Data commentary in science writing: Using a small, specialized corpus for formative self-assessment practices

Lene Nordrum, Andreas Eriksson

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Data commentary, the verbal comment on visual material, is a complex area in science writing; yet, few studies in academic writing focus on it, and teaching material is often too generic to be of use for students. This chapter presents an approach to addressing the teaching and learning of data commentary in ESP writing courses within the science disciplines involving direct application of a small, specialized corpus of data commentaries drawn from published research articles and master theses, all annotated for rhetorical moves. We exemplify how formative self-assessment practices of data commentaries can be developed from corpus-informed computer-assisted learning activities combining bottom-up corpus analysis with top-down discourse analysis, and outline a methodology for self-assessment practices involving three general types of exercises. Our approach serves to illustrate how a small, specialized corpus and purposefully crafted learning activities can be designed to assist students in pursing ownership of task requirements and monitoring their learning through continuous self-assessment. Such facilitation is of crucial value today as pedagogical and curricular developments in science education increasingly emphasize students’ awareness of communicative practices.
Titel på värdpublikationLearner Corpora in Language Testing and Assessment [SCL 70]
RedaktörerMarcus Callies, Sandra Götz
FörlagJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN (tryckt)9789027203786
StatusPublished - 2015



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