Login | Register

The role of information management in the assessment of grammar in L2 academic writing: An exploratory case study

Title:

The role of information management in the assessment of grammar in L2 academic writing: An exploratory case study

Neumann, Heike ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8977-7219 (2015) The role of information management in the assessment of grammar in L2 academic writing: An exploratory case study. Writing & Pedagogy, 7 (2-3). pp. 329-354.

[img]
Text (accepted manuscript) (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document)
26045-74821-1-ED Neumann.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.
1MB

Official URL: https://journals.equinoxpub.com/index.php/WAP/arti...

Abstract

Information management of discourse – the ability of a writer to use linguistic forms to organize and present information in a written text – is a key component of second language (L2) ability models in the language assessment literature (e.g., Canale & Swain, 1980; Weigle, 2002), but Purpura’s (2004) language ability model developed specifically for assessment purposes is the only one that considers it to be part of the ability to use grammar accurately and meaningfully when producing a text in an L2. The current study investigated whether L2 academic writing teachers consider information management of discourse as an assessment criterion when assessing grammar in L2 academic texts. Fourteen students in an academic English as a second language writing course at an English-medium university in Canada and their teacher participated in this case study. Students’ essay exam scripts were collected, and the Theme-Rheme progression (TRP) patterns and links (Daneš, 1974) as well as the distribution of new and given information (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) in these essays were analyzed. Pearson correlation coefficients between the teacher-assigned grammar grade and the results from the TRP and information distribution analyses were calculated. The findings indicate that information management of discourse indeed forms part of the assessment criteria for grammar in academic writing for the teacher in this study. The implications of this finding for L2 writing pedagogy are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Neumann, Heike
Journal or Publication:Writing & Pedagogy
Date:30 November 2015
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1558/wap.v7i2-3.26045
Keywords:ASSESSING GRAMMAR; SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING; ACADEMIC WRITING; INFORMATION MANAGEMENT; SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS
ID Code:985465
Deposited By: HEIKE NEUMANN
Deposited On:06 Jun 2019 17:43
Last Modified:06 Jun 2019 17:43

References:

