Academic literacy skills in EAL academic writing


Andrew, Martin


This paper reports on a qualitative study into academic literacy factors impacting on the development of academic writing skills within an EAL tertiary programme in Auckland, New Zealand. Data has been collected over three semesters by using focus group methodologies. These groups responded to key cues about academic writing at the start and near the end of a 14-week course. The data measures reported learner progress. These learner reports are triangulated by a mid-course tutor interview and by the analysis of learners' reflective memoranda, which themselves offer evidence to support (or refute) the students' self-reporting. In particular, we consider the students' progress in understanding academic genre features, including discourse structures, and the usefulness of multi-draft portfolios. In final interviews, students report on enhancements to their understanding of discursive forms and the learning value inherent in the writing process. The study suggests that a multi-draft portfolio is an effective assessment tool not only because it provides a teacher feedback loop, but also because it enhances learners' understanding of writing as a process. This provides them with such aspects of academic writing literacy as self-editing and the insight to reorganise academic texts by applying target genre and discourse knowledge.

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Seminar, speech or other prese…


Language in the disciplines: disciplinary discourses and the embedding of academic literacy skills within programs, an Academic Literacy Teaching and Research Network (ALTAR) Symposium, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 24 November 2010


Swinburne University of Technology


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