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Title: Writing and Blogs : Omani college students' texts and experiences
Author: Farhadi Shamsabadi, Azita
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8458
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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This study investigates the language variation of English as foreign language (EFL) learners in the virtual environment of blogs in an Omani context. To this end, multiple data resources were used comprising student-writers’ blog-texts with their comments and hyperlinks, and interviews with them. The corpus comprises eight posts in Blog 1 and fourteen posts in Blog 2, written over two semesters of an English foundation course. The study responds to four primary questions, 1. To what extent can my students’ blog-texts be conceptualised as belonging to a register? 2. To what extent can my students’ blog-texts be conceptualised as belonging to a genre or as an emergent genre? 3. How do the student-writers construct their voice and express themselves in their blog-texts? 4. What is the role of blogs in EFL writing classes in the context of this study? The study uses a systemic functional framework focusing on register and genre analyses. The register analysis was carried out using UAM software, through which the ideational, interpersonal and textual metafunctions of the blog-texts were examined. The register analysis showed that these blogs are an informative type of blogs with a weak tenor indicating the characteristics of both spoken and written modes of language. The genre analysis showed that the blog-texts are generally consistent with Rose and Martin’s (2012, p.130) genre categories. It also indicated a genre hybridity in some blog-texts, through which blog-texts signify the stages of various genres. The register analysis also helped in understanding how student-writers construed their textual self-expression, voice and stance. This study contributes to the present knowledge on how meanings are constructed throughout the discourse in online environments such as blogs; it supports and advances the previous investigations regarding online genre/s and register. The findings can have implications in ELT, as teachers can identify the particular lexico-grammatical features that need to be introduced in writing classes regarding text types; it can be also a way to recognise what learners know and need to know about the genre and register of texts. The findings offer some further study in the field of language and technology, particularly the role of blogs in EFL classes.
Supervisor: Deignan, Alice ; Badger, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available