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Title: Academic writing in global open distance learning : case studies of an MBA programme in Ethiopia, Russia and the UK
Author: Lukhele, Gab'sile
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2005
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The study was motivated by my own experiences as a speaker of English as a second language (ESL) who has studied and taught high school courses produced in the UK, which Kachru (1988) classifies as the 'inner' circle, to students in the 'outer' circle in Swaziland. The central focus in this study is students' academic writing in English in an open distance Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme provided by the Open University (OU) UK, in different parts of the world to students from diverse cultural, geographical, linguistic and educational backgrounds. The main focus of this study is students' academic writing in the medium of English in the contexts of Ethiopia, Russia and the United Kingdom. In order to explore students' writing and their experiences of engaging in such writing, I draw on recent studies which view reading, writing, and other aspects of communication as fundamentally social activities. In order to explore their writing in its social context, I draw on a range of data sources: students' written assignments, interviews with students and tutors, pro-formas, and course materials. The central argument in this thesis is that speakers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and speakers of English as a second language (ESL) studying an open distance course in their diverse local contexts may be disadvantaged in a number of ways; in terms of their resources for writing, their understanding and experience of English, their background knowledge and the inapplicability of course concepts in their contexts. The study also highlights tensions surrounding the provision of UK based courses to students in different parts of the world and acknowledges the difficulties of developing courses which are accessible and relevant to diverse groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral