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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Mike Thelwall

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of social network comments to give a broad overview to serve as a baseline for future research.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of social network comments to give a broad overview to serve as a baseline for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

English comments from a representative sample of public MySpace profiles were examined with a collection of exploratory analyses, using automatic data processing, quantitative techniques and content analyses.

Findings

Comments were normally for general friendship maintenance and were typically short, with 95 per cent having 57 or fewer words. They contained a combination of standard spelling, apparently accidental mistakes, slang, sentence fragments, “typographic slang” and interjections. Several new creative spelling variants derived from previous forms of computer‐mediated communication have become extremely common, including u, ur, :), haha and lol. The vast majority of comments (97 per cent) contained at least one non‐standard language feature, suggesting that members almost universally recognise the informal nature of this kind of messaging.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation only covered MySpace and only analysed English comments.

Practical implications

MySpace comments should not be written in, or judged by, standard linguistic norms and may cause special problems for information retrieval.

Originality/value

This is the first large‐scale study of language in social network comments.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Elena Tosky King and Lakia M. Scott

This paper aims to progress the dialogue on language rights in the urban classroom. Research has evidenced how language can serve as a powerful tool in mainstream…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to progress the dialogue on language rights in the urban classroom. Research has evidenced how language can serve as a powerful tool in mainstream ideologies; more specifically, the preferred and dominant use of Standard Written English in the American classroom has demonstrated how language serves as a gatekeeper for student success. This paper calls for a more democratic notion of language usage that denies the “gatekeeper” of English into specific educational tracks.

Design/methodology/approach

By framing the issue of linguistic diversity through a theoretical analysis of cultural reproduction theory, this paper demonstrates how language serves as a bridge in building and negotiating cultural identities for students. In addition, an examination of how language serves as a stratification tool in educational contexts provides credence for reform initiatives.

Findings

In the field of linguistics, the shift in verbal and language repertoires has provided a new paradigm for rethinking what constitutes as an acceptable and innovative language use. However, structures such as schools have remained static in their vision of linguistic success in the classroom, assessing students’ language abilities in the specifics of standard written English.

Originality/value

This analysis encourages recommendations for examining current curriculum with regards to the promotion of language diversity, encouragement for teachers to reexamine their individual perceptions about language difference and the realignment of assessment and academic measurement tools to better accommodate students with linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

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Article
Publication date: 23 April 2020

Soomin Jwa

This comparative study aims to investigate the rhetorical organization of Korean and English argumentative texts. In previous studies, the rhetorical organization of such…

Abstract

Purpose

This comparative study aims to investigate the rhetorical organization of Korean and English argumentative texts. In previous studies, the rhetorical organization of such texts has been categorized as either direct or indirect depending on the placement of the thesis statement (Chien, 2011). The present study attempts to document more specific rhetorical patterns using Swales (1990) concept of moves and steps.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten Korean EFL students with similar L1 and L2 literacy backgrounds were selected, and, adopting a within-subject design, the students wrote two argumentative essays, one in Korean and one in English, in response to two different topics. The students’ essays were analyzed at both the macro and micro levels. The focus of the macro-level analysis was on the placement of the thesis statement and of topic sentences in each of the body paragraphs. Once the macro-level analysis was done, the essays were analyzed at the micro level using Swales (1990) move analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that both texts were organized in a similar way at the macro level, constituting a typical paper structure (i.e. introduction, body and conclusion). However, a difference appears at the micro level: the students used a variety of steps to create a move when writing in Korean, whereas little variation was found in the English texts. An analysis of the data suggests the possibility that the standardized moves and steps in the English texts may be due not to culture-specific rhetoric, but to a lack of practice with rhetorical thinking in English.

Originality/value

In previous studies, the rhetorical organization of texts has been categorized as either direct or indirect depending on the placement of the thesis statement. The present study uses the framework of move analysis to describe more specific organizational patterns of Korean and English writing to determine the extent to which Korean and English writing is similar in the genre of argumentative writing. Another significance of the study lies in the choice of Korean writing as a reference point for comparison with English writing. It has been widely noted that there is a dearth of research of Korean students’ writing in contrastive rhetoric. To the best of the author’s knowledge, most of the contrastive rhetoric studies were conducted with Chinese or Japanese student writers.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Jory Brass

This study aims to draw from overlapping scholarship in critical policy studies and governmentality studies to examine how recent standards-based education policies mark a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to draw from overlapping scholarship in critical policy studies and governmentality studies to examine how recent standards-based education policies mark a pivotal shift in the aims and governance of English education.

Design/methodology/approach

The author traces this shift through a comparative analysis of the past two standards projects in the USA: the 1996 IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts and the 2010 Common Core State Standards.

Findings

An analysis of the standards’ comparative development processes, educational aims and governmentalities exemplifies a global shift toward new policy networks, neoliberal imaginaries and the interrelated policy technologies of managerialism, performativity and free markets.

Originality/value

This paper hopes to prompt more critical, reflexive and strategic stances towards standardization and the ways in which global education policies seek to reshape subject English and the future of teaching and teacher education.

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Book part
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Barrie Gunter

Abstract

Details

Children and Mobile Phones: Adoption, Use, Impact, and Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-036-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2007

Kate O’Neill and Peter Theuri

Literature is replete with studies indicating the need to develop students’ language skills; however, little research has emphasized the importance of language proficiency…

Abstract

Literature is replete with studies indicating the need to develop students’ language skills; however, little research has emphasized the importance of language proficiency in enhancing learning or performance in specific content-area courses. This study investigates whether a student’s English language proficiency can be associated with her performance in specific cognitive skills (knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis) in an introductory accounting course. Data is summarized from students’ performance on their first financial accounting examination as well as from students’ academic history records as maintained by the university. A correlation analysis of the cognitive skills score with student language proficiency is used to identify initial relationships; and multiple regression analysis is subsequently used to identify interrelations between combined multiple dependent variables and the language proficiency variables. While the results show no association between TOEFL and overall performance, the mean of the English composition courses do show a significant association with knowledge and comprehension cognitive skills scores on the first financial accounting course. No associations are attached to the application and analysis cognitive skills. The results are meaningful to faculty in balancing language proficiency with quality instruction in content-area courses.

