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Postgraduate students’ beliefs about and confidence for academic writing in the field of applied linguistics

Zotzmann, K; Sheldrake, R; (2021) Postgraduate students’ beliefs about and confidence for academic writing in the field of applied linguistics. Journal of Second Language Writing , 52 , Article 100810. 10.1016/j.jslw.2021.100810. Green open access

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Abstract

Motivational theories highlight the importance of students’ confidence, where lower confidence can be limiting, and also students’ beliefs about academic writing, which may reflect goals as well as practices to achieve them. Nevertheless, relatively few studies have considered these areas across students with English as a first language (L1 students) and students with first languages other than English (L2 students). In order to gain new insights, 122 students of applied linguistics were surveyed. L1 and L2 students reported similar BA grades, but L2 students reported lower average MA grades, lower confidence for their MA studies in general, lower confidence for academic writing in English, less positive beliefs about effort/ability concerning writing (lower agreement with statements such as ‘If I put in enough effort I can produce good academic writing’), and higher beliefs that writing involved transmission (higher agreement with statements such as ‘The key to successful writing is accurately reporting what authorities think’). Across all students, reported MA grades and confidence for academic writing in English positively correlated with beliefs about effort/ability in writing but negatively correlated with beliefs that writing involved transmission. These findings suggest areas for attention to help ensure that all students can maximise their potential.

Type: Article
Title: Postgraduate students’ beliefs about and confidence for academic writing in the field of applied linguistics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jslw.2021.100810
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2021.100810
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Self-confidence beliefs, Academic writing, Effort, Assessment genres, Applied linguistics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124795
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