Advertisement

In at the Deep End: The Struggles of First-Year Hungarian University Students Adapting to the Requirements of Written Academic Discourse in an EFL Context

  • Francis J. Prescott
Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 29)

Abstract

This paper describes the principal findings of an ethnographic study of 20 first-year bachelor’s students of English at a large Hungarian state university. The research was done over three semesters, and the main aim was to construct a grounded theory explaining how new students become enculturated into written academic discourse in an EFL context. Another point of interest was to investigate the role played in this process by a compulsory academic skills course. The research framework drew on contrasting theoretical constructs of learning: the first was Swales’ (Other floors, other voices: A textography of a small university building. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, 1998) description of the academic discourse community (ADC) and the other was Lave and Wenger’s (Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 1991) model of learning through peripheral participation in communities of practice. The theoretical model that was the outcome of the research describes the students’ experience in their first year in three phases. The main features of each phase will be described, and the usefulness of the model for understanding the broad differences between students will be discussed.

Keywords

Academic writing Academic discourse community Writing course EFL 

References

  1. Abasi, A. R., Akbari, N., & Graves, B. (2006). Discourse appropriation, construction of identities, and the complex issue of plagiarism: ESL students writing in graduate school. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15, 102–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartholomae, D. (1983). Writing assignments: Where writing begins. In P. Stock (Ed.), Forum: Essays on theory and practice in writing (pp. 300–311). Upper Montclair: Boynton/Cook.Google Scholar
  3. Bartholomae, D. (1985). Inventing the university. In M. Rose (Ed.), When a writer can’t write: Studies in writer’s block and other composing process problems (pp. 273–285). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. Bazerman, C. (1981). What written knowledge does: Three examples of academic discourse. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 11, 361–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bizzell, P. (1982). Cognition, convention, and certainty: What we need to know about writing. Pre/Text, 3, 213–243.Google Scholar
  6. Bizzell, P. (1986). What happens when basic writers come to college? College Composition and Communication, 37, 294–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brice-Heath, S. (1982). What no bedtime story means: Narrative skills at home and school. Language in Society, 11, 49–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brice-Heath, S. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Carter, M., Ferzli, M., & Wiebe, E. N. (2007). Writing to learn by learning to write in the disciplines. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 21, 278–302.Google Scholar
  10. Charmaz, K. (1995). Grounded theory. In J. A. Smith, R. Harré, & L. Van Langenhove (Eds.), Rethinking methods in psychology (pp. 27–49). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 509–535). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  12. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  13. Chin, E. (1994). Redefining “context” in research on writing. Written Communication, 11, 445–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chiseri-Strater, E. (1991). Academic literacies: The public and private discourse of university students. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook.Google Scholar
  15. Clark, R., & Ivanic, R. (1997). The politics of writing. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Cooper, M. (1989). Why are we talking about discourse communities? Or, foundationalism rears its ugly head once more. In M. Cooper & M. Holzman (Eds.), Writing as social action (pp. 202–220). Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook.Google Scholar
  17. Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design—Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  18. Dysthe, O. (2002). Professors as mediators of academic text cultures: An interview study with advisors and master’s degree students in three disciplines in a Norwegian university. Written Communication, 19, 493–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elekes, K., Magnuczné, G. A., Szabó, P., & Tóth, I. (1998). A view of teaching careers in Hungary in the late 1990s. novELTy, 5(4), 6–22.Google Scholar
  20. Fairclough, N. (2010). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  21. Flower, L., & Hayes, J. (1977). Problem-solving strategies and the writing process. College English, 39, 449–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Flower, L., & Hayes, J. (1980). The cognition of discovery: Defining a rhetorical problem. College Composition and Communication, 31, 21–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Flower, L., & Hayes, J. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication, 32, 365–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flowerdew, J. (2000). Discourse community, legitimate peripheral participation, and the nonnative-English-speaking scholar. TESOL Quarterly, 34(1), 127.Google Scholar
  25. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1965). Awareness of dying. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  26. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  27. Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Theory and practice of writing. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  28. Graves, D. H. (1983). Writing: Teachers and children at work. Exeter: Heinemann Educational Books.Google Scholar
  29. GuttenPlag Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved June 29, 2014 from http://de.guttenplag.wikia.com/wiki/GuttenPlag_Wiki
  30. Hall, R. (2003). Forging a learning community: A pragmatic approach to co-operative learning. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 2, 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hayes, D., & Wynward, R. (Eds.). (2002). The McDonaldization of higher education. Westport: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  32. Herrington, A. (1985). Writing in academic settings: A study of the contexts for writing in two college chemical engineering courses. Research in the Teaching of English, 19, 331–361.Google Scholar
