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This study was motivated by the notorious difficulty of the English section of the 2019 College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT). While there have been a large number of studies examining what factors determine the difficulty of ESL reading questions, text coherence has been paid little attention due to the highly linguistic orientation of the language testing field. It was generally agreed in many studies that text itself does not bear a direct relationship with its coherence. Instead, the coherence reflects the reader's mental representation of the text elicited from it. During the process of drawing the mental representation, the reader both depends on the information explicitly presented in the text and make necessary inferences to fill in the missing parts that he or she failed to discover from the text. In order to explore the influence of text coherence on the difficulty of the reading questions, this study analyzed the most difficult five questions of the English section of the 2019 CSAT using the text analysis paradigm of Mann and Thompson's Rhetorical Structure Theory and attempted to identify whether there are any elements to interfere with the drawing of the mental representation and whether the interrupting elements could lead to the low correct response rate. The analyses demonstrated that the texts for all five questions include some structural elements that might lead many test-takers to trouble in drawing the mental representation and, consequently, making correct answers.
Process approach to writing has been dominantly popular in second language writing classrooms over the last two decades. However, its privileged status as a single paradigm for writing research and pedagogy has been challenged recently. Unlike process approach whose focus is on the writer's cognitive dealing with rhetorical problems, the new paradigm stresses that writing is a social artifact. The present study examined whether or not process approach has a legitimate place in the classroom through examining two college students' writing processes. The verbal protocol of the students' writing processes revealed that they approached writing tasks differently. While one student examined her writing at both global and local level, the other student seemed to focus on generating ideas and text, ignorant of higher- level writing skills. Furthermore, the examination of their products identified the fact that the difference in the processes was reflected in the products. The study concludes with the suggestion that process approach still possess many strong points for second language research and pedagogy, indicating that the problem does not lie in the complete replacement of the old paradigm with the new one, but in the integration of the new paradigm into the existing one.
Portfolio assessment has been widely recognized as providing solutions to the problems traditional tests fail to deal with adequately. It enables the teacher to assess students' English proficiency development more validly and reliably through the examination of their portfolios. In addition, it helps students develop their cognitive strategies which are critical to empowering themselves and growing as autonomous learners. However, despite these advantages, it is complex and difficult to implement in practice. Keeping these advantages anddisadvantages in mind, this study examined how sixth graders perceived portfolio assessment and its implementing procedures. The result of this study reveals that, although the teacher planned and prepared portfolio assessment elaboratively, her students went through a considerable amount of difficulties during the assessment. However, it was shown that their satisfaction level with the assessment was high enough to seriously consider it as a legitimate evaluation instrument for their English proficiency development. Besides, this study confirms its positive instructional effects. The benefits of the assessment revealed in the study include the growth of students' confidence in learning English and reduced text anxiety, particularly for low-level students.
Contrastive rhetoric has helped us understand how members of a cultural group develop a rhetorical pattern. However, since it overly relies upon the traditional culture in the explanation of different rhetorical patterns in different cultures, it seems to fail to draw a comprehensive picture of how rhetorical patterns are determined in each culture. So this study assumes that the explanation of Korean rhetorical pattern by Kaplan and other contrastive rhetoric proponents does not provides us with correct information on contemporary Korean rhetoric. In this vein, this study investigated English expository writings of 27 Korean college students to explore whether Kaplan and other contrastive rhetoric proponents' claims on Korean rhetoric is legitimate. It discovered that, on the contrary to their claims, most of the subjects showed deductive approach to the theme. However, their deductive approach did not lead to the production of the Western rhetorical pattern. The possible reasons for this result maintained in the study are that there had been influence from their previous learning experiences of both general and English composition skills and that their writing skills were not fully developed enough to produce text that shows the clear Western rhetorical pattern.
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EFL writing is a cognitively demanding task and asks the writer to pay attention to a large number of elements involved in producing the text. It is unreasonable for our student writers to deal with the overwhelming cognitive demand of writing effectively with a single attempt. Therefore, revision should be a key component of their writing process. The necessity of revision prompts us to consider the integration of multi-draft writing into our teaching practice since it provides students with more opportunities to shape and refine their texts. Peer review has been also recommended as a helpful pedagogical instrument for them to cope with revision tasks successfully. In line with these theoretical underpinnings, this study examined the impact of these two writing pedagogies on Korean college students' revising behaviors and the improvement of their text quality in an English composition class in a Korean university. The participants in the study received a training on how to review their peers' writings and went through multi-draft writing process in which they were asked to revise their writings three times on each topic. The results identified the pattern of their revision behaviors and confirmed the writing quality improvements on the subsequent drafts. Some pedagogical suggestions were also proposed to reap the benefits of multi-draft writing and peer review practices in the classroom.
Peer review has been considered one of the promising instructional methods to help students understand the social nature of writing and the importance of revision. However, given our students' linguistic inability and inexperience in English writing, some supportive measures need to be taken to take advantage of this invaluable learning experience to their writing ability development maximally. This study assumes that presenting them a checklist with important points to be discussed with peers is critical for the successful implementation of the activity in the classroom. When it is being developed, the instructor must reflect on the unique characteristics of her class and integrate them into the development. To demonstrate how it can be built, writing samples of students in a beginning English writing class in a four-year university and their peer review practices were studied. As the first step of the development, the students' writing proficiency was assessed at the beginning and end of the course to establish the course objective that was defined as a proficiency level in the IELTS Writing Band Descriptors. Then, the descriptors was analyzed to identify writings features to be included in the checklist. Finally, their competence manifested in their papers and comments was studied to select suitable writing features for their proficiency and the course objective.
This study explores how Korean and German college students differ in their motivational orientations for learning English in the context of English as the world language. This is of particular interest in part because the students' native cultures are remarkably different in many aspects. Sixty students from two major Korean universities and 65 students from a major German university were given a questionnaire consisting of 30 items that seeks to ascertain their motivational orientations for learning English. Factor analysis was conducted on the collected data, and ten factors were identified for each group. The result indicates that the two groups were alike in their integrativeness to the target culture. However, whereas the Korean students seemed to be intrinsically motivated, the German students seemed be affected by the understanding of the target culture in their learning of English. These results were a little unexpected, considering the significant cultural differences between Korea and Germany. The data was interpreted to reflect the characteristics of the Korean students and the German students' inherent cultural and historical heritages.