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The Emergence of Patterns in Second Language Writing

A Sociocognitive Exploration of Lexical Trails

Series:

Susy Macqueen

This book received the Cambridge/Language Teaching Brumfit Award 2010.
Drawing upon a convergence of sociocultural theory and linguistic emergentism, this book presents a longitudinal investigation of the development of ESL users’ written lexicogrammatical patterning (collocations and colligations). A qualitative methodology (‘Lexical Trail Analysis’) was developed in order to capture a dynamic and historical view of the ways in which the participants combined words in their writing. This involved tracing single lexemes diachronically through individuals’ written corpora. The writers were interviewed about the histories of particular word combinations. Selected patterns were later tested using the principles of dynamic testing. The findings of these combined data types – essays, interviews and tests – suggest that sociocognitive resources such as memory and attention and the ability to imitate and adapt linguistic resources are paramount in the massive task of internalizing the lexicogrammatical patterning of a second language. The participants were agents of change, seeking assistance and adapting patterns to suit their changing goals. Their activity is theorized in a model of language patterning from which implications for second language learning and teaching are drawn.

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Appendices 313

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313 Appendices Appendix A: Argumentative essay tasks Writing Task 1 Email has improved workplace efficiency. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Writing Task 2 Television is both educational and harmful. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Writing Task 3 Fresh water is our most precious commodity. How to distribute it fairly amongst the world’s population is the greatest challenge future generations will face. What are your views? Writing Task 4 Education in an English-speaking environment is in high demand. What are the advantages and disadvantages of learning about something in a second language? Writing Task 5 Communication technology has improved rapidly in the last 50 years, making our working lives much easier. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? 314 Appendix B: Feedback method underline grammar problem bold vocabulary problem ^ missing word/s italics good • Problems are only pointed out ONCE, so check to see if you have repeated it. • NOT ALL problems are pointed out. • Errors that have been located by Microsoft Word (i.e. with a green or a red squiggly line) will not be underlined or bolded. • Please send me the revised essay. • Email me if you have any questions about the feedback. • Ignore the feedback if you don’t agree with it. Change whatever you want. 315 The following examples were provided to the participants in our first meeting. Underline - grammar word form The museum was interested. (interesting) verb-subject agreement She like it. (likes)...

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