Emmanuela Vardis Seiradakis, Ioannis Spantidakis

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Recent research findings suggest that reading research articles (RAs) enhances undergraduate engineering students’ technical knowledge and fosters their lifelong learning skills. Nevertheless, the RA genre inherently displays challenging features for novice readers, especially EFL readers. Previous works on developing materials for teaching the reading of RAs to undergraduate students are limited and mostly report on the effectiveness of interventions rather than on course design and materials development. This paper presents the design and development of online materials for a Moodle-based, English for Specific Academic Purposes course that aimed to help Greek undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students to learn how to read RAs within their field. The materials design was based on the theories of genre analysis, metacognition and cognitive apprenticeship. Initially, a small RA corpus consisting of thirty RAs from high-ranking ECE journals and conferences from IEEE, ACM, Elsevier and Springer was created in cooperation with the ECE faculty. Subsequently, a move analysis was performed based on a simplified coding scheme of rhetorical moves in the target genre adjusted to the needs of novice Greek EFL readers. The results from our corpus analysis were used as the foundation of the genre-based materials that aimed at fostering learners’ declarative, procedural and conditional genre knowledge and included various examples of move structures and patterns, terminology, grammar as well as weekly genre analysis reflective tasks. We then created materials that intended to provide further support so that students could convert their newly acquired genre knowledge into procedural knowledge and explicitly taught top-down RA expeditious reading strategies and conditional knowledge by including metacognitive strategy training that intended to raise their awareness of when and why they should use the taught strategies. In an attempt to further tailor the materials to the needs of our students we included audiovisual enhancements in both L1 and L2 for presentation and feedback purposes, metacognitive prompts, online dictionaries and concordancers.


online materials, research article genre, metacognition, reading, undergraduates, engineering

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