Alonso Belmonte, I., & McCabe-Hidalgo, A. (1998). Theme-Rheme patterns in L2 writing. Didáctica (Lengua y literatura), 10, 13-32. Retrieved from http://revistas.ucm.es/edu/11300531/articulos/DIDA9898110013A.PDF
Bachman, L. F. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language testing in practice: Designing and developing useful language tests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Barkaoui, K. (2010). Explaining ESL essay holistic scores: A multilevel modeling approach. Language Testing, 27 (4), 515-535. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1177/0265532210368717
Burneikaitė, N., & Zabiliūtė J. (2003). Information structuring in learner texts: A possible relationship between the topical structure and the holistic evaluation of learner essays. Studies about Languages, 4, 67-72. Retrieved from http://www.kalbos.lt/zurnalai/04_numeris/11a.pdf
Byrnes, H. (2009). Systemic-functional reflections on instructed foreign language acquisition as meaning-making: An introduction. Linguistics and Education, 20, 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2009.01.002
Byrnes, H., Maxim, H. H., & Norris, J. M. (2010). Realizing advanced FL writing development in collegiate education: Curricular design, pedagogy, assessment. Modern Language Journal, 94 (Monograph Issue). http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2010.01147.x
Canale, M. (1983a). From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. In J. C. Richards & R. W. Schmidt (Eds), Language and Communication, 2–27. New York: Longman.
Canale, M. (1983b). On some dimensions of language proficiency. In J. W. Oller, Jr. (Ed.), Issues in language testing research, 333–342. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1 (1), 1–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/I.1.1
Christie, F. (2002). The development of abstraction in adolescence in subject English. In M. J. Schleppegrell & M. C. Colombi (Eds), Developing advanced literacy in first and second languages, 45–66. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. L. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Crusan, D. (2010). Assessment in the second language writing classroom. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Cumming, A. (2013). Assessing integrated writing tasks for academic purposes: Promises and perils. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10 (1), 1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2011.622016
Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130. doi: 10.1207/s15430421tip3903_2
Daneš, F. (1974). Functional sentence perspective and the organization of the text. In F. Daneš (Ed.) Papers on functional sentence perspective, 106–128. Prague: Academia.
Fries, P. H. (1981). On the status of Theme in English: Arguments from discourse. Forum Linguisticum, 6 (1), 1–38.
Gebhard, M., Demers, J., & Castillo-Rosenthal, Z. (2008). Teachers as critical text analysts: L2 literacies and teachers' work in the context of high-stakes school reform. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17 (4), 274–291. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2008.05.001
Gebhard, M., Willett, J., Jimenez, J. P., & Piedra, A. (2010). Systemic functional linguistics, teachers’ professional development, and ELLse academic literacy practices. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Preparing teachers for linguistically diverse classrooms: A resource for teacher educators. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Go, A. L. (2003). The writing development of Chinese and Vietnamese newcomer students. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of California, Davis. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=764739731&Fmt=7&clientId=10843&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Halliday, M. A. K. (1967). Notes on transitivity and Theme in English: Part 2. Journal of Linguistics, 3 (2), 199–244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700016613
Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd edn). London: Arnold.
Hamp-Lyons, L. (2011). Writing assessment: Shifting issues, new tools, enduring questions. Assessing Writing, 16 (1), 3–5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2010.12.001
He, L., & Shi, L. (2012). Topical knowledge and ESL writing. Language Testing, 29 (3), 443–464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265532212436659
Hunt, K. W. (1965). Grammatical structures written at three grade levels. Urbana, IL: The National Council of Teachers of English.
Kies, D. (2009, November). Information structures in L2 writing among high school and first-year college students. Paper presented at the Symposium on Second Language Writing, Phoenix, AZ.
Kies, S. G. (2009, November). The role of explicit instruction on Theme-Rheme and given-new in developing texture in graduate student writing. Paper presented at the Symposium on Second Language Writing, Phoenix, AZ.
Knoch, U. (2007). ‘Little coherence, considerable strain for reader’: A comparison between two rating scales for the assessment of coherence. Assessing Writing, 12(2), 108-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2007.07.002
Lautamatti, L. (1978). Observations on the development of the topic in simplified discourse. Text Lingusitics, Cognitive Learning and Language Teaching, 22, 71–104.
Lautamatti, L. (1987). Observations on the development of the topic of simplified discourse. In U. Connor & R. B. Kaplan (Eds), Writing across languages: Analysis of L2 text, 87–114. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.
Mauranen, A. (1996). Discourse competence - Evidence from thematic development in native and non-native texts. In E. Ventola & A. Mauranen (Eds.), Academic writing: Intercultural and textual issues (pp. 195-230). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Meyer, H. (2008). The 'empowerment' of students: A contribution from systemic functional grammar. English in Education, 42, 165-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-8845.2008.00014.x
Neumann, H. (2011). What's in a grade? A mixed methods investigation of teacher assessment of grammatical ability in L2 academic writing. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Retrieved from http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:8881/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=103454
Neumann, H. (2014). Teacher assessment of grammatical ability in second language academic writing: A case study. Journal of Second Language Writing, 24, 83–107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2014.04.002
Ortega, L. (2003). Syntactic complexity measures and their relationship to L2 proficiency: A research synthesis of college-level L2 writing. Applied Linguistics, 24 (4), 492–518. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.4.492
Purpura, J. E. (2004). Assessing grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schleppegrell, M. J. (2004). The Language of schooling: A functional linguistics perspective. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Schleppegrell, M. J. (2009). Grammar for Generation 1.5: A focus on meaning. In M. Roberge, M. Siegal & L. Harklau (Eds), Generation 1.5 in college composition: Teaching academic writing to US-educated learners of ESL, 221–234. New York & London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Schleppegrell, M. J., & Go, A. L. (2007). Analyzing the writing of English learners: A functional approach. Language Arts, 84 (6), 529-538. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/LA/0846-july07/LA0846Analyzing.pdf
Schneider, M., & Connor, U. (1990). Analyzing topical structure in ESL essays. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 12 (4), 411–427. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100009505
Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Wang, L. (2007). Theme and Rheme in the thematic organization of text: Implications for teaching academic writing. Asian EFL Journal, 9 (1), 167–176. Retrieved from http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/March_07_lw.php
Weigle, S. C. (2002). Assessing writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weigle, S. C. (2012). Assessing writing. In C. Coombe, P. Davidson, B. O'Sullivan & S. Stoynoff (Eds), The Cambridge guide to second language assessment, 218–224. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
White, E. M. (1984). Holisticism. College Composition and Communication, 35 (4), 400–409. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/357792
White, E. M. (1995). An apologia for the timed impromptu essay test. College Composition and Communication, 46 (1), 30–45. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/358868
Witte, S. P. (1983). Topical structure and writing quality: Some possible text-based explanations of readers' judgements of students' writing. Visible Language, 17, 177–205.
Witte, S. P., & Faigley, L. (1981). Coherence, cohesion, and writing quality. College Composition and Communication, 32 (2), 189–204. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/CCC/1981/0322-may1981/CCC0322Coherence.pdf
Wu, J. (1997). Topical structure analysis of English as a Second Language (ESL) texts written by college Southeast Asian refugee students. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th edn). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top