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Cognitive Linguistic Explorations of Writing in the Classroom


Rod E. Case, Gwendolyn M. Williams and Peter Cobin

Research into the analysis of classroom-based writing is replete with techniques and methods meant to bring clarity to the question of how to best conduct instruction and assessment. Findings and suggestions for practice are rooted in a philosophy that asks teachers and linguists to judge students’ writing against a pre-determined standard. Too often, the results do little more than inform teachers and researchers as to which students met the standard and which did not.

This book offers research into the analysis of classroom writing that does not use a set standard or rubric to assess student writing but instead relies on insights from cognitive linguistics to explore the connections between cognition and language in student writing. The result is a creative and linguistically driven analysis of classroom writing that allows the linguist or teacher to view student writing on its own terms.

Rod E. Case is Associate Professor of Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interests include the development of interlanguage pragmatics and the workings of language and cognition across content areas.

Gwendolyn M. Williams is Associate Professor of English to Speakers of Other Languages Education at Auburn University. Her primary research interests include second language writing and issues surrounding international students’ participation in content area education.

Peter Cobin holds a Ph.D. in cognitive linguistics from Rice University. He has taught language learners ranging from ages 6 to 60 years in Japan, China, Russia, and the U.S., and he is currently an elementary teacher of English language development in Nevada, U.S.A.