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Language and Education Network - Research Seminar

Hania Salter-Dvorak: Transforming argumentation in L2 postgraduates’ academic writing

Transforming argumentation in L2 postgraduates’ academic writing through pedagogical innovation: an ethnography at a UK university

Event details

This paper reports on an ongoing ethnographic study whose intended outcome is pedagogical innovation aimed at transforming argumentation in the academic writing of L2 graduate students in our increasingly internationalised and diverse HE sector.  Although argumentation in student writing has received growing attention in the literature recently (Mitchell et al, 2000; Andrews, 2010; Wingate, 2012; Nesi and Gardner, 2012; Salter-Dvorak, 2016, 2017), we still know little about how individuals build up awareness and performance in argumentation skills.  There is a strong view, which I share, that these are best built up in the context of the discipline studied (Mitchell et al, 2000; Wingate, 2012; Nesi and Gardner, 2012).  I adopt a social constructivist view of academic writing as a disciplinary genre into which students are socialised over time.  Transformation is thus a lengthy process.

I will begin with an overview of the literature on argumentation and pedagogic interventions which have been attempted. I will then present the design of my current two-phase project, and preliminary findings from phase one.  Participants will be invited to consider the implications of these for potential small-scale pedagogical interventions, e.g. workshops. Time permitting, we will also consider appropriate post-implementation evaluation methods for the innovations. 


EMS Building G27