A Classroom Languaculture Offers Perspectives for Learning a New Genre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This study examines student perceptions while crafting an extended junior-year writing task in the discipline assignment. Bazerman (2009) posits that adapting to new genres is a kind of tool for cognitive development. He suggests that we “design our writing assignments precisely to put students in a position where they need to combine information and ideas in ways new to them, or which requires them to consider issues from an unfamiliar stance” (p. 279). Drawing on Sociocultural Theory and the ecological perspective of Leo van Lier (2008), I suggest that how instructors frame classroom interaction may provide affordances for perspective taking. As genres are socially situated (Swales, 2009), the classroom culture within which students adapt to a new genre is impacted by affordances for social interchanges. Shared social interchanges have the potential to mediate and disrupt classroom hierarchies such that perspective taking is valued within the classroom culture. Through the context of activity and interactivity around their own and others’ texts, a new languaculture (Agar, 1997; van Lier, 2008) emerges. The languaculture around text builds students’ abilities to look on their own texts through the perspective of others. The students internalize perceptual and conceptual frames communally developed in the languaculture, with the result of increasing their abilities to monitor and reflect on their writing, thereby developing as writers. 
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationKnowing Writing: Writing Research Across Borders 2017
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • university writing
  • classroom culture
  • student reflections

Disciplines

  • Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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