity in applied linguistics. Written Communication, 27(2), 159-188.
Johns, A. M. (2011). The future of genre in L2 writing: Fundamental, but contested, instructional decisions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20(1), 56-68.
Olmanson, J., Kennett, K., Magnifico, A., McCarthey, S., Searsmith, D., Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (Online Nov. 2015). Visualizing Revision: Leveraging Student-Generated Between-Draft Diagramming Data in Support of Academic Writing Development. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 1-25. Doi: 10.1007/s10758-015-9265-5
Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge University Press.