Next CLLEAR seminar: ‘I like to see a picture’: Tutor and student perspectives on the use of visuals in Chinese and British students’ writing

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 16:00 in Lecture Theatre C (Room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “‘I like to see a picture’: Tutor and student perspectives on the use of visuals in Chinese and British students’ writing” and will be delivered by Maria Leedham from the Open University. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The traditional focus within the teaching of academic writing is on language produced as linear prose in genres such as the essay, report or case study, and little research has been conducted on the extent to which additional semiotic modes are used and how these are perceived by discipline tutors and by students. This paper analyses the use and perceptions of resources such as graphs, diagrams, and images (henceforth ‘visuals’), in assessed writing from two student groups: L1 Chinese and L1 English undergraduates in three disciplines (Biological Sciences, Economics and Engineering). The paper explores a dataset of undergraduate assignments drawn from the 6.5 million word British Academic Written English corpus, using corpus linguistic procedures combined with textual analysis. This reveals that the L1 Chinese students make significantly greater use of visuals and also lists than L1 English students in the same disciplines. The presentation then reports on findings from interviews with tutors and students (n=30), exploring their views. It is suggested that academic writing tutors could provide more guidance to all undergraduate students as to the range of acceptable ways of meaning making within assessed undergraduate writing.

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