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Abstract

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2019

(Mark) Feng Teng

This study aims to examine the writing outcomes of 6th-grade students learning English as a second language.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the writing outcomes of 6th-grade students learning English as a second language.

Design/methodology/approach

In all 45 students in a text structure instruction (TSI) group were compared with 45 students in a self-regulated strategy instruction (SRSI) group and 43 students receiving traditional writing instruction. SRSI was adapted from the self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) model (MacArthur et al., 2015). The SRSD model includes self-regulation writing strategies, text and genre knowledge and think-aloud modeling. Findings allowed for a comparison of TSI and SRSI, in which organization knowledge does not need to be taught using SRSD methods. Measures of writing outcomes, including writing quality and summarization of main ideas, were administered after a one-month intervention.

Findings

Results revealed that, compared with traditional instruction, the TSI and SRSI groups each exhibited better writing outcomes. Compared with the traditional instruction group, each technique had a unique impact: SRSI on writing quality, and TSI on main ideas included in written summaries. Linguistic and textual analyses of students’ writing revealed that the TSI and SRSI group learners both demonstrated high syntactic complexity, content organization and lexical variation in their compositions.

Research limitations/implications

The present study provides empirical evidence that explicit teaching of SRSI writing strategies or TSI can be implemented effectively and elicit gains in elementary school L2 learners’ written output. A clear division does not exist between self-regulated writing strategies and text structure knowledge; the two techniques should be complementary, as suggested in the earlier SRSD model.

Originality/value

Classroom-based research has addressed the need to enhance self-regulated capacity in writing. However, writing has become more challenging for primary school learners. In addition, writing is a cognitively demanding process. The plethora of processes involved in writing may be one of the factors that caused difficulties in writing. Thus, writing proficiency relies on the development of text structure knowledge and the fostering of self-regulation capabilities.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Shaikha Bint Jabor Al-Thani, Ali Abdelmoneim, Adel Cherif, Dalal Moukarzel and Khaled Daoud

The purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of a new general education program at Qatar University (QU) in achieving English writing and critical thinking…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of a new general education program at Qatar University (QU) in achieving English writing and critical thinking outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) test was used as direct assessment tool to identify the extent to which QU students are making progress with respect to general education outcomes, and how well QU students perform compared to US students on general education outcomes that are measured by the CAAP test.

Findings

Findings show evidence that students make progress in English and critical thinking during their QU educational careers. However, QU students lag well behind their US counterparts in writing skills, but they performed relatively better in critical thinking and essay writing.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of students tested was limited to students who met certain criteria. Therefore, the sample was neither representative nor random and does not reflect the performance of the entire student body. English is a second language for most QU students, and cultural differences as well as students’ high school preparation and quality of faculty at QU add to the complexity of the study.

Practical implications

Research finding may have implication on the general education program curriculum plan, assessment process, assessment plan and tools. It may also trigger comprehensive review of courses addressing writing and critical thinking skills. Moreover, the findings will have impact on institutional total approach and support to retain and enhance some of the cornerstone skills that general education program promise to achieve. The pilot study, results and findings can have implications on similar GCC general educations programs that focus on English writing and critical thinking skills.

Originality/value

This original pilot study indicates a need for improvement of internal assessment processes and reconsideration of general education program courses contributing to skills examined. It also provides evidence on students’ performance on two important generic skills, both are important for QU and its stakeholders. The study’s findings are of broad interest to assess the efficacy of internal assessment at international institutions using an internationally available standardized test.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Kara Michelle Taylor, Evan M. Taylor, Paul Hartman, Rebecca Woodard, Andrea Vaughan, Rick Coppola, Daniel J. Rocha and Emily Machado

This paper aims to examine how a collaborative narrative inquiry focused on cultivating critical English Language Arts (ELA) pedagogies supported teacher agency, or “the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how a collaborative narrative inquiry focused on cultivating critical English Language Arts (ELA) pedagogies supported teacher agency, or “the capacity of actors to critically shape their own responsiveness to problematic situations” (Emirbayer and Mische, 1998, p. 971).

Design/methodology/approach

Situated in a semester-long inquiry group, eight k-16 educators used narrative inquiry processes (Clandinin, 1992) to write and collectively analyze (Ezzy, 2002) stories describing personal experiences that brought them to critical ELA pedagogies. They engaged in three levels of analysis across the eight narratives, including open coding, thematic identification, and identification of how the narrative inquiry impacted their classroom practices.

Findings

Across the narratives, the authors identify what aspects of the ELA reading, writing and languaging curriculum emerged as problematic; situate themselves in systems of oppression and privilege; and examine how processes of critical narrative inquiry contributed to their capacities to respond to these issues.

Research limitations/implications

Collaborative narrative inquiry between teachers and teacher educators (Sjostrom and McCoyne, 2017) can be a powerful method to cultivate critical pedagogies.

Practical implications

Teachers across grade levels, schools, disciplines and backgrounds can collectively organize to cultivate critical ELA pedagogies.

Originality/value

Although coordinated opportunities to engage in critical inquiry work across k-16 contexts are rare, the authors believe that the knowledge, skills and confidence they gained through this professional inquiry sensitized them to oppressive curricular norms and expanded their repertoires of resistance.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

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