When the Spaniels Conquered Central America: Academic English and First Year Composition Instruction

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311575
Title:
When the Spaniels Conquered Central America: Academic English and First Year Composition Instruction
Author:
Sugawara, Yosei
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation presents the findings of an on-line survey completed by 222 FYC (First Year Composition) instructors at universities and community colleges across the United States along with supplemental information derived from multiple open-ended interviews with seven FYC instructors in Arizona. Both survey and interview questions were designed to accomplish three primary goals: to determine which conventions of academic English FYC instructors identify as most important; to understand the common problems encountered by instructors in teaching those conventions, and; to solicit instructors' perceptions about ways in which learning outcomes might be improved. Results indicate general consensus among FYC instructors on which skills are both the most critical to academic English proficiency and the most difficult for their students to learn. At the same time, the survey and interview responses reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the ways in which academic English sequences are currently structured, apparently related to the instructors' common perception that the sequences are only "somewhat" successful in terms of preparing students for successful academic writing. Accordingly, the overwhelming majority of FYC instructors suggest changes for increasing the effectiveness of their programs; however, there is surprisingly little agreement among them on what those changes should be. The concluding section of this study presents pragmatic suggestions - congruent with a number of the instructors' observations - for reconfiguring FYC sequences. Additionally, it is argued that, aside from the targeted skills addressed by the instructors, the survey and interview responses indicate that academic English has been implicitly invested with culture-specific values which should be made explicit in instruction and which, given the gatekeeping status of FYC courses, the increasing diversity of student populations and the growing divide between the academic and wider cultures, require critical examination.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
academic English; academic language; first year compostion; postsecondary education; writing instruction; Language, Reading & Culture; academic discourse
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading & Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Wyman, Leisy T.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleWhen the Spaniels Conquered Central America: Academic English and First Year Composition Instructionen_US
dc.creatorSugawara, Yoseien_US
dc.contributor.authorSugawara, Yoseien_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation presents the findings of an on-line survey completed by 222 FYC (First Year Composition) instructors at universities and community colleges across the United States along with supplemental information derived from multiple open-ended interviews with seven FYC instructors in Arizona. Both survey and interview questions were designed to accomplish three primary goals: to determine which conventions of academic English FYC instructors identify as most important; to understand the common problems encountered by instructors in teaching those conventions, and; to solicit instructors' perceptions about ways in which learning outcomes might be improved. Results indicate general consensus among FYC instructors on which skills are both the most critical to academic English proficiency and the most difficult for their students to learn. At the same time, the survey and interview responses reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the ways in which academic English sequences are currently structured, apparently related to the instructors' common perception that the sequences are only "somewhat" successful in terms of preparing students for successful academic writing. Accordingly, the overwhelming majority of FYC instructors suggest changes for increasing the effectiveness of their programs; however, there is surprisingly little agreement among them on what those changes should be. The concluding section of this study presents pragmatic suggestions - congruent with a number of the instructors' observations - for reconfiguring FYC sequences. Additionally, it is argued that, aside from the targeted skills addressed by the instructors, the survey and interview responses indicate that academic English has been implicitly invested with culture-specific values which should be made explicit in instruction and which, given the gatekeeping status of FYC courses, the increasing diversity of student populations and the growing divide between the academic and wider cultures, require critical examination.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectacademic Englishen_US
dc.subjectacademic languageen_US
dc.subjectfirst year compostionen_US
dc.subjectpostsecondary educationen_US
dc.subjectwriting instructionen_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
dc.subjectacademic discourseen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWyman, Leisy T.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWyman, Leisy T.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAnders, Patricia L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRuiz, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPopen, Sharien_US
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