English Language Learners, Writing Challenges, and Writing Identities: Experiences of Graduate Student Writers in Education
KeywordWriting challenges, writing identities, writing strategies, non-native graduate students, Education field
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AbstractThis qualitative research, grounded within a sociocultural perspective, investigated the experiences of non-native speakers of English when they write in an academic context in graduate level education courses. I explored writing challenges and success, the effects of challenges on writing identity, and strategies and environment that enhance writing competency of 3 English Language Learners (ELLs) in an Ontario University. Data were collected through a survey design including a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and post-interview questions. Data analysis adopted a 6-step process for analyzing and interpreting qualitative data described by Creswell (2015). The study’s theoretical framework encompassed Ivanič’s (2004) multilayered view of language, and Ivanič’s (1998) 4 aspects of writing identities. Findings suggest that ELLs’ academic literacy practices are influenced by various elements, their writing identities are constructed and shifted in the academic setting, and their writing challenges have a significant influence on different aspects of their writing identities. In addition, ELLs can improve their writing competency and make progress in their academic literacy if they are provided with an appropriate and supportive learning environment, practices, and strategies. The study discusses implications of findings and suggests areas for further research.
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A shared cabin in the woods: The presence and presents of writing in residential academic writing retreatsRatković, Snežana; McGinn, Michelle K.; Martinovic, Dragana; McQuirter Scott, Ruth (Equinox Publishing, 2019-11-27)In this paper, we investigated a model of academic development based upon a recurring residential academic writing retreat combining individual writing times, workshops, work-in-progress groups and one-on-one consultations with shared meals and informal gatherings in a natural environment. Using a case study research approach, we analysed data accumulated from seven annual residential writing retreats for education scholars. Participants included 39 academics, administrative staff, senior doctoral students and community partners from multiple institutions. We found evidence that the retreats enhanced participants’ knowledge of writing and publishing processes, advanced their academic careers, built scholarly capacity at their institutions and strengthened writing pedagogy. The data indicated that the presence of writing and writers at the residential academic writing retreats generated presents (i.e., gifts) for the participants. The presence of writing time, writing goals and writing activities in the company of other writers were key to the retreat pedagogy. Participants appreciated gifts of time and physical space and described giving and receiving peer feedback and emotional support as forms of gift exchange within the community. The resulting writing strategies, competencies and identities provided the gift of sustainability. The analysis confirmed that this ongoing, immersive, cross-institutional, cross-rank, institutionally funded model of academic development was effective and responsive to the needs of individual scholars.
The effectiveness of a multisensory writing program in improving cursive writing ability in children with sensorimotor difficultiesLockhart, Julia.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1991-07-09)It is estimated that five to ten percent of children experience sensory motor difficulties that result in various learnlng disabilitiies , among them. inabllity to output Information on paper in the appropriate manner (Ayres ,1985). The relationship between sensorimotorabillty and handwriting is well documented in the literature (Freeman,1917; Townsend , 1951; Nlkola-Ll sa, 1987). While much of the literature is inconclusive, there are findings to suggest that muitisensory handwriting programmes are an effective approach to improvlng writing abIlity in these chlldren. For a number of years, Occupational Therapists have been involved in the remediation of handwriting utllizing , amongst other approaches . multisensory programmes. While subjective assessments of effectiveness have been extremerly positive. scientIfic evaluation has been minimal . If further intervention in this area is to occur, it Is essential that the profession be able to justify the existence of such programmes . The purpose of this study was to examine what effects a multlsensory writing prog~am would have on the curslve writing ability of chlldren with sensorimotor dlfficulties. A single case with multiple baselines across be havlours design was used , with the behavlours being cursive writing abilIty of fIve distInct letter groups. The fIve groups were taught in random order, one group every two weeks , In a one-hour session. Repeated measurements of writing speed and qualIty for each letter group were made. This design was repeated over three other cases . Results of the study yielded statistical signifi cance in trend changes In specIfic letter groups for all of the chlldren following interventlon. One child achieved statistical significance In the overall change In quality , while none of the children achieved overall statistical significance In speed score changes . Teacher reports and an assessment of written language prior to and following the program suggest that Intervention may have had a positive effect on self-confidence in written output, and on the maturlty of written expression in some of the cases . Further research in this field is needed to validate the continual use of multisensory writing programmes by Occupational Theraplsts worklng with this specific population and to provide some directlon with regards to the Integration of multlsensory writing programmes within the regular academic remedial programme .
Writing Lives, Writing Loss: An autoethnography on the death of a teammateFaust, Katie; Applied Health Sciences ProgramThis project began as a memorial to an athlete who died of cancer, and ended as a journey through grief. The focus of my research is to explore through an autoethnography of loss, how the death of a young athlete is experienced and how as an athlete, I make sense of loss outside of sport. Visiting and revisiting spaces of loss and grief in sport allowed me to explore more deeply my personal histories as fragmented stories of grief. Through autoethnography and meta-autoethnography, this research seeks to uncover the meanings that reside in grieving in sport, examining the language we use to talk about death and loss in a culture of grief shrouded with stories of heroics and feel-good narratives. As I continue on my grief journey, I negotiate and re-negotiate the meanings I have constructed in my experiences. I will continue to do that as I venture through life and navigate the texts, searching to find balance between writing lives and writing loss.