Case Analysis Assignment A Model Answer is available for this assignment, b
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Case Analysis Assignment A Model Answer is available for this assignment, but it will be released only after you have submitted, since otherwise your answer could be too similar to it. Word length: 750 words Before you begin, read Writing your Case Analysis in Thinking about Writing (in TEXTBOOKS, in the left-hand menu, ). In the TEXTBOOKS tool, you can also read How to Write Your Case Study: Step by Step. Submission: 12-point font, default margins. When submitting on OWL, submit BOTH as an attachment AND cut and paste your essay as an inline document.
Topic: students and the reading requirements of a Year 1 Writing course. (Do NOT do the topic which was discussed in the Lesson–the Dr. Cohen case on plagiarism.)
Characters: Dr. Sara Khan, course instructor; and 25 multilingual students who are taking the Writing course.
Writing 1002 is a half course taken by international students at Erewhon University in Ontario, Canada. The course’s goal is to help students who use English as a second language, mainly for academic purposes, master two sets of skills key to university success in the Canadian context:
Critical thinking skills as defined by Canadian academics, that are not only applied to the Writing course tasks, but can also be transferred to other courses the students are enrolled in.
Writing skills, which include narrowing down a topic, choosing reliable academic research sources, making research notes, creating a strong argument, drafting a well-structured essay, using matter from the research sources to provide support for the main idea, and revising, editing, formatting, and submitting the essay on time.
There are multiple sections of the course. The common course outline given to students in these sections does not mention the importance of reading, or explain how reading skills interact with the thinking and writing skills that are put in the foreground. However, the course has a mandatory textbook with about 40 pages of academic essays, which students are expected to read. Another mandatory text is a writing handbook that describes the essay writing process, explains how to do research, how to cite sources in APA style, how to edit and format essays to prepare them for submission, and so on. The readings are sequenced to support the writing skill that is being developed in each class: for example, if the writing is a reflective essay, the reading for that day provides a model of a reflective essay, and also tells the students how to brainstorm for their own essay, write a strong outline for it, and format it in APA style.
Dr. Sara Khan is in charge of teaching a section of this course. She is a seasoned instructor who has been teaching classes with multilingual students for over fifteen years. As she gives the second lecture of the term, and asks questions about the reading for that day (a short personal reflection essay), she realizes that more than half the class has not read the assigned reading. This slows down her lecture, since she has to explain or read out passages from the textbook that the students would be familiar with if they had done their reading. She is unable to complete the lesson she had planned for the class.
That evening, Dr. Khan reads the short written assignments that students submitted. She realizes that since many students did not read the model essay, they have done a very poor job on the assignment. For instance, they have not understood what was meant by “reflection.” Their vocabulary is limited, and there is no paragraphing. Some sections of the assignment, in the case of five students, sound very strange; Dr. Khan infers that these students have done their thinking in their native languages (Hindi, Mandarin, Korean, and Arabic) and have used electronic translation apps (like Google Translate) to fill in these sections. Three students have also committed serious plagiarism: instead of talking about their own experiences, they have described experiences they could not possibly have had. Dr. Khan feels upset as she realizes that if she were to give the students the marks they deserved, around 50% of the class would fail the assignment. Dr. Khan reflects that in recent years, students in general seem to be more distracted by electronic media. They are less willing to read the assigned texts. When she calls on them in class, they don’t seem to feel embarrassed by having to admit that they haven’t read the textbook. She finally asks the students individually why they read or didn’t read the textbook. They respond as follows:
“I find English too hard. The words are difficult to understand.”
“I enjoyed the readings about international students’ lives! The stories sound like mine.”
“I am stressed out because my parents say they cannot pay my second term fees.”
“I am on academic probation. I’m worried about my Business courses. The Writing course is not my priority.”
“I like to read the essay model that I have to imitate—it is better than essay instructions.”
“The textbook is so boring.”
“I don’t think I need to know how to write an essay.”
“I am interested in Social Work. I have to write a personal reflection for that class, so the reading was useful.”
“I am homesick and just want to talk to my family on Skype. I can’t concentrate.”
“Why should I read? I think the teacher’s job is to explain the textbook during class.”
“I want to read, but my friends keep visiting me, and I don’t have time.”
“I am addicted to video games. I play until 2 AM, and then I’m too sleepy to read.”
“I’m going to read the textbook just before the exam, like I always did in my home country.”
“In Delhi, I always did my reading with my friends. I have no friends here.”
The problem: What should Dr. Khan do, given that she really wants her students to succeed in the Writing course, and given the Canadian university’s norms for academic excellence?
There is no “correct answer” to this question. Your response can discuss measures to change student attitudes, or measures to change the course, or both.
Resource for theory: (you can read this article on OWL, in the TEXTBOOKS TAB, or simply use the summary below): The article is also attached below. Al-Hoorie, A. H. (2017). Sixty years of language motivation research: Looking back and looking forward. SAGE Open, 7(1), 1-11. doi:10.1177/2158244017701976.
Summary of the research in Al-Hoorie (2017), along with psychological theories of motivation:
Writing research shows that motivating students is key to getting uptake on academic tasks. In general, there are at least four different types of motivation:
Intrinsic motivation: when a person does something because they find it interesting and enjoyable for its own sake. Researchers Boo et al. (2015) found that a key motivator in learning a new language is the image of the ‘ideal speaker’ in the learner’s head—the person s/he wants to be.
Extrinsic motivation: when a person responds to an outside incentive like money or a bonus mark.
Integrative motivation: when a person seeks the reward of inclusion in a group or community if they do something. R.C. Gardner observed that learners found it easier to learn a new language when they liked the people who spoke it, and wanted to associate with them. Instrumental motivation: when a person does something in order to achieve a goal (graduation, a job, further study, etc.). Dornyei et al. have found that long-term goals are a key motivating factor for many language learners.
Gardner, R. C. (2010). Motivation and second language acquisition: The socio-educational
model. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Boo, Z., Dörnyei, Z., Ryan, S. (2015). L2 motivation research 2005–2014: Understanding a
Publication surge and a changing landscape. System, 55, 145-157.
Dörnyei, Z., Henry, A., Muir, C. (2016). Motivational currents in language learning:
Frameworks for focused interventions. New York, NY: Routledge.