  33. Herrington, A. (1988). Teaching, writing, learning: A naturalistic study of writing in an undergraduate literature course. In D. Jolliffe (Ed.), Advances in writing research, volume 2: Writing in academic disciplines (pp. 133–166). Norwood: Ablex.Google Scholar
  34. Herrington, A. (1992). Composing one’s self in a discipline: Students’ and teachers’ negotiations. In D. Charney & M. Secor (Eds.), Constructing rhetorical education: From the classroom to the community (pp. 92–115). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: Social interactions in academic writing. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  36. Hyland, K. (2002a). Options of identity in academic writing. ELT Journal, 56, 351–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hyland, K. (2002b). Authority and invisibility: Authorial identity in academic writing. Journal of Pragmatics, 34, 1091–1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hyland, K. (2011). Writing in the university: Education, knowledge, and reputation. Language Teaching, Plenary Speeches., 46, 53–70.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444811000036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ivanic, R. (1998). Writing and identity: The discoursal construction of identity in academic writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Johns, A. (1995). Teaching classroom and authentic genres: Initiating students into academic cultures and discourses. In D. Belcher & G. Braine (Eds.), Academic writing in a second language (pp. 277–292). Norwood: Ablex.Google Scholar
  41. Knights, B. (2005). Intelligence and Interrogation: The identity of the English student. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 4(1), 33–52Google Scholar
  42. Kruse, O. (2003). Getting started: Academic writing in the first year of a university education. In L. Björk, G. Bräuer, L. Rienecker, & P. S. Jörgenson (Eds.), Studies in writing: Vol. 12. Teaching academic writing in European higher education (pp. 19–28). Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lea, M. R. (2004). Academic literacies: A pedagogy for course design. Studies in Higher Education, 29, 739–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Leki, I., & Carson, J. (1997). “Completely different worlds”: EAP and the writing experiences of ESL students in university courses. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 39–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Li, Y., & Casanave, C. P. (2012). Two first-year students’ strategies for writing from sources: Patchwriting or plagiarism? Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 165–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lillis, T. M. (2001). Student writing: Access, regulation, desire. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Lukács, K. (2002). Foreign language teaching in present-day Hungary: An EU perspective. novELTy, 9(1), 4–26.Google Scholar
  49. McCracken, G. (1988). The long interview. Newbury Park: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ministry of Education and Culture, Hungary. (2008). Education in Hungary. Past, present, future: An overview. Budapest: Pátria Nyomda. Retrieved from http://www.nefmi.gov.hu/english
  51. Nikolov, M. (1999). The socio-educational and sociolinguistic context of the examination reform. In F. Hajnal, E. Major, & M. Nikolov (Eds.), English language education in Hungary (pp. 7–20). Budapest: The British Council Hungary.Google Scholar
  52. Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. New York: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  53. O’Donnell, V. L., & Tobbell, J. (2007). The transition of adult students to higher education: Legitimate peripheral participation in a community of practice? Adult Education Quarterly, 57, 312–328.Google Scholar
  54. Paltridge, B. (2004). Academic writing. Language Teaching, 37, 87–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Prior, P. (1991). Contextualizing writing and response in a graduate seminar. Written Communication, 8, 267–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Prior, P. (1995). Tracing authoritative and internally persuasive discourses: A case study of response, revision, and disciplinary enculturation. Research in the Teaching of English, 29, 288–325.Google Scholar
  57. Prior, P. (1998). Writing/disciplinarity: A sociohistoric account of literate activity in the academy. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  58. Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Swales, J. (1998). Other floors, other voices: A textography of a small university building. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  60. Tang, R., & John, S. (1999). The ‘I’ in identity: Exploring writer identity in student academic writing through the first person pronoun. English for Specific Purposes, 18, S23–S39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vágó, I. (2000). Az idegennyelv-oktatás fő tendenciái a 80-as és 90-es években [The main tendencies in foreign language education in the 80s and 90s]. Educatio, 4, 668–690.Google Scholar
  62. Wenden, A. (1991). Learner strategies for learner autonomy. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  63. Wilde, S., Wright, S., Hayward, G., Johnson, J., & Skerrett, R. (2006). Nuffield review higher education focus groups preliminary report. The Nuffield review of 14–19 education and training. Retrieved from http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/research/higher-education/research/nuffield-review-focu-groups/
  64. Womack, P. (1993). What are essays for? English in Education, 27, 42–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wood, G. (2004). Academic original sin: Plagiarism, the Internet and librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30, 237–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhu, W. (2004). Writing in business courses: An analysis of assignment types, their characteristics, and required skills. English for Specific Purposes, 23, 111–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis J. Prescott
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities, Department of English LinguisticsKároli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in HungaryBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations