University of Oulu

A survey of university students’ self-reflections on English register awareness

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Author: Ward, Joshua1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, English Philology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 33
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Ward, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-02-03
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
This Bachelor’s thesis describes a survey aimed at exploring first-year university students’ views and perspectives on how their previous education and extra-curricular experiences have prepared them for studying academic English. The students’ comments were analysed from a constructivist perspective, considering how learners experience and conceptualize language, with a focus on how they distinguish context-specific registers of English. Their responses suggest that the average first-year student has received little explicit instruction in formal register differences prior to university studies, and that their register awareness tends to rely on intuitive, implicit knowledge developed independently outside the explicit instruction of the classroom. Most students experience predominantly colloquial and neutral register forms prior to the university, and a majority expressed having difficulty with the highly technical and formal language of their university lectures and writing assignments. On average, they feel that their preparation has been adequate for the task, but more explicit instruction and feedback would improve their overall learning experience.
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Copyright information: © Joshua Ward, 2016. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.