Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

First-year students' conflicts during their construction of an academic identity in English as a foreign language : implementing cultural-historical activity theory

Angels Oliva-Girbau


This paper constructs a theoretical framework that views academic writing from a context-based perspective. The shift from text to context results from implementating the concept of activity system into the academic community, envisioning academia as the sum of the interactions among its components (users, tools, goals and results), which was applied into an instrumental English course for first-year students through reflective activities that promoted awareness and discussion of the components of the academic community during students' inititiation. We analyse the results of the first one of these activities, a questionnaire students answered as part of the classwork. Their replies to this questionnaire show lack of awareness of the components of the academic activity system, one of the sources of the conflicts they experience during their initiation into the academy. Finally, we suggest a new approach to writing instruction that involves the convergence of research and instruction.

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Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature (BJTLLL)

ISSN 2013-6196
Legal Deposit Number (Spain) B. 23873-2013
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