Evaluating the impact of a Presessional English for Academic Purposes Programme: a corpus based study

Issitt, Stephen (2017). Evaluating the impact of a Presessional English for Academic Purposes Programme: a corpus based study. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the impact of an intensive programme of English for academic purposes upon the second language writing development of postgraduate students at the University of Birmingham. The study uses a 300,000 word corpus (EAPCORP) of essays from the beginning and end of the programme covering two separate years, in order to identify and measure written linguistic feature development. A multidimensional investigative approach underpins both of the two main analytical tools applied to the EAPCORP, with the basic premise that it is possible to identify register differences between different types of language by the assemblage and analysis of a large number of textual features. Firstly, Coh-Metrix is a programme employing a range of algorithms applied to a series of data bases to analyse the linguistic structure of texts. Secondly, MAT (Multidimensional Analysis Tagger) employs algorithms developed by Douglas Biber and uses an automated text tagger. The analyses suggest strongly that there has been progression from the initial production of a high frequency of features characteristic of speech to that more typical of academic writing. The results emphasise the importance of well-designed EAP programmes especially in uncertain economic contexts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7080


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