Guofang Li

Professor

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Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Teacher conceptualizations of academic writing and genre (2021)

Research has shown that a genre approach to academic writing grounded in systemic functional linguistics (SFL) can give teachers the metalinguistic awareness necessary to deconstruct the language of academic writing. However, teachers require considerable training to gain full control of an SFL-based genre approach, and the influence of this approach is still in its infancy in British Columbia. How then are BC teachers approaching academic writing instruction for ELLs and to what degree has the genre approach made in roads? Informed by SFL-based genre approach to academic writing, this multiple case study addresses this question by investigating 3 BC high school ELL teachers’ approaches to writing instruction to determine 1) how the participants conceptualized academic writing and genre and 2) how their conceptualizations impacted their practice as writing teachers. Data was collected through interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. Thematic analysis was used to develop descriptions of individual cases and to compare and contrast cases. The findings showed that although the genre approach had impacted the practices of all three teachers, only with considerable training did teachers develop a rich conceptualization of genre that could impact all aspects of writing instruction. Furthermore, data also showed that the base level of training required to teach certain ELL courses did not prepare them with an explicit understanding of the linguistic characteristics that distinguish the genres students are being asked to compose.

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Written corrective feedback and writing performance: a study of the effects of learner preferences on accuracy development of Iranian English language learners (2021)

Written corrective feedback (WCF) is defined as language teachers’ responses to the appropriateness or accuracy of students’ writing in second language production (Li & Vuona, 2019). Although written corrective feedback (WCF) has been investigated through different lenses, the relation between learner preference to the explicitness of WCF and their performance in writing is scarce in the literature. This quasi-experimental study aims to bridge this gap by studying the impact of learner feedback preference on writing accuracy in text revision in the EFL context in Iran. Sample for this study included intermediate-level students (N=15) from an English language institute. Learner feedback preferences to either direct or indirect feedback were collected through a questionnaire. The same group of students were then asked to complete two writing tasks and received a different type of feedback each time. For the first task, the students received their unfavored feedback type (the type that they did not like) and revised their writings in the classroom. For the second task, the written feedback was adjusted according to their preferred types. The revision was done in the classroom after each feedback cycle. The error ratios of writings and revisions in both sessions were calculated and compared. The results of the paired samples t-test between the error ratio reductions show that there is a significant difference between two sessions of feedback. The large effect size (Hedges’ g=0.87) indicates that the provision of feedback according to learner preferences may have a positive impact on writing performance of language learners. The study has important implications for writing instruction in the EFL context.

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