Doctoral student presents at American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference and TESOL International Convention
As a guest speaker on April 2, Maamuujav is participating in a panel focusing on Practical Approaches to Leveraging Technology in L2 Instruction. She will be discussing second language writing and CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning).
Maamuujav is a second-year doctoral student specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). Her research foci include writing and rhetoric, critical reading, genre analysis, academic writing, composition, second language writing and acquisition, and technology in writing and literacy development. She is advised by Professor Emerita Carol Booth Olson.
AAAL Paper Abstract: "Syntactic and Lexical Features of Adolescent Multilingual Writers' Essays: What do their Essays Tell Us?"
The Common Core State Standards place a premium on academic writing, requiring students to develop academic language proficiency and analytical writing skills as early as 6th grade. However, only about 27% of students nationwide and an alarming 1% of English learners perform at a proficient level (NAEP, 2011). To be college ready, students must demonstrate “the ability to analyze and interpret challenging texts and to write about those texts using academic discourse” (Olson et al., 2015, p. 5). We posit that higher order analytical writing skills require a higher level of linguistic competence. Based on this premise, this study seeks to examine the linguistic features of analytical essays written by 7th through 12th grade students from public schools in eight different states. Specifically, we analyze the syntactic and lexical features of multilingual students' texts using systemic functional approach to examine how these features reflect their level of academic language proficiency. We also seek to identify the linguistic challenges adolescent multilingual writers have in common when writing academic essays. Three broad conceptual frameworks of writing and literacy development inform our study: the academic English conceptual framework proposed by Scarcella (2013); a socio-cognitive perspective of writing drawing on the work of Hayes and Flower (1981), Hayes (1996; 2012), Kellogg (2008), and McCutchen (2006); and the theory of systemic functional linguistics developed by Halliday (1978). The findings of the study based on partial data indicate that non-sentences, including run-on (6.27%), incomplete (14.76%), and other sentences that do not conform to the rules of standard English grammar (11.93%), are the most frequent pattern with a ratio of 326/989 (326 out of 989 sentences were classified as non-sentence, constituting 32.96%). Lexical characteristics were measured using Coh-Metrix indices, including age of acquisition, familiarity, imagability, and concreteness and other measures of word information and lexical diversity (McNamara, 2014).
TESOL Paper Abstract: "The Utility of Infographics: Scaffolding L2 Students' Writing Development"
About AAAL: Founded in 1977, the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) is a professional organization of scholars who are interested in and actively contribute to the multi-disciplinary field of applied linguistics. AAAL members promote principled approaches to language-related concerns, including language education, acquisition and loss, bilingualism, discourse analysis, literacy, rhetoric and stylistics, language for special purposes, psycholinguistics, second and foreign language pedagogy, language assessment, and language policy and planning.
About TESOL: For more than 50 years, TESOL International Association has been providing community to educators, researchers, administrators, and students in the English Language Teaching (ELT) field. With more than 12,000 members representing 160 countries, and more than 100 worldwide affiliates, TESOL offers an opportunity to be part of a dynamic professional community and advance excellence in English language teaching.