Bennett, Gena R. (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The interface of corpus linguistics and second language writing has led to extensive corpus-based research focusing on a description of academic writing. The overwhelming majority of this research, however, has focused on scholarly writing, which may not be a valid model for novice writing. This thesis proposes the teaching of second language writing should be informed by a staircase model of writing progression which aims instruction at the level of student writing. For English for academic purposes writers in intensive English programs, this target is first year undergraduate writing, specifically freshman composition as it is taught in North American higher education contexts. This study specifically compares the frequency of the noun phrase in freshman composition writing and scholarly writing with two main aims: to provide empirical evidence of the differences between the two levels of writing and to contribute to a description of freshman composition writing. The findings from this comparison clearly demonstrate that noun phrases in both levels of writing employ a discernible pattern, and there are distinct differences between those patterns. A critical need form pedagogical materials to focus more on phrasal structures in general, but especially nounphrases, is evident.
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