Supporting EU, home and foreign students in London writing final year undergraduate BA English language studies dissertations
MetadataShow full item record
The London Metropolitan University BA English Language Studies degree (BA ELS) attracts more than 50% “non-traditional” entrants, including many with English as a second language. This paper reports on challenges of the compulsory third year Undergraduate Dissertation, and on implementing and evaluating interventions to help students meet these challenges. My colleague and I carried out pre- and post-module surveys of student perception and made use of an ongoing student diary from one student to determine student needs and experiences. We discovered that students find structuring their literature reviews challenging and need to be trained to see the applicability of some of the literature to their particular thesis situations. There is evidence that students in European institutions face similar challenges. Our action research was informed by a constructivist, dialogic, pedagogic approach which, importantly, included supporting students’ writing from within their subject area. In attempting to find solutions to these problems, we were influenced by the academic literacies with its emphasis on learner differences, but more by the genre approach. I argue that existing manuals on research Dissertations, which focus largely on topic choice, storage of notes and may need to give higher priority to structuring the literature review. Our report includes a survey of students’ attitudes and expectations regarding the Dissertation, then moves on to describe and assess changes which were made to the Dissertation in the Degree in question. The greatest focus is on the “literature review”, but we also describe changes to the module documentation (Handbook), changes to the Dissertation structure, to the process of choice of Dissertation topic, and attention to students’ time management.
- Książki/Rozdziały