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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Some thorny issues around DA?

As before somewhere else, after the presentation at BALEAP PIM, there were questions regarding the difference between DA and formative assessment, and DA and what a good EAP teacher does in his/ her classroom. I do agree that DA is a form of formative assessment as it is strongly linked with learning and development of a learner. The main point of DA is that it has a strong learning theory (i.e., sociocultural theory) underpinning it and sees assessment as a part of learning rather than it being separate.
On the other hand, it was difficult to convince people how it was different from those EAP tutors who do do certain things that are promoted in DA. Yet, my own view is that the EAp tutors do not follow a particular theory of learning per se; rather they use their discretion as to how to scaffold the learner. Often such support is ad hoc or provided in a 'hit or miss' fashion. To me, in order for DA to happen, there should be INTENTIONALITY from the part of the tutor and the learner, RECIPROCITY (learner responding to the tutor), TRANSCENDENCE (transfer of skills and knowledge to a more challenging task) and MEDIATION of MEANING (conveying the meaning to the learner in a learning-friendly environment that promotes better relationship with the learner through emotional support (affect) and positive outcomes). I do not think these are considered in a general EAP teaching session all the time.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Presentation at BALEAP PIM, Nottingham University

Yesterday I gave a presentation on my dynamic assessment research at the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP) Professional Issues Meeting (PIM). My main focus in the presentation was two aspects of Textual metafunction: macro-Theme and hyper-Theme which emerged as one of the key areas that the students needed support with. The presentation was well received as there were over 25 people in this concurrent session and raised lots of interest in the EAP community. I was also pleased that Professor Liz Hamp-Lyons, the keynote speaker, mentioned my paper as an option in EAP assessment in higher education.



Thursday, 13 May 2010

In this blog, I will be posting my research related to Dynamic Assessment of academic writing, which is driven by the Russian psychologist Lev S. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of learning and Michael Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and the genre theory developed by Jim Martin and his colleagues in Australia. Although the latter has been extensively used in open and distance learning (ODL) for textual analysis, the former has not been examined in ODL. As an attempt to fill this gap, my study examines business studies students' trajectory of academic writing in the discipline over time.

Watch out for more postings here as I continue to reflect on my research journey.

Any thoughtful comments are welcome!