Writing group-project assignments in commerce courses
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Writing group-project assignments in commerce courses case studies of Chinese-background ESL students at two Canadian universities by Luxin Yang

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Published .
Written in English


  • English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Canada -- Chinese speakers.,
  • English language -- Written English -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Chinese speakers.,
  • Group work in education -- Canada.

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Despite an increasing ESL student population in North American universities, few studies have examined the learning processes and outcomes of these students while performing group assignments for university courses, a common and crucial instructional practice in North American universities. Grounded in activity theory and published literature on group work and second language writing, the present thesis study explored these issues through a close examination of 13 ESL undergraduate students" group learning activities for course assignments in Commerce programs at two Canadian universities over one semester.I present multiple case studies of three groups of Chinese-background ESL students from different Commerce courses (12 Chinese and 1 Vietnamese students), and their involvement with two course instructors and one teaching assistant. Sources of data included interviews, group discussions, e-mail exchanges, MSN chats, class observations, questionnaires, and written documents (course-related materials, multiple drafts ofassignments and instructors" comments). My analyses show similarities and differences between the 3 groups of ESL students in their engagement in group work in terms of learning goals, processes of interaction and negotiation, learning outcomes, and factors facilitating or constraining the group work.The 3 groups differed in their motives for taking the courses and orientations to the assignments (work vs. learning). Their co-construction of the assignments was primarily mediated through peer-peer dialogue (group discussions and e-mail exchanges). Certain students emerged as leaders or coordinators within each group. The group composition and assignment characteristics exerted an independent effect on the language use (L1 or L2) in group work, suggesting that encouraging ESL students to work with students of different L1 backgrounds prompts practice negotiating ideas in English naturally beyond task completion. Not all students in this study worked cooperatively to share leadership or overcome personal preferences for individual work, indicating the importance of explicit instruction on effective group work.

Edition Notes

Statementby Luxin Yang.
The Physical Object
Paginationxi, 330 leaves
Number of Pages330
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL19824540M
ISBN 109780494160015

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