Harnessing Computational Models to Advance Excellence in the Teaching, Learning, and Assessment of Writing
This project harnesses the power of corpus linguistics, a computational social science approach to big data, to develop materials for Foundations Writing classrooms, with an emphasis on improving instruction for student writers for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL). The project draws on the Corpus and Repository of Writing, a collection of EAL student writing assignments produced as part of Foundations Writing courses (at UA, ENGL 106, 107, 108) and associated metadata (e.g., student’s country of origin, intended major). The materials development process will engage current instructors in a cycle of identifying student learning needs in relation to language, using the corpus to identify patterns in student writing that can be incorporated into instructional materials, piloting the materials, and evaluating student performance in relation to academic writing goals. Since the Foundations Writing classroom serves as a bridge to students’ writing in their majors, this project is expected to impact other types of student writing. In particular, the materials development process also serves as a model for university courses (including UArizona Global courses) that include writing as part of classroom assessment, such as writing intensive courses in students’ majors and language courses.
Graduate Teaching Associate, English
Nina Conrad is a PhD student in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona working on the CUES Harnessing Computational Models to Advance Excellence in the Teaching, Learning, and Assessment of Writing project. Her research interests include second-language writing, academic literacies, and postsecondary students’ use of proofreading and literacy brokering. She has an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and currently teaches Foundations Writing courses.
Other student contributors to this project include Aleksey Novikov and Emily Palese, PhD candidates in SLAT at UArizona; Alantis Houpt and Kevin Sanchez, undergraduates studying English at UArizona.
Presentations & Publications
APR 2021: Building Genre Awareness through Data-driven Learning in L2 Writing Classes (Digital paper presentation), BALEAP Conference 2021: Exploring Pedagogical Approaches in EAP Teaching, British Association for Learning English for Academic Purposes; with Nina Conrad.
FEB 2021: Using Corpora for Pedagogy and Research (Invited virtual talk), Second Language Studies Corpus Lab Kick-Off Event: Using Corpora for Pedagogy and Research: Projects from the Corpus and Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) Lab, Michigan State University.
OCT 2020: Designing Pedagogical Materials for Academic Writing Using Interactive Data-driven Learning (DDL) (Digital paper presentation), CATESOL 2020 State Conference, California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages; with Aleksandra Swatek, Ashley Velazquez, Ji-young Shin.
JUL 2020: Designing Pedagogical Materials Using Interactive Data-driven Learning (iDDL) with Multilingual Learner Corpora (Workshop), 2020 Teaching and Language Corpora (TALC) Conference; Perpignan, France, with Aleksey Novikov, Adriana Picoral, Bruna Sommer, Ashley Velazquez and Aleksandra Swatek.
JUL 2020: Building Data-Driven Learning (DDL) Materials with Teachers of Second Language Writing: Bridging the Research/Teaching Gap (Digital paper presentation); 2020 Teaching and Language Corpora (TALC) Conference; Perpignan, France.
APR/MAY 2020: Using the Corpus and Repository of Writing for Teaching and Research (Series of two webinars for Metropolitan State University, Denver), with Ashley Velazquez and Hadi Banat.