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Title: Audiencing strategies and student collaboration in digitally-mediated genres of writing in English
Author: Al-Maawali, Wafa Saif Mohamed
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 7357
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis presents an investigation into the experience of ESL Higher Education young writers when composing three online genres: academic text, diary texts, and blog texts. Central to this investigation is the authenticity of audience and directing texts to ‘real’ readers. Hence, technological tools are utilised in order to approximate such experience of writing for real readers. A qualitative case study was employed over three months of an academic semester at an Omani Higher Education College. Two cases participated in the study of overall 17 students across both cases: 5 males and 12 females and 10 students in case 1 and 7 students in case 2. To attain an in-depth understanding of the cases; different tools of data collection were deployed, including: interviews, classroom observation, reflective diary for recording student perceptions and experiences, and three forms of written texts were collected from the participating students: academic essay, diary, and blog. Thus the reflective diary was both a genre of writing and a data collection method. The study findings highlight that having only a teacher as an ‘audience’ restricted students’ attempts to focus on content, and most of this focus was given to shaping texts in accordance with student perceptions of teacher approved organisation and representation of text. Whereas blogging provided an opportunity to think of a wider range of readers and therefore a greater tendency to author personally selected texts. Also, diary was mostly associated with teacher-audience; though some writers enjoyed writing diary for personal use, the fact that these diary texts vary in accordance with these different understandings of audience offers further credence to claims about the role of real and assumed readers in shaping texts. The significance of the current study is that it offers practical and pedagogical thinking for teaching writing in ESL exploiting the affordances of technology in teaching process writing. It suggests that varying both audience and genres in relation to classroom writing tasks can have benefits for student writers in terms of their understanding of audience, their shaping of text for an audience and increased investment in the content of what they write. It offers insights into problems and issues felt by young writers that are usually unknown to the teachers. Based on those insights, differing issues such as collaboration, process writing and grading are re-evaluated.
Supervisor: Staarman, Judith Sponsor: Ministry of Higher Education ; Oman
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: diary ; blogs ; online collaboration ; genre ; audience ; audiencing strategies ; writing