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Intensive Essay Writing Course. While you’re waiting… In the session yesterday, we discussed three important features of a topic sentence. What were they?. Topic of the essay Controlling idea – i.e. what aspect of the topic will be developed in the paragraph

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slide1

Intensive Essay Writing Course

While you’re waiting…

In the session yesterday, we discussed three important features of a topic sentence. What were they?

  • Topic of the essay
  • Controlling idea – i.e. what aspect of the topic will be developed in the paragraph
  • Position – agreement / disagreement
slide2

Syllabus

  • Session 1: The Big Picture
  • Contrasting IELTS and EAP
  • Essay Structure
  • Writing Introductions
  • The importance of signposting
  • Session 2: Using Sources
  • Plagiarism and Citation
  • Using sources to give your answer to the question
  • Paragraph structure
  • Session 3:
  • What makes a good topic sentence?
  • Developing your ideas sufficiently
  • Organising and linking ideas at a paragraph level
  • Session 4:
  • Being cautious about your argument
  • Writing conclusions
slide3
While it cannot be denied that, at the outset of their learning, acquiring NS pronunciation may seem a desirable goal to many L2 students of English, this essay will demonstrate that it is not ultimately a viable aim. In order to demonstrate this, this essay will outline and contradict two of the main motives for L2 learners aiming to acquire NS pronunciation, namely the desire to compensate for self-consciousness concerning their own non-native pronunciation and the need for social integration. It will then illustrate why the goal of NS pronunciation remains unrealistic and inappropriate despite this motivation. Following this, a more realistic language learning aim for L2 students will be provided.

What is the function of this section in the essay?

It introduces the writer’s answer to the question and states how this will be supported.

slide4
While it cannot be denied that, at the outset of their learning, acquiring NS pronunciation may seem a desirable goal to many L2 students of English, this essay will demonstrate that it is not ultimately a viable aim. In order to demonstrate this, this essay will outline and contradict two of the main motives for L2 learners aiming to acquire NS pronunciation, namely the desire to compensate for self-consciousness concerning their own non-native pronunciation and the need for social integration. It will then illustrate why the goal of NS pronunciation remains unrealistic and inappropriate despite this motivation. Following this, a more realistic language learning aim for L2 students will be provided.

How certain is the writer about their answer? Is this a good idea? Why (not)?

don t be too sure
Don’t be too sure!

While it cannot be denied that, at the outset of their learning, acquiring NS pronunciation may seem a desirable goal to many L2 students of English, this essay will (1) demonstrate that it is not ultimately a viable aim. In order to demonstrate this, this essay will outline and (2) contradict two of the main motives for L2 learners aiming to acquire NS pronunciation, namely the desire to compensate for self-consciousness concerning their own non-native pronunciation and the need for social integration. It will then illustrate why the goal of NS pronunciation remains unrealistic and inappropriate despite this motivation. Following this, a more realistic language learning aim for L2 students will be (3) provided.

How certain is the writer about their answer? Is this a good idea? Why (not)?

Absolutely certain

This is not a good idea

Protect yourself - you probably have not considered everything.

don t be too sure1
Don’t be too sure!

While it cannot be denied that, at the outset of their learning, acquiring NS pronunciation may seem a desirable goal to many L2 students of English, this essay will (1) demonstrate that it is not ultimately a viable aim. In order to demonstrate this, this essay will outline and (2) contradict two of the main motives for L2 learners aiming to acquire NS pronunciation, namely the desire to compensate for self-consciousness concerning their own non-native pronunciation and the need for social integration. It will then illustrate why the goal of NS pronunciation remains unrealistic and inappropriate despite this motivation. Following this, a more realistic language learning aim for L2 students will be (3) provided.

Which alternatives below would be more appropriate?

1 a) attempt to demonstrate b) prove c) argue

2 a) challenge b) oppose c) disprove

3 a) suggested b) proposed c) given

don t be too sure2
Don’t be too sure!

While it cannot be denied that, at the outset of their learning, acquiring NS pronunciation may seem a desirable goal to many L2 students of English, this essay will (1) demonstrate that it is not ultimately a viable aim. In order to demonstrate this, this essay will outline and (2) contradict two of the main motives for L2 learners aiming to acquire NS pronunciation, namely the desire to compensate for self-consciousness concerning their own non-native pronunciation and the need for social integration. It will then illustrate why the goal of NS pronunciation remains unrealistic and inappropriate despite this motivation. Following this, a more realistic language learning aim for L2 students will be (3) provided.

Certain verbs express greater degrees of certainty than others.

Which alternatives below would be more appropriate?

1 a) attempt to demonstrateb) prove c) argue

2 a) challengedb) opposed c) disproven

3 a) suggested b) proposed c) given

don t be too sure3
Don’t be too sure!

A second misconception which results in many L2 learners mistakenly aiming for NS pronunciation is the belief that it will lead to more rapid social integration. Many students consider that having dedicated time to acquiring ‘correct’ pronunciation demonstrates an increased desire and willingness to adapt to and become part of a community. Achieving NS pronunciation is also thought to aid social integration by enhancing comprehensibility due to increased fluency and accuracy. Jenkins (2000) claims that “…there is an increased likelihood of migrants making lasting friendships when a grasp of the language has reached NS level,” Smith (2005) also suggests that without NS ability, certain social barriers will remain closed. However, there is an increasing amount of data to suggest that these claims are probably ill-founded.

What is the function of this section in the essay?

It introduces a mistaken belief about aiming for NS pronunciation.

don t be too sure4
Don’t be too sure!

A second misconception which results in many L2 learners mistakenly aiming for NS pronunciation is the belief that it will lead to more rapid social integration. Many students consider that having dedicated time to acquiring ‘correct’ pronunciation demonstrates an increased desire and willingness to adapt to and become part of a community. Achieving NS pronunciation is also thought to aid social integration by enhancing comprehensibility due to increased fluency and accuracy. Jenkins (2000) claims that “…there is an increased likelihood of migrants making lasting friendships when a grasp of the language has reached NS level,” Smith (2005) also suggests that without NS ability, certain social barriers will remain closed. However, there is an increasing amount of data to suggest that these claims are probably ill-founded.

What is the function of the underlined sentence?

It introduces a weakness in this belief.

don t be too sure5
Don’t be too sure!

A second misconception which results in many L2 learners mistakenly aiming for NS pronunciation is the belief that it will lead to more rapid social integration. Many students consider that having dedicated time to acquiring ‘correct’ pronunciation demonstrates an increased desire and willingness to adapt to and become part of a community. Achieving NS pronunciation is also thought to aid social integration by enhancing comprehensibility due to increased fluency and accuracy. Jenkins (2000) claims that “…there is an increased likelihood of migrants making lasting friendships when a grasp of the language has reached NS level,” Smith (2005) also suggests that without NS ability, certain social barriers will remain closed. However, there is an increasing amount of data to suggest that these claims are probably ill-founded.

What is the function of the underlined sentence?

It introduces a weakness in this belief.

How certain is the writer’s disagreement with Jenkins (2000) and Smith (2005)?

don t be too sure6
Don’t be too sure!

A second misconception which results in many L2 learners mistakenly aiming for NS pronunciation is the belief that it will lead to more rapid social integration. Many students consider that having dedicated time to acquiring ‘correct’ pronunciation demonstrates an increased desire and willingness to adapt to and become part of a community. Achieving NS pronunciation is also thought to aid social integration by enhancing comprehensibility due to increased fluency and accuracy. Jenkins (2000) claims that “…there is an increased likelihood of migrants making lasting friendships when a grasp of the language has reached NS level,” Smith (2005) also suggests that without NS ability, certain social barriers will remain closed. However, there is an increasing amount of data to suggest that these claims are probably ill-founded.

What is the function of the underlined sentence?

Adverbs can be used to express probability

It introduces a weakness in this belief.

How certain is the writer’s disagreement with Jenkins (2000) and Smith (2005)?

Suitably cautious

don t be too sure7
Don’t be too sure!

Replacing NS-pronunciation, more achievable targets in speaking must be devised for the L2 learner, by the L2 learner. These goals must be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. They could involve intelligibility (Lightbown & Spada, 2006), fluency (Davies, 1996) or using appropriate intonation (Spolsky, 1989; Ellis, 2003), but ultimately, the aims must be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. This requires clarity of vision and strength of motivation from the student, necessitating an autonomous, self-directed purpose in which he or she takes on responsibility for his or her own learning (Cook, 2008). That is to say, learners must choose goals which are based around their own specific needs.

What is the function of this section in the essay?

The writer is recommending / suggesting an alternative goal.

How assertively (?) is the writer making these recommendations?

don t be too sure8
Don’t be too sure!

Replacing NS-pronunciation, more achievable targets in speaking must be devised for the L2 learner, by the L2 learner. These goals must be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. They could involve intelligibility (Lightbown & Spada, 2006), fluency (Davies, 1996) or using appropriate intonation (Spolsky, 1989; Ellis, 2003), but ultimately, the aims must be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. This requires clarity of vision and strength of motivation from the student, necessitating an autonomous, self-directed purpose in which he or she takes on responsibility for his or her own learning (Cook, 2008). That is to say, learners must choose goals which are based around their own specific needs.

What is the function of this section in the essay?

The writer is recommending / suggesting an alternative goal.

How assertively (?) is the writer making these recommendations?

Over-assertively (?) – what if the recommendations are not successful?

modal verbs to e xpress certainty
Modal Verbs to Express Certainty

With a plurality of NSs, it seems clear that a more appropriate goal must be devised for the L2 learner, by the L2 learner.

How could the writer be more cautious with their statement?

  • will
  • must
  • should be devised
  • may / might
  • could

Degree of

Certainty

Modal verbs

slide15

Why is ‘could’ used instead of ‘should’?

Replacing NS-pronunciation, more achievable targets in speaking should be devised for the L2 learner, by the L2 learner. These goals should be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. They could involve intelligibility (Lightbown & Spada, 2006), fluency (Davies, 1996) or using appropriate intonation (Spolsky, 1989; Ellis, 2003), but ultimately, the aims should be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. This requires clarity of vision and strength of motivation from the student, necessitating an autonomous, self-directed purpose in which he or she takes on responsibility for his or her own learning (Cook, 2008). That is to say, learners should choose goals which are based around their own specific needs.

slide16

The writer is not communicating a particular preference. They are simply outlining possibilities.

Why is ‘could’ used instead of ‘should’?

Replacing NS-pronunciation, more achievable targets in speaking should be devised for the L2 learner, by the L2 learner. These goals should be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. They could involve intelligibility (Lightbown & Spada, 2006), fluency (Davies, 1996) or using appropriate intonation (Spolsky, 1989; Ellis, 2003), but ultimately, the aims should be specific to the requirements that each individual learner has in terms of their usage of the English language. This requires clarity of vision and strength of motivation from the student, necessitating an autonomous, self-directed purpose in which he or she takes on responsibility for his or her own learning (Cook, 2008). That is to say, learners should choose goals which are based around their own specific needs.

slide17

Being Overcautious

In conclusion, this essay (has / might have) attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, this may be / is due to the apparent impossibility of dictating a single standard of NS pronunciation which is not limited in regional and cultural terms. In addition, a range of factors besides conforming to a narrow linguistic standard (may have / have) been identified as necessary for L2 learners to become integrated into native speaker communities. It (is / maytherefore be)more appropriate for L2 learners to determine their own language learning aims, taking objectives such as intelligibility and communicative competence into account far more than the artificial construct of NS English. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it is likely that language teachers (may / will) focus more in future on helping learners to identify these individually-tailored needs rather than attempting to adopt an unrealistic goal of NS pronunciation.

What is the function of this section in the essay?

It is concluding the essay.

Which phrases express the necessary degree of certainty?

slide18

Being Overcautious

Caution is already expressed by ‘attempted’

In conclusion, this essay (has / might have) attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, this may be / is due to the apparent impossibility of dictating a single standard of NS pronunciation which is not limited in regional and cultural terms. In addition, a range of factors besides conforming to a narrow linguistic standard (may have / have) been identified as necessary for L2 learners to become integrated into native speaker communities. It (is / maytherefore be)more appropriate for L2 learners to determine their own language learning aims, taking objectives such as intelligibility and communicative competence into account far more than the artificial construct of NS English. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it is likely that language teachers (may / will) focus more in future on helping learners to identify these individually-tailored needs rather than adopting a false NS standard as their goal.

Caution is not necessary. This is reporting a finding, not an interpretation

Caution is necessary This is an interpretation rather than finding,

Caution is already expressed by ‘it is likely that…’

slide20

The Structure of the Conclusion

Restate your answer to the question

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, this is due to the apparent impossibility of dictating a single standard of NS pronunciation which is not limited in regional and cultural terms. In addition, a range of factors besides conforming to a narrow linguistic standard have been identified as necessary for L2 learners to become integrated into native speaker communities. It may therefore be more appropriate for L2 learners to determine their own language learning aims, taking objectives such as intelligibility, communicative competence into account far more than the artificial construct of NS English. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it is likely that language teachers will focus more in future on helping learners to identify these individually-tailored needs rather than adopting a false NS standard as their goal.

Bring together the main points from the main body to briefly explain your answer to the question.

‘Open-up’ the essay:

Making a prediction

Making a recommendation

Asking a question

slide21

The Structure of the Conclusion

Restate your answer to the question

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, this is due to the apparent impossibility of dictating a single standard of NS pronunciation which is not limited in regional and cultural terms. In addition, a range of factors besides conforming to a narrow linguistic standard have been identified as necessary for L2 learners to become integrated into native speaker communities. It may therefore be more appropriate for L2 learners to determine their own language learning aims, taking objectives such as intelligibility, communicative competence into account far more than the artificial construct of NS English. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it is likely that language teachers will focus more in future on helping learners to identify these individually-tailored needs rather than adopting a false NS standard as their goal.

Bring together the main points from the main body to briefly explain your answer to the question.

‘Open-up’ the essay:

Making a prediction

Making a recommendation

Asking a question

slide22

The Structure of the Conclusion

Restate your answer to the question

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, this is due to the apparent impossibility of dictating a single standard of NS pronunciation which is not limited in regional and cultural terms. In addition, a range of factors besides conforming to a narrow linguistic standard have been identified as necessary for L2 learners to become integrated into native speaker communities. It may therefore be more appropriate for L2 learners to determine their own language learning aims, taking objectives such as intelligibility, communicative competence into account far more than the artificial construct of NS English. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it is likely that language teachers will focus more in future on helping learners to identify these individually-tailored needs rather than adopting a false NS standard as their goal.

Bring together the main points from the main body to briefly explain your answer to the question.

‘Open-up’ the essay:

Making a prediction

Making a recommendation

Asking a question

slide23

The Structure of the Conclusion

What problem exists in the section of the conclusion in red?

  • Too little detail.
  • The points are not brought together and related to the writer’s answer to the question

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, the two of the important motives for aiming for NS pronunciation were introduced and opposed. The first of these motives concerns the person nature of speaking. The second was the belief that social integration was aided by NS pronunciation. Following this, a more useful aim for L2 learners was suggested. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it seems clear that increased awareness of the feasibility and value of aiming for NS pronunciation is necessary amongst L2 learners and their teachers.

Restate your answer to the question

Bring together the main points from the main body to briefly explain your answer to the question.

‘Open-up’ the essay:

Making a prediction

Making a recommendation

Asking a question

slide24

The Structure of the Conclusion

How is the conclusion opened-up in this version of the conclusion?

  • By making a recommendation

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, the two of the important motives for aiming for NS pronunciation were introduced and opposed. The first of these motives concerns the person nature of speaking. The second was the belief that social integration was aided by NS pronunciation. Following this, a more useful aim for L2 learners was suggested. With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it seems clear that increased awareness of the feasibility and value of aiming for NS pronunciation is necessary amongst L2 learners and their teachers.

Restate your answer to the question

Bring together the main points from the main body to briefly explain your answer to the question.

‘Open-up’ the essay:

Making a prediction

Making a recommendation

Asking a question

slide25

The Structure of the Conclusion

What problem exists in the section of the conclusion in red?

  • Too much detail. The main points are repeated rather than brought together.

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, many L2 learners place en excessive amount of importance of NS pronunciation in an attempt to counter-act their self-consciousness about sounding foreign. This self-consciousness is likely to stem from the person nature of speaking which results from the close link between identity and mother-tongue. However, achieving NS pronunciation is not, in fact, possible due to the huge variation in the way the English language is spoken. These variations have been observed to occur across difference ages, regions and levels of education. In other words, there is no single ‘model’ for the L2 leaner to aim to produce….

With increasing levels of migration and growing interest in the study of regional English, it seems clear that increased awareness of the feasibility and value of aiming for NS pronunciation is necessary amongst L2 learners and their teachers.

slide26

The Structure of the Conclusion

How is the conclusion opened-up in this version of the conclusion?

  • By asking a question.

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to demonstrate that NS ability is not a suitable aim for L2 learners. Firstly, many L2 learners place en excessive amount of importance of NS pronunciation in an attempt to counter-act their self-consciousness about sounding foreign. This self-consciousness is likely to stem from the person nature of speaking which results from the close link between identity and mother-tongue. However, achieving NS pronunciation is not, in fact, possible due to the huge variation in the way the English language is spoken. These variations have been observed to occur across difference ages, regions and levels of education. In other words, there is no single ‘model’ for the L2 leaner to aim to produce….

With increasing levels of migration leading to increased diversity in the ways in which English is spoken, it is interesting to consider whether L2 leaners will naturally reduce their perception of the importance using NS pronunciation.

slide27
Don’t be too sure – what if you haven’t thought of everything?

Bring your ideas together in the conclusion rather than simply repeating them

Leave your readers with something to think about.

  • Summary
slide28
For a more “hands-on” practice with the concepts presented in the session:

Register for one of the Writing Courses

Come along to the Writing Workshops

Book a 1-1 tutorial

For further information, see LINK

  • To Find out more…