Towards a blended ecological pedagogy for dro. 30088689/Kasakeijan-Ross-towardsblended...Towards a blended ecological pedagogy for advanced EAL ... The ecological approach to language teaching and learning ... EFL English as a Foreign Language

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  • Towards a blended ecological pedagogy for advanced EAL academic writing

    by

    David Kasakeijan-Ross

    B.A. (Mus.), Grad.Dip (Teach.), M.Mus., Grad. Dip. Humanities (French), G.C.E.S.

    (TESOL), M.App.Ling.

    Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    Deakin University

    August, 2015

  • The prestige of a work is undoubtedly linked to the number of opponents it succeeds in

    mobilizing against itself. One can say the same about the quality of readers that the

    work attracts and whose reasoning it influences. (Moscovici & Duveen, 2000, p. 214)

  • 1

    Acknowledgements I wish to acknowledge and thank the following people for the part they played in the submission

    of this thesis. First of all, I owe a real debt of gratitude to Dr Jennifer Angwin and Dr Rod

    Neilsen, my current supervisors, for stepping into the breach in the final quarter of my

    candidature. Without their support, enthusiasm and belief in the project, I doubt it would have

    reached fulfilment. Additionally, I wish to express my appreciation to Dr Amanda Mooney and

    Dr Andrea Gallant for their words of encouragement during the final months of thesis

    preparation. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Deakin Library staff, in

    particular those having charge of assisting distance mode students, Marion Churkovich and

    Christine Oughtred, particularly while I was in Saudi and Indonesia. While I was in many

    respects isolated in Saudi Arabia during the first years of my doctoral journey, their ever-

    helpful presence was much appreciated. I must also acknowledge Robyn Ficnerski, who has

    always fielded my very nave questions with equanimity and patience. Further, I wish to thank

    the many helpful friends and colleagues who, along the way, have expressed interest in my

    research, who have believed in me and have kept me going. My appreciation for that support

    is profound. In particular, I wish to thank my two colleagues in the Library at Charles Sturt

    University, Hanne Hoelaas and Tabitha Merrell. Without their assistance in the very final

    stages, my ability to make EndNote perform its requisite functions would have foundered. To

    my wife, Dinah, I indeed owe much. From the start, she has believed in my sense of academic

    purpose and has been not only a moral support but a very practical one in assisting me with the

    data collection in Jakarta. To everyone, my heartfelt thanks.

  • 2

    Abstract This thesis reports on an ethnographic-based practitioner research design study aimed at the

    explicit co-construction of knowledge about certain key aspects of Hallidayan functional

    grammar for the development of formal academic EAL writing with a class of Year 11 students

    studying the NSW Board of Studies Fundamentals of English program during 2008 in a school

    in West Jakarta, Indonesia. The specific purposes were to develop students knowledge of: (1)

    language as system via a cake model representation of Hallidays metafunctions; (2) nominal

    group structure, particularly classifiers for the construction of technicality and post-Head

    embedding as a resource for increasing lexical density; (3) nominalisation; (4) and grammatical

    metaphor. Particular attention was focused on Ideational and Textural resources, including the

    principle of thematic development via Theme-Rheme relations. A second, no less important,

    purpose was to raise students metalinguistic consciousness by means of a dialogical pedagogy

    grounded in the analysis and discussion of a wide range of texts. Data was collected over a

    formal research period of six months, preceded by a preparatory period of a further six months.

    Results showed significant development in students employment of post-Head embedding in

    their writing as well as an impressive ability to talk about language from a theoretically

    disciplined stance. The study was grounded theoretically in Hallidays functional grammar,

    post-Vygotskian sociocultural theory, key aspects of Bernsteins theory of pedagogy, van

    Liers ecological approach and a number of important constructs from Meadian symbolic

    interactionism. One key implication of the study is the need for a critical and exotropic theory

    of pedagogic interaction. The researcher is a doctoral candidate in Education at Deakin

    University and works as an academic literacy and learning advisor at Charles Sturt University

  • 3

    Contents Acknowledgements ................................................................................................. 1

    Abstract ................................................................................................................... 2

    Contents .................................................................................................................. 3

    List of abbreviations used ....................................................................................... 8

    Notes on navigating the thesis .............................................................................. 10

    Textual dimension ......................................................................................... 10

    Tables and figures ......................................................................................... 11

    1. The project ................................................................................................. 12

    Background ........................................................................................................... 12

    Initial motivations ................................................................................................. 16

    First attempts and the KFUPM experience ........................................................... 17

    Developing non-congruent forms of language ..................................................... 21

    Situating myself .................................................................................................... 23

    Chapter summary .................................................................................................. 29

    Research question ................................................................................................. 29

    2. Theoretical underpinnings ......................................................................... 30

    A theoretical framing of the pedagogical context ................................................. 30

    Systemic functional linguistics and the role of explicitness ................................. 33

    SFG concepts shared with students....................................................................... 37

    Metafunctions ............................................................................................... 37

    Nominal group structure ............................................................................... 38

    Lexical density .............................................................................................. 40

    Nominalisation and grammatical metaphor .................................................. 41

    Origins of the BEP in three aspects of sociocultural theory ................................. 42

    Talk as semiotic mediation ........................................................................... 42

  • 4

    Scaffolding as semiotic mediation ................................................................ 44

    The zone of proximal development (ZPD) ................................................... 50

    Bernstein: vertical and horizontal discourses and the role of knowledge structures in creating

    psycholinguistic abstraction .................................................................................. 50

    Characterising a pedagogy based on talk ...................................................... 54

    The ecological approach to language teaching and learning ................................ 58

    Theory and Practice ...................................................................................... 60

    Contingency .................................................................................................. 64

    Interaction and Pedagogical Practice ............................................................ 65

    Brief outline of symbolic interactionism .............................................................. 67

    Chapter summary .................................................................................................. 70

    3. Methodological Parameters ....................................................................... 72

    Practitioner Research as a methodological construct for the study ...................... 73

    Sociocultural context of the research .................................................................... 76

    Brief context of English education in Indonesia ........................................... 77

    Institutional context (IPEKA IICS) of the research ...................................... 79

    Physical description of classrooms ............................................................... 81

    Participant information ................................................................................. 82

    Seating arrangements and friendship groupings ........................................... 82

    Data formation ...................................................................................................... 84

    Data analysis ......................................................................................................... 85

    Students essays ............................................................................................ 85

    Video ............................................................................................................. 86

    Audio............................................................................................................. 86

    Students research journals ........................................................................... 87

    My professional journal ................................................................................ 87

    Class notes .................................................................................................... 87

  • 5

    Chapter summary .................................................................................................. 87

    4. Pedagogical Field (1): Semester One (Preparatory period) ....................... 89

    Pre-delivery survey results summary .................................................................... 89

    The research participants: perspectives from a final writing Who I am task ..... 90

    Outline of research-related work undertaken in Semester One ............................ 98

    Recontextualisation ....................................................................................... 99

    Creating more formal language .................................................................. 102

    Report writing ............................................................................................. 104

    Grammatical resources: Finite/non-finite grammar .................................... 104

    A=B structures ......................................................................................... 106

    Constructing writer-reader relationships..................................................... 107

    Chapter summary ................................................................................................ 108

    5. Pedagogical Field (2): Semester Two ...................................................... 109

    The reports and their place in the research project ............................................. 112

    Stage 1 (Weeks 1 and 2: 18 and 25 July) .................................................... 113

    Stage 2 (Weeks 3, 4 and 5: 1, 8 and 15 August) ......................................... 115

    Stage 3: Getting deeper into grammar: nominal group structure (Weeks 6 and 7: 22 and

    29 August) ................................................................................................... 118

    Stage 4 (Weeks 8 and 9: 5th and 12th September) ....................................... 124

    Stage 4(a) (Friday 5 September) ................................................................. 124

    Stage 4b (Week 9: Friday 12 September) ................................................... 127

    Stages 5 and 6: Building technicality through Textual features and grammatical

    metaphor (Weeks 12, 13 and 15: 10, 17, 21, 28, 30 and 31 October) ........ 129

    [Stage 6] Week 14: Friday 17 October (Driving the Textual metafunction forward) 131

    Stage 7: Handing over (Week 16: Friday 31 October) ............................. 134

    Stage 8: Final work on thematic development and grammatical metaphor (Weeks 17-18:

    7th and 14th November) ............................................................................... 139

    Grammatical metaphor (Friday 14 November)........................................... 140

  • 6

    Chapter summary ................................................................................................ 142

    6. Pedagogical Tenor ................................................................................... 144

    Pedagogic symbolic interaction: the dual roles of symbol and social object ..... 145

    Types of scaffolds ............................................................................................... 149

    Non-written ................................................................................................. 149

    Written ........................................................................................................ 158

    Chapter summary ................................................................................................ 164

    7. Pedagogical Mode .................................................................................... 166

    Range of resources discussed.............................................................................. 167

    Why nominal group structure is important in academic writing ........................ 168

    Why development of awareness and use of more complex nominal group structures are

    needed and important for students at Year 11. ................................................... 168

    Complex embedding in post-Head nominal group modification ........................ 169

    Nominalised clausal Participants ........................................................................ 172

    Lexical density as an index of nominality in student writing ............................. 172

    Non-finite forms.................................................................................................. 173

    Classifiers ............................................................................................................ 174

    Comments on Turners nominal group data: ...................................................... 174

    Thematic development ........................................................................................ 175

    Chapter summary ...........................................................................

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