THE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED ACADEMIC WRITING IN COLLEGIATE SECOND LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAMS: A GENRE-BASED APPROACH / EL DESARROLLO DE ESCRITURA ACADÉMICA AVANZADA EN PROGRAMAS UNIVERSITARIO DE INMERSIÓN EN SEGUNDA LENGUA: UN ENFOQUE BASADO EN GÉNERO

Maria Cristina Arancibia, Stephen Sadlier

Abstract


This article aims to describe the development of advanced writing skills –realized in clausal complexity and the use of specialized linguistic resources– in the writings of a group of college second language learners. This study is relevant in light of the difficulties that most intermediate language learners find in their transition to higher levels of proficiency. Traditional ways of approaching writing in collegiate contexts have adhered for a long time to the idea that people learn to write by writing. The application of a genre-based perspective in second language writing scaffolds the progression of second language learners towards a gradual construction of complexity in written texts as they are exposed logical sequences of genres considered relevant to the target culture. The study examines second language learning through writing as a cumulative process of building up complexity in terms of the acquisition of an intermediate accuracy in semantics, grammar and lexis that is shown in the expansion of ideational resources through the presence of nominalizations and lexical choices that reveal a gradual progression towards more complex forms of semogenesis. A group of second language learners of Spanish enrolled in an advanced grammar class in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile are gradually exposed to a logical sequence of genres from which three were selected to explore the gradual progression from commonsense representation of experience in personal recounts to a more complex construction of reality in news reports and comments to editorial texts. The analysis of the written tasks shows a change in the semiotic experience of learners. This is explicit in the choice of lexical resources that construct a more technical and abstract network of concepts and the gradual selection of nominal phrases and grammatical metaphors to condense information in reports and expository texts.

 

Este artículo tiene como objetivo describir el desarrollo de habilidades avanzadas de escritura -realizadas en complejidad clausal y el uso de recursos lingüísticos especializados- en las escrituras de un grupo de estudiantes universitarios de segunda lengua. Este estudio es relevante a la luz de las dificultades que encuentran la mayoría de los estudiantes de lengua intermedia en su transición a niveles más altos de competencia. Las formas tradicionales de abordar la escritura en contextos universitarios han adherido durante mucho tiempo a la idea de que las personas aprenden a escribir escribiendo. La aplicación de una perspectiva basada en el género en la escritura de segundas lenguas contribuye a la progresión de los aprendientes hacia una construcción gradual de la complejidad de los textos escritos, ya que están expuestos a una secuencia de géneros considerados relevantes para la cultura de la lengua meta. El estudio examina el aprendizaje de una segunda lengua, a través de la escritura como un proceso de complejidad creciente en términos de la adquisición de una precisión intermedia a nivel semántico, y lexicogrammatical que se muestra en la expansión de recursos ideacionales, a través de la presencia de nominalización y opciones léxicas que revelan una progresión gradual hacia formas más complejas de semiogénesis. Un grupo de aprendientes de español como segunda lengua, inscritos en una clase de gramática avanzada en la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile se expone gradualmente a una secuencia lógica de géneros, de los cuales se seleccionaron tres para explorar la progresión gradual desde la representación de la experiencia de sentido común en textos de narración personal hacia la construcción más compleja de la realidad en informes de noticias y comentarios a textos editoriales. El análisis de las tareas escritas muestra un cambio en la experiencia semiótica de los estudiantes. Esto es explícito en la elección de recursos léxicos que construyen una red de conceptos más técnicos y abstractos, junto a la selección gradual de frases nominales y metáforas gramaticales para condensar información en textos de carácter informativo y expositivos escritos por los aprendientes.

 

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Keywords


lexicogrammatical complexity, genre-based approach, advanced skills development, second language learning / complejidad lexicogramatical, enfoque basado en géneros, desarrollo de habilidades avanzadas, segundas lenguas

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References


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