The Art of Argumentation: A Sociolinguistic Approach to Developing Thesis Statements (The Case of Kosova High School Students)

Donika Elezkurtaj Bërveniku

Abstract


Living in a world of globalization, communication of various forms has become crucial. Should it be of a colloquial or formal use, language plays a vital role in our lives. As in every other area, communication is the “lifeblood” of academia as well (Becher & Trowler, 2001). Academia cannot be separated from its discourse and could not exist without it. Therefore, argumentative discourse is of an essential nature to both scholars and students. This sociolinguistically oriented research study reports on Kosovan, high school students’ problems in the process of argument building and the effectiveness of class activities that promote critical thinking and argumentation. Aiming for original and reliable results, corpus linguistics has been chosen as a means of collecting naturally occurring source corpora. The data obtained from two observed debates, 40 essay evaluations and a focus group, reveal that students are not aware of certain linguistic patterns present in spoken and/or written argumentation and that they do not feel comfortable when required to take a decision that demands systematic evaluation of their thinking in search for new answers. It is obvious from the study that in order for students to create warranted arguments, which is an inevitable skill in academia, Inquiry-based Learning should be integrated across the educational system in Kosova. The results have implications for syllabus and course materials.


Keywords


Argumentation; critical thinking; sociolinguistics; corpus; syllabus

Full Text:

PDF

References


Atkinson, D. (1997). A critical approach to critical thinking in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 31(1), 71– 94.

Ammar, A., Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2010). Awareness of L1/L2 differences: does it matter?. Language Awareness. 19(2), 129-146.

Baker, W. (2009). Intercultural awareness and intercultural communication through English: an investigation of Thai English language users in higher education. Unpublished doctorate thesis University of Southampton.

Becher, T., & Trowler, P. (2001). Academic tribes and territories. Philladelphia: Open University Press

Birdsong, D. (1999). Second language acquisition and the critical period hypothesis. London: Mahwah Publishers

Bloor, M., & Bloor, T. (1986). Language for specific purposes: practice and theory. In CLCS occasional papers. Dublin: Centre for Language & Communication Studies, Trinity College.

Braaksma, M.A.H., Rijlaarsdam, G., & Van den Bergh, H. (2002). Observational learning and the effects of model-observer similarity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 405–415.

Bracaj, M. (2014). Teaching English for specific purposes and teacher training. European Scientific Journal, 10(2), 40-49.

Britten, N., Campbell, R., Pope, C., Donovan, J., Morgan, M., & Pill, R. (2002). Using meta-ethnography to synthesis qualitative research: a worked example. Journal of Health Service Research. 7, 209-15.

Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2004). Asking the right question. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

Burns, A. (2005). Action research: an evolving paradigm?. Language Teaching, 38, 57-74.

Castle, K. (2006). Autonomy through pedagogical research. Teaching and Teacher Education 22, 1094-1103.

Chaffee, J. (2006). Thinking critically (8th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Colombo, G., Cullen, R., & Kumaravadivelu, B. (1991). Language-learning tasks: teacher intention and learner interpretation. ELT Journal 45(2), 98–107.

Cook, V., & Bassetti, B. (2005). Second language writing systems. Jersey: Multilingual Matters.

Crossley, S. A., McNamara, D. S. (2009). Computational assessment of lexical differences in L1 and L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18, 119-135.

Elsami, Z. R. (2010). Teachers’ voice vs. students’ voice: a needs analysis approach to English for academic purposes (EAP) in Iran. English Language Teaching, 3(1), 3-11.

Elliott, J. (2001). Action research for educational change. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Ferrance, E. (2000). Action research. Providence: Brown University.

Flowerdew, L. (2009). Using a genre-based framework to teach organizational structure in academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 10, 370.

Hammond, J, A., Burns, H. J., Brosnan, D., & Gerot, L. (1992). English for special purposes: A handbook for teachers of adult literacy. Sydney: NCELTR, Macquarie University.

Harmer, J. (2004). How to teach writing. USA: Pearson.

Hillocks, G. (2011). Teaching argumentative writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann

Hüttner, J. (2007). Academic writing in a foreign language: an extended genre analysis of student texts. Wien, AT, Peter Lang.

Hyland, K. (2009). Writing in the disciplines: Research evidence for specificity. Taiwan international ESP Journal, 1, 5-22.

Irvin, L. (2010). What is academic writing?. Philadelphia: OUP.

Karper, E. (2002). Writing a thesis statement. Retrieved March 23, 2004 from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/general/gl_thesis.html .

Kaufman, S. B., & Kaufman, J.C. (2009). The psychology of creative writing. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kay, H., & Dudley- Evans, T. (1998). Genre: what teachers think. ELT Journal. 52(4) 308-314.

Kennedy, M. M. (1998). Education reform and subject matter knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35, 249-263.

Klimova, B. (2014). Evaluation methods as an effective tool for the development of students’ learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 152, 112-115.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned. Oxford: OUP.

Littlewood, W., & Yu, B. (2011). First language and target language in the foreign language classroom. Language Teaching, 44, 64-77.

Manchon, R.M. (2009). Learning, teaching and researching in writing foreign language context. Bristol: British Library Catalogue.

McCarthy, M. (2011). Discourse analysis for language teachers. London: Cambridge University Press.

McEnery, T., Xiao, R., & Tono, Y. (2006). Corpus-based language studies: an advanced resource book. London/New York: Routledge.

Nesselhauf, N. (2004). How learner corpus analysis can contribute to language teaching: A study of support verb constructions. Aston/Bernardini/Stewart, 109-124.

Paul, R., & Willsen, A. (1993). Frameworks of thinking. London: Oxford University Press.

Reichelt, M., Lefkowiz, N., Rinnert, C., & Schulz, J. M. (2012). Key issues in foreign language writing. Foreign Language Annals, 45(1), 22-41.

Stebleton, M., Jensen, M., & Peter, G. (2010). Enhancing student engagement in a multidisciplinary, first-year experience course. College Teaching Methods and Styles, 1, 1-5.

Storch, N. (2009). The impact of studying in a second language (L2) medium university on the development of L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18, 103-118.

Stringer, E. (2004). Action research in education. London: Routledge.

Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (1994). Academic writing for graduate students. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Swann, C. J., & Ussher, J. M. (1995). A discourse analytic approach to women’s experience of premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Mental Health, 4, 359-367.

Trappes-Lomax, H. (2006). Discourse analysis. In A. Davies & C. Elder (Eds.), The handbook of applied linguistics (p. 133–164). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Waddell, C. Thesis writing. Retrieved March 23, 2004 from http://www.rpi.edu/web/writingcen ter/thesis.html.

Weijen, D. van, Berg, H. van den, Rijlaarsdam, G., & Sanders, Ted. (2009). L1 use during L2 writing: An empirical study of a complex phenomenon". Journal of Second Language Writing, 18, 235-250.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


  Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN 2149­-1135
Copyright © Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

Ejal Editorial | Create Your Badge

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ejal.eu' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.