Adopting a SFL-oriented approach for evaluating genre-based academic abstracts of EST undergraduate students in Japan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Research abstract is a text of foremost importance to students of science and engineering. However, explicit teaching of it tends to be missing in EGP and EGAP curricula of general Japanese English education. This paper reports the evaluation of abstracts written by 3rd-year students in an undergraduate ESP course at a Japanese university of science and engineering. At first, students were taught the required generic moves for a research abstract (RA). Next, students were asked to practice deconstructing abstracts into moves within the classroom as well as with abstracts collected by themselves. Finally, students constructed their own abstracts. Here, in order to construct one's own abstract, each student was asked to select an experiment done towards his or her disciplinary curriculum and use the experimental procedure, results and implications in writing the moves of the abstract. A total of twenty abstracts were analyzed for the presence of the required moves and the sequence of the generic moves. Difficulties in students' abstract writings were evaluated using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as a framework for the analysis. SFL as a theory of language views language as a resource for making meaning and does linguistic analysis paying attention to different lexico-grammatical structures in constructing meanings and also the context. Students' abstracts were analyzed for different SFL features namely, ideational, interpersonal and textual modes. In particular, the focus was given to the usage of hedges and modality as research abstracts contain modality and hedges. In addition, a clause by clause analysis of students' abstracts revealed common errors such as, singular-plural mismatch, referencing, missing and wrong preposition, improper use of lexis and mistake in verbal group. In the talk, identified errors and the pedagogical ramifications in teaching abstracts will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - 2016 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS 2016
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages510-515
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509053469
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 2
Event2016 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS 2016 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 2016 Nov 302016 Dec 3

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS
Volume0
ISSN (Print)2325-0682
ISSN (Electronic)2325-0690

Other

Other2016 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS 2016
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period16/11/3016/12/3

Keywords

  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Genre
  • Register
  • Research article
  • Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • linguistic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Rajagopalan, U. M., & Jie, S. (2016). Adopting a SFL-oriented approach for evaluating genre-based academic abstracts of EST undergraduate students in Japan. In Conference Proceedings - 2016 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS 2016 (pp. 510-515). [7813501] (International Conference on Advanced Mechatronic Systems, ICAMechS; Vol. 0). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICAMechS.2016.7813501