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Author Ryshina-Pankova, Marianna V
Title Constructing coherent and cohesive textual worlds in advanced foreign language learner writing
book jacket
Descript 332 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-09, Section: A, page: 3383
Adviser: Heidi Byrnes
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2006
Although the ability to write effective academic texts in foreign language is considered a hallmark of advancedness (Byrnes 2002, Kern 2000, Kramsch 1997, Schleppegrell 2002, 2004), there exist essentially no foreign language studies that examine advanced learner performance in this environment. Learner written production has been explored in the NS composition, ESL, and EAP/ESP contexts. However, a majority of these studies analyzed writing in terms of decontextualized written language forms. Such investigations do not account for the writers' ability to construct communicatively successful texts because they do not relate linguistic features to the aspects of the social context that give meaning to their use
This dissertation contributes to the development of an advanced foreign language writer profile by taking a broader view of writing, as an ability to create textual worlds coherent with the context of their production and cohesive in their internal structure. Adopting a systemic-functional and genre theory framework (Halliday 1994, Martin 1984, 1985, 1997, 1998, 2002), which explicitly connects language to the spheres of its use, this project examines coherence and cohesion of learner texts through the constructs of genre, textual stages, and thematic organization
The study, which analyzes 55 book reviews by students from three advanced levels of a German undergraduate curriculum and 30 texts composed by native speakers, provides a rich description of generic stages in their role of representing the writer's potential to achieve the communicative goals of a book review by strategically planning and gradually developing ideational and interpersonal meanings. Furthermore, it identifies various thematic elements as instruments of coherence and cohesion in their capacity to foreground central aspects of social activity the writer reflects on, highlight a certain relationship with the audience, and create fluidity in texture. Finally, the study reveals developmental trajectories regarding advanced writer ability to use stages and theme as coherence- and cohesion-generating structures
Findings indicate a necessity to root writing research of advanced language learners in the context of a text- and genre-based curriculum, which would allow investigating the development of literacy as a long-term process of the acquisition of secondary registers. Such investigations could develop a detailed NNS user profile in various genres and offer recommendations for improvements. Regarding pedagogical implications, explicit instruction on generic stages and theme can foster expansion of learner capacity for meaning-making in a foreign language towards mastery of new academic and professional genres
School code: 0076
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-09A
Subject Education, Language and Literature
Language, Linguistics
Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Alt Author Georgetown University
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