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|Title: ||Access the Word - Access the World|
|Authors: ||Solomans, Gail|
|Keywords: ||Academic literacy|
|Issue Date: ||2001|
|Publisher: ||© Loughborough University|
|Citation: ||SOLOMANS, G., 2001. Access the Word - Access the World. IN: Proceedings of the 5th CAA Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University|
|Abstract: ||For success at university, students need to develop academic literacy, which means
learning a set of behaviours appropriate to academe. One of the most important of
these is mastery of academic language.
Changes in the South African socio-political context have brought about much
needed changes in education and with the demand for equity and redress, students
are now entering university from a wide variety of educational and language
backgrounds. This is not a unique phenomenon in universities around the world but,
as we have eleven official languages in South Africa, English, the medium of
instruction and assessment, is often not only the second but the third language for
very many students.
A very high percentage of academic words have their roots in words of Latin or
Greek origin, languages to which few students have had exposure and they find
themselves underprepared to cope with this highly specialized academic discourse.
In order to enhance students’ academic vocabulary, which in turn provides a solid
foundation for competence in reading and writing academic discourse, I present a
course called Word Power. By its very nature this course requires rote learning of
roots of words, constant practice and reinforcement.
Using the computer programme, Question Mark Designer for Windows, I have
developed material for use as tutorials and for revision exercises. This CAA method
is used as a support for the lectures and is intended to take the boring element out of
the drill sessions, which are at the core of any vocabulary building course. Students
can use the revision exercises to work at their own pace and receive instant
feedback and assessment of their progress. In addition it removes the necessity of
having several tutors and alleviates the burden of marking. Although this computer
material was only available to the students this semester, I have had positive results
from its use and positive feedback from the students and I feel confident that it will
continue to be an enormous benefit to my students in helping them to master
academic language. Accessing the word is a step to accessing the academic world.|
|Description: ||This is a conference paper.|
|Appears in Collections:||CAA Conference|
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