Writer/reader visibility in young learner writing: A study of the TRAWL corpus of lower secondary school texts
Keywords:genre, writer/reader visibility, learner corpora, young learner writing, EFL writing
A pervasive finding in learner corpus research is that advanced EFL learners tend to overuse interactional features of writer/reader visibility (WRV) in their written academic texts, including first- and second-person pronouns, I think, modal adverbs, modal auxiliaries, and questions. Very little research has been done on younger learners, however. The present study is a mixed-methods investigation of WRV features in argumentative and expository genres in the TRAWL longitudinal corpus of learner texts from Norwegian lower secondary school. Comparisons are made with more advanced levels (undergraduate university students) using the Norwegian component of ICLE, ICLE-NO.
The results show that the TRAWL pupils use many WRV features in their writing, first-person reference being especially frequent (with I dominating). Compared to the advanced learners in ICLE-NO, the TRAWL learners overuse some, but not all, features. One explanation for the high frequency of WRV features in TRAWL is that the prompts – both argumentative and expository – often request a personal style. Some expository prompts and texts are more impersonal, but overall there is little distinction between the genres. The pedagogical implications are that instructors need to be more specific about genre requirements, and create more obligatory prompts that do not request a personal style.
Ädel, A. (2006). Metadiscourse in L1 and L2 English. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.24
Ädel, A. (2008). Involvement features in writing: do time and interaction trump register awareness? In G. Gilquin, S. Papp & M.B. Díez-Bedmar (Eds), Linking up Contrastive and Learner Corpus Research, pp. 35-53. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789401206204_003
Aijmer, K. (2002). Modality in advanced learners’ written interlanguage. In S. Granger, J. Hung & S. Petch-Tyson (Eds), Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teaching, pp. 55-76. Amsterdam: Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.6.07aij
Biber, D. & Conrad, S. (2009). Register, Genre and Style. Cambridge: CUP.
Biber, D., Johannsson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S. & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.
Brezina, V., Weill-Tessier, P., & McEnery, A. (2020). #LancsBox v. 5.x. [software]. Available at: http://corpora. lancs.ac.uk/lancsbox.
Crossley, S.A. (2020). Linguistic features in writing quality and development: An overview. Journal of Writing Research, 11(3), 415-443. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2020.11.03.01
Dirdal, H. (2021). L2 development of -ing clauses: A longitudinal study of Norwegian learners. In P. Pérez-Paredes & G. Mark (Eds), Beyond Concordance Lines: Corpora in Language Education, pp. 76-96. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.102.04dir
Durrant, P. & Brenchley, M. (2019). Corpus research on the development of children’s writing in L1 English. In A. Abel, A. Glaznieks, V. Lyding & L. Nicolas (Eds), Widening the Scope of Learner Corpus Research, pp. 219-236. Louvain-la-Neuve: Presses Universitaires de Louvain. https://doi.org/10.1017/ cbo9781139649414.010
Durrant, P., Brenchley, M. & Clarkson, R. (2020). Syntactic development across genres in children's writing: The case of adverbial clauses. Journal of Writing Research, 12(2), 419-452. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2020.12.02.04
Gilquin, G. & Paquot, M. (2008). Too chatty: Learner academic writing and register variation. English Text Construction 1:1, 41-61. https://doi.org/10.1075/etc.1.1.05gil
Granger, S., Dagneaux, E., Meunier, F. & Paquot, M. (2009). International Corpus of Learner English v2 (Handbook + CD-Rom). Louvain-la-Neuve: Presses universitaires de Louvain.
Granger, S. & Rayson, P. (1998). Automatic lexical profiling of learner texts. In S. Granger (Ed.) Learner English on Computer, pp. 119-131. London: Longman. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315841342-9
Hasselgård, H. (2009). Thematic choice and expressions of stance in English argumentative texts by Norwegian learners. In K. Aijmer (Ed.), Corpora and Language Teaching, pp. 121-140. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.33.12has
Hasund, I. K. (2019). Informal language in English L2 writing: What are pupils taught from textbooks? Acta Didactica Norge, 13(3), 25–25. https://doi.org/10.5617/adno.6599
Hasund, I.K. (Forthcoming). Genre in young learner EFL writing: A genre typology for the TRAWL (Tracking written learner language) corpus. To appear in: I.K. Hasund & E.-M. Drange (Eds). Young learner writing. Studies of the TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language) corpus. Special issue of the Nordic Journal of Language Teaching and Learning.
Hong, H. & Cao, F. (2014). Interactional metadiscourse in young EFL learner writing. A corpus-based study. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 19:2, 201-224. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.19.2.03hon
Horverak, M.O. (2015). English writing instruction in Norwegian upper secondary schools. Acta Didactica Norge, 9(1), Art. 11, 20 pp. https://doi.org/10.5617/adno.1689
Høegh-Omdal, L. (2018). English Argumentative Writing in Norwegian Lower Secondary School. Are year 10 lower secondary students sufficiently prepared for L2 argumentative writing in upper secondary? MA thesis, University of Agder. http://hdl.handle.net/11250/2564581
Paquot, M., Hasselgård, H. & Ebeling, S.O. (2013). Writer/reader visibility in learner writing across genres: A comparison of the French and Norwegian components of the ICLE and VESPA learner corpora. In S. Granger, G. Gilquin & F. Meunier (Eds), Twenty Years of Learner Corpus Research: Looking back, Moving ahead, pp. 377-387. Louvain: Presses Universitaires de Louvain. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9781139649414.010
Petch-Tyson, S. (1998). Reader/writer visibility in EFL persuasive writing. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on Computer, pp. 107-118. London: Longman. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315841342-8
Recski, L. J. (2004). Expressing standpoints in EFL written discourse. Revista Virtual de Estudos da Linguagem – ReVEL, 2(3), 16 pp. https://biblat.unam.mx/hevila/Revistavirtualdeestudodalinguagem/2004/vol2/ no3/3.pdf
Ringbom, H. (1998). Vocabulary frequencies in advanced learner English: a cross-linguistic approach. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on Computer, pp. 41-52. London: Longman. https://doi.org/ 10.4324/9781315841342-3
Thomson, J. J. (2018). Hedging in English texts written by lower secondary pupils attending Norwegian schools. Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodology, 6(1), 46-65. https://doi.org/10.46364/njmlm. v6i1.411
Virtanen, T. (1998). Direct questions in argumentative student writing. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on Computer, pp. 94-106. London: Longman. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315841342-7
Øgreid, A. K., & Hertzberg, F. (2009). Argumentation in and across disciplines: Two Norwegian Cases. Argumentation 23(4), 451-468. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-009-9162-y
Ørevik, S. (2019). Mapping the text culture of the subject of English: Genres and text types in national exams and published learning materials. PhD thesis, University of Bergen. http://bora.uib.no/handle/1956 /19266.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Ingrid Kristine Hasund, Hilde Hasselgård
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.