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Title: Nudging young ESL writers : engaging linguistic assistance and peer interaction in L2 narrative writing at the upper primary school level in Brunei Darussalam
Author: Shak, Juliana
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Motivated primarily by a cognitive approach, with consideration of interactional processes from a sociocultural perspective, the present study examined the use of linguistic assistance and peer interaction to facilitate second language (L2) writing of young ESL learners. A total of 257 Year 5 children (age 10) from twelve intact classes (from six different schools) took part in this eight-week intervention-based study. Using a quasi-experimental design, the classes were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups or the control group. Pretests, interim tests, immediate posttests and delayed posttests were administered. As the study concerned both the processes and products of L2 development, peer interaction and children's written production were taken as the two primary sources of data for this study. For the written production, four criteria were used to rate learners’ writings: Quality of ideas, Story shape and structure, Vocabulary and spelling and Implicit grammar. Partial correlation was employed to examine if there were any statistical relationships between treatment and learners’ written performance while controlling for prior attainment. Results show that the provision of enhanced and basic linguistic assistance may have a positive influence on only certain aspects of L2 writing, while opportunities for peer interaction does not appear to have an impact on learners’ L2 performance. For peer interaction, a subset of 60 learners were selected from the two treatment groups which received basic and enhanced linguistic assistance, to compare their dialogic performance. Based on quantitative analyses of their recorded interactions, the findings suggest that the provision of varying degrees of linguistic assistance may affect, not the content of peer discussions, but how peer assistance is given during task. The results also show that through the provision of linguistic assistance, peer interaction mediates the participants’ performance on Quality of ideas, Story shape and structure and Implicit grammar in their subsequent individual writing.
Supervisor: Walter, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Sciences ; Education ; Literacy ; Applied linguistics ; linguistic assistance ; peer interaction ; young learners ; second language writing