Mail received from Alan Jones on oct 7 2010
I will have to integrate this when I have time Daniel K. Schneider 19:29, 7 October 2010 (CEST)
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I would just like to draw your attention to some work at Macquarie University where I was funded to carry out research from 2002-2004 resulting in a broad new initiative in task design (or linguistically scaffolded curriculum, as I call it) for first year accounting students, a cohort here with very weak English language skills. We designed tasks to develop language skills in tandem with content knowledge (or conceptual understanding) - the underlying and tacit rationale was writing to learn, as I had been strongly influenced at the time by Bereiter & Scardamalia 1987 as well as Galbraith 1998, 1999.
We had great results in undergrad accounting, i.e significant improvements were recorded with regard both to writing skills and content knowledge - all of which are systematically evaluated in a published article in a highly regarded professional accounting journal:
Sin, S., Jones, A. and Petocz, P. (2007). Evaluating a method of integrating generic skills with accounting content based on a functional theory of meaning. Accounting and Finance, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 143-163.
The types of tasks are illustrated in:
Jones, A., and S. Sin. 2003. Generic Skills for Accounting: Competencies for Students and Graduates. Sydney: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.
This work is often referred to in the literature on generic skills and graduate attributes, and a second edition is in the works ("Being an Accountant").
Other relevant publications:
Jones, A., and S. McCracken (in press). Crossing the boundary between finance and law: The collaborative problematisation of professional learning in a postgraduate classroom. In C. Candlin and S. Sarangi (eds), Handbook of Communication in Organisations and Professions. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Jones, A. (2010). Why are logical connectives sometimes detrimental to coherence? In A. Mahboob & N.K. Knight (Eds.), Appliable Linguistics: texts, contexts and meanings. London: Continuