Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Meta-Analysis versus Systematic Review in Studies regarding Specific Interventions in Academic Writing in English

Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Meta-Analysis versus Systematic Review in Studies regarding Specific Interventions in Academic Writing in English

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Nowadays, academic writing in English is perceived as a subject that will equip graduates from all over the world, independent of their education language, for a more successful professional career at MD or PhD level as well as for a scientist - practitioner career in which research results should be rapidly transfer into practice (Pageadams, Cheng, Gogineni, & Shen, 1995; Blaxter, Hughes, & Tight, 1998; Walker, Golde, Jones, Bueschel, & Hutchings, 2008). Aside from the emphases put on the role of AW in boosting professional careers, offering support at institutional level for developing this type of competencies depends on an increased publishing rate and on a better visibility of researcher and research units worldwide (McGrail, Rickard, & Jones, 2006).

An important body of researches proved the necessity of developing specific training programs at the university level dedicated to achieving writing competencies as long as the academic writing skills cannot be osmotically acquired (Johns, 1997; Street, 1999; Poel & Gasiorek, 2012). Based on such facts, the academic writing skills development initiatives was assessed as an urgent necessity, particularly in universities without a tradition in developing dedicated writing programs together with the identification of the best approaches to develop such competencies.

The best practice in teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and implicitly English for Academic Writing (EAW) was a debatable issue (Carstens, 2011) in the last decades at the level of international research communities. Approaches in teaching EAP / EAW can be summarized (Carstens, 2011) based on their focus on: a. learners and learning needs and less on content, texts and practice - that was a wide-angled approach supported by Hutchison and Waters (1987), a position that regained later support through the contributions of Bruce (2008) and Hyland (2002) who were looking at the undergraduates and graduates as being capable of moving between different disciplines/subjects of their chosen fields they were registered given that a narrow - approach was not meant to serve the purposes of their designed training process; b. the dependency between disciplinary writing conventions and epistemological and social practices inside and around a discipline - narrow - angle approach - Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) and Hewings and Hewings (2006); c. the expansion of core academic skills followed by the development of more specific skills - combined approach - Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998).

Various approaches to the academic writing process led to different pedagogical interventions. Based on their foci and learner characteristics AW interventions could followed a study skills model, an academic socialization model, or an academic literacies model (Lea & Street, 1998). Björk, Bräuer, Rienecker, and Jörgensen (2003) proposed a differentiation based on pedagogical approach of typically clustered AW programs. Text focused pedagogical approaches proposed a model aiming to develop general academic writing courses for large target groups; such courses found their methodological cores in instructional design, guidelines and templates. The writer focused pedagogies centred on individual discourse and intended at the development of discourse as an expression of writer's individual identity and spontaneity using self-expression process strategies and writing process strategies by targeting small groups. The discourse community pedagogical views have the community discourse in focus and in effect target discipline based selected small or large groups focusing on academic literacy, discipline-specific conversation, discourse types, and discourse jargon, also taking into account factors such as the social construction of meaning in academic discourse. Coffin et al. (2003) proposed a classification of courses developed based on different pedagogical approaches such as: "academic literacy courses", general academic writing courses - "writing across the curriculum - WAC", writing courses within a specific discipline "writing in the disciplines - WID" offered through writing centres, courses of English for Academic Purposes - EAP, writing communities or online writing. …

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