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Vol.5, Issue 2, 2019, pp.284-307 Full text

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Web of Science: 000512305100008

Christina A. DeCoursey

Affiliation: Silk Road International University, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

This study used qualitative analyses to explore novice ESL writers' concepts of writers, readers and texts. Metadiscourse studies tabulate frequencies of discourse markers in order to characterise the different ways novices and experts, native-speakers and non-native speakers, construct themselves as writers, engage with their readers, and guide readers through their text. But the picture created by these descriptive statistics lacks many content areas voiced by student writers, including their reliance on visual content, and their emotions. Student writers' experiences in a world saturated by visual media and marketing views are also factors shaping how they construct their identities as writers, the identities of their projected readers, and how they understand what they are doing when writing text. This study used content and transitivity analyses to assess how Arabic native-speaker novices understand themselves as writers, how they project their readers' identities, and how they try to engage them. Results show that visuals are indistinct from text, and verbs of seeing are used for reader understanding, in novice writers' sense of their texts, and how they understand engaging the reader. These novices have a demographically granular assessment of audiences, but aim to please readers with expected content rather than challenge them with academic content, and they downplay important elements of teacher talk, syllabus and second-language (L2) composition instruction, particularly data, research, structure and language.

Keywords: metadiscourse, systemic functional linguistics, content analysis, transitivity analysis, English for Academic Purposes, writer concepts, reader concepts

Article history:
Submitted: 2 November 2019;
Reviewed: 22 November 2019;
Accepted: 20 December 2019;
Published: 30 December 2019

Citation (APA):
DeCoursey, C. A. (2019). Metadiscourse, Writer Identity and Reader Construction among Novice Arabic-Speaking ESL Writers. English Studies at NBU, 5(1), 284-307.

Copyright © 2019 Christina A. DeCoursey

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