Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July 9 Workshop - The effect of affect in collaborative writing communities

The Effect of Affect in Collaborative Writing Communities

3-5 pm Saturday July 9, 2011

Room 105 Injaeguan Center, Sookmyung Women's University

Much of the English courses in Korean universities have moved toward a task-based curriculum requiring students to produce both written and spoken output. These could be essays, discussions, and/or presentations carried out in small groups. Coming from a high school experience that rarely allows for such collaboration, many students struggle with this approach that is both new and foreign to them. Meanwhile, current middle and high school students face a battery of new annual exams, including English, which require written answers. Also, some students have the opportunity to write newspaper articles and book reports with the result being stronger individual writing skills. With the stronger emphasis in writing for younger students comes growing opportunities to introduce collaborative writing tasks.

 Krashen’s affective filter hypothesis is generally associated with spoken discourse; in which emotions act as a filter between speaker and listener. It is my contention that these same filters also inhibit the writer, especially those who have very little experience writing and have strong feelings of embarrassment about making mistakes in front of their peers. The same anxieties that second-language learners feel when speaking are felt when writing as part of a collaborative writing project. These anxieties may lead to problems of content and accuracy, but more specifically to problems in fluency.

This presentation will be in two parts. First, I’ll present findings of a small research project and look at what the students themselves say compares to what the experts tell us.  In the second half, we will look at the implications for your teaching. This workshop portion will help give you the tools to create collaborative communities within the classroom that lead to low-anxiety groups producing high-quality output. Such communities give students positive experiences with writing and act to increase motivation.  The study was conducted using university age students, although the suggestions for introducing collaborative writing are applicable to middle and high school age students.  

Joe Walther began his teaching career in Oregon high schools before moving to Korea in 2001. He earned an MA in teaching from Lewis and Clark College in 1996, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Exeter in the UK. From 2005 to early 2011, he was the curriculum coordinator for the General English Program at Sookmyung Women’s University. Currently he is teaching in Sookmyung’s English Language and Literature department.


Directions to Sookmyung Women's University (Injaeguan) 

Go out Exit 10 of Sookmyung Women’s University Subway Station line No. 4. Walk through the tunnel under the railway line, cross the main road, and walk up the hill towards the university.  Keep going up the hill until you come to a set of traffic lights. There is a bakery on the corner, BBang Goom Teo, and a café, Can More, across the street. Turn right into the lane, Saem-gil, and walk uphill until you reach the Sookmyung Professional Center (Injaeguan). It’s a new grey brick building on the right, across the lane from a Buy the Way convenience store. It's on the first floor room # 105. 

Note: The Sookmyung Professional Center is not on the main campus. If you reach the main campus, you have gone too far up the hill. If you cannot find the building, phone one of these numbers for directions.

010-6745-0717 (Don), 010 5584 5332 (Bruce)

Building address 

Korean. For presenters and others arriving by car/taxi and using navigation. 
 서울시 용산구 청파동 2 9-22번지 인재관 

English. For those rugged adventurers who don’t like reading the directions above. 
Sookmyung Professional Center 102,
9-22 Chungpa-dong 2-ga,
Seoul Korea

Links to maps of the area 

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