Macquarie University
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Raising learners' metalinguistic awareness: an examination of students' academic writing development at university

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posted on 2022-03-28, 13:43 authored by Sarah Jane Timbs
This research project seeks to investigate the academic writing development of three students in the foundational first year unit ‘Academic Communication in Business and Economics’ (ACBE100) at Macquarie University. This unit aims to support students in their transition to university by enabling them to understand and achieve the necessary standards of performance required to be successful in an academic environment. This study was designed to be an intervention within the Macquarie Longitudinal Learner Corpus (MQLLC) research project currently being conducted by Dr Cassandra Liardet and her research team at Macquarie University. Participants are student volunteers studying the ACBE100 unit and were recruited from the larger MQLLC project. Writing development is explored from the students’ perspective through repeated use of a formative self-assessment tool, which aims to measure the accuracy with which the students are able to evaluate themselves in comparison to a researcher’s linguistic analysis of their written texts. Additionally, interviews regarding perspectives on the self assessment process were conducted with the students and a tutor. A linguistic perspective on the students’ writing development is provided through textual analysis encompassing genre, periodic structure and thematic development. These perspectives seek to illuminate the relationship between explicit teaching of linguistic features of academic writing and students’ writing development. This study employs a Systemic Functional Linguistics theoretical framework (see Halliday, 1993; Martin & Rose, 2008; Schleppegrell, 2001,2004) for mapping and examining language features.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Methodology -- 4. Findings and discussion -- 5. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 109-115

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Cassandra Liardet


Copyright Sarah Jane Timbs 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


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