Preliminary investigation of ESL student writing in engineering

Radina, Mohamad Deli (2018) Preliminary investigation of ESL student writing in engineering. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 8 (10). pp. 909-917. ISSN 2224-4441

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Given the importance of writing skills for communicating messages in the field of engineering, and the seemingly perpetual conflict between novice engineers‟ poor ability to write and the quality expected by employers, it is worthwhile to investigate student engineers‟ writing ability or experiences prior to their employment. This study thus aims to investigate English as a Second Language (ESL) students‟ writing in engineering studies. The objectives of the study are to (1) identify the genres of writing by ESL undergraduates in engineering studies, and (2) analyse students‟ laboratory reports for „moves‟ typically identified in the genre. Students‟ written scripts were collected from various engineering courses within the mechanical, electrical, and electronic engineering programmes of a Malaysian public university, and identified by genre based on their structure and content. The preliminary finding suggests that the majority of the writings are laboratory and technical reports. Based on a „move‟ analysis outlined for student laboratory reports in science and engineering (Parkinson, 2017) a total of 14 laboratory reports was analysed and 5 macro-sections were identified namely introduction, method, result, discussion, and conclusion. This differs from the 6 macro sections found for engineering in Parkinson (2017) study. Although the number of moves identified was essentially similar, some steps were unavailable in the laboratory reports within these macro-sections. It is believed that findings from this genre-based study can have pedagogical importance in that it may help to enhance the writings of ESL students in engineering studies to reach a standard that may be more aligned to the accepted norms of laboratory report writing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Move analysis, Laboratory reports, Macro-sections, Rhetorical moves, English as a second language, Genre-based study, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, , research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Education, Language and Communication
Depositing User: Gani
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2023 07:02

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