Evaluating the SLATE project

  • Ahmar Mahboob University of Sydney
  • Angela Chan University of Hong Kong
  • Jonathan J. Webster City University of Hong Kong
Keywords: academic writing, feedback, genre pedagogy, grammatical metaphor, project evaluation

Abstract

This paper presents a broad evaluation of the Scaffolding Literacy in Academic and Tertiary Environments project (SLATE) drawing from a range of sources, including (a) feedback from some of the key stakeholders involved, and (b) an analysis of student work. First, the paper presents data collected on students’ perceptions of some of the courses supported by the SLATE team. This data is discussed in relation to some of the issues raised in feedback collected from the course lecturers and the SLATE tutors. The paper then shifts its focus and evaluates the project in terms of how the students benefited from the project. This is done by examining how frontloading and supported independent construction helped students in (developing) their use of grammatical metaphor. The findings of this project evaluation have been used to identify issues that need to be considered in developing similar programmes in the future.

Author Biographies

Ahmar Mahboob, University of Sydney

Ahmar Mahboob is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include educational linguistics, language teaching, language policy, teacher education, and World Englishes.

Angela Chan, University of Hong Kong

Angela Chan is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. She worked as Senior Research Fellow at City University of Hong Kong when the LCC/SLATE evaluation study was conducted. She is interested in conversation analysis, interaction in social and workplace settings, and language learning and teaching. She has published in these areas in Language in Society, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Politeness Research, Journal of Asia Pacific Communication and Asia Pacific World.

Jonathan J. Webster, City University of Hong Kong

Jonathan J. Webster is Professor, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, and Director, The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies at the City University of Hong Kong. He is also the General Editor of the Equinox journal Linguistics and the Human Sciences and the editor (with Ruqaiya Hasan and Christian Matthiessen) of the two volume Continuing Discourse on Language: A Functional Perspective (Equinox, 2007).

References

Alderson, J. C., and McIntyre, D. (2006) Implementing and evaluating a self-assessment mechanism for the web-based Language and Style course. Language and Literature,15 (3): 291–306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963947006066128

Allen, M. J. (2004) Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

Barton, A., Bragg, J. and Serratrice, L. (2009) ‘Discovering language’ in primary school: An evaluation of a language awareness programme. Language Learning Journal, 37 (2): 145–164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09571730902928029

Calder, J. (1994) Programme Evaluation and Quality: A Comprehensive Guide to Setting up an Evaluation System. London: Kogan Page.

Cohen, A. D. (1987) Student processing of feedback on their compositions. In Anita Wender and Joan Rubin (eds), Learner Strategies in Language Learning,57–69. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall International.

Devrim, D. Y. (2013) Development of Grammatical Metaphor in Academic Literacy Through Online Language Support. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Sydney: University of Sydney.

Dreyfus, S. and Macnaught, L. (in press) Joint construction in the SLATE project. Linguistics and the Human Sciences 7 (2).

Farr, F. (2008) Evaluating the use of corpus-based instruction in a language teacher education context: Perspectives from the users. Language Awareness 17 (1): 25–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.2167/la414.0

Ferris, D. R. (1995) Student reactions to teacher response in multiple-draft composition classrooms. TESOL 29 (1): 33‒53. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3587804

Güneş, T. and Dilek, N. S. (2009) Evaluation of science and technology program according to students' opinions. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 (1): 1396–1401.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1985a) Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Arnold.

Hedgcock, J. and Lefkowitz, N. (1994) Feedback on feedback: Assessing learner receptivity to teacher response in L2 composing. Journal of Second Language Writing 3 (2): 141–163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/1060-3743(94)90012-4

Humphrey, S., Martin, J., Dreyfus, S. and Mahboob, A. (2010) The 33: Setting up a linguistic toolbox for teaching and assessing academic writing. In A. Mahboob and N. Knight (eds) Appliable Linguistics: Texts, Contexts, and Meanings, 185–199. London: Continuum.

Hyland, F. and Hyland, K. (2001) Sugaring the pill: Praise and criticism in written feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing 10 (3): 185–212. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1060-3743(01)00038-8

Hyland, K. and Hyland, F. (2006) Contexts and issues in feedback on L2 writing: An introduction. In Ken Hyland and Fiona Hyland (eds), Feedback in Second Language Writing: Contexts and Issues, 1–19. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Light, V., Light, P. and Wright, V. (2000) Seeing eye to eye: An evaluation of the use of video-conferencing to support collaboration. European Journal of Psychology of Education, XV (4): 467–478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03172988

Lorenzo, F., Casal, S. and Moore, P. (2010) The effects of content and language integrated learning in European education: Key findings from the Andalusian bilingual sections evaluation project. Applied Linguistics 31 (3): 418–442. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amp041

Mahboob, A. (under review) Meeting the challenges of English medium higher education in Hong Kong. Mahboob, A. and Devrim, D. Y. (this issue) Supporting independent construction online: The role of feedback and revisions in the SLATE project. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 7.

Mahboob, A. and Devrim, D. Y. (2011) Providing effective feedback in an online environment. SPELT Quarterly 26 (3): 17–30.

Mahboob, A., Dreyfus, S., Martin, J. and Humphrey, S. (2010) Appliable linguistics and English language teaching: Scaffolding literacy in adult and tertiary environments (SLATE) project. In A. Mahboob and N. Knight (eds) Appliable Linguistics: Texts, Contexts, and Meanings. London: Continuum.

Payne, D. A. (1994) Designing Educational Project and Program Evaluations: A Practical Overview Based on Research and Experience. Boston, MA/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Rothery, J. and Stenglin, M. (1995) Exploring literacy in school English (Write it right resources for literacy and learning). Sydney: Metropolitan East Disadvantaged Schools Program.

Rubenfeld, S., Sinclair, L. and Clement, R. (2007) Second language learning and acculturation: The role of motivation and goal content congruence. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 10 (3): 309–323.

Ryan, R. M. and Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychology 55 (1): 68–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68

Sengupta, S. and Leung, K. (2002) Providing English language support through collegial mentoring: How do we measure its impact? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 27 (4): 365–381. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0260293022000001373

Schleppegrell, M. J. (2004) Technical writing in a second language: The role of grammatical metaphor. In L. J. Ravelli and R. A. Ellis (eds), Analysing Academic Writing: Contextualized Framework, 173–189. New York: Continuum.
Published
2013-03-22
How to Cite
Mahboob, A., Chan, A., & Webster, J. (2013). Evaluating the SLATE project. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 7(1-3), 125-139. https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v7i1-3.125
Section
Articles