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ERIC Number: EJ838304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1060-3743
The Impact of Studying in a Second Language (L2) Medium University on the Development of L2 Writing
Storch, Neomy
Journal of Second Language Writing, v18 n2 p103-118 Jun 2009
The number of international ESL students completing their degree programs in Australia has risen dramatically in the past decade. One factor that may be motivating students to undertake tertiary studies in Australia is the expectation that this form of immersion will lead to improved English language skills. However, existing research, such as research on the impact of study abroad programs on learners' L2 skills, has produced mixed findings. Furthermore, most of this research has tended to focus on progress in L2 speaking skills. To date there has been very little research on the impact of living and studying in the L2 environment on learners' L2 writing development. This paper reports on a study (part of a larger project) which used a test-re-test design to investigate changes, if any, in the learners' academic writing after one semester of study in an L2-medium university. The writing scripts of 25 students who did not access the formal language support programs offered by the university were analysed using a range of qualitative and quantitative measures. The study found that after a semester of study at the university, the learners' writing improved mainly in terms of structure and development of ideas. There was also some improvement in the formality of learners' language, but there was no evidence of improvement in linguistic accuracy or complexity. Strategies used to incorporate source materials also remained largely unchanged, with learners continuing to copy verbatim from sources and acknowledging sources incorrectly. A number of factors are put forward to explain these findings. These factors include the short duration of the study (one semester) as well as perhaps the absence of feedback. (Contains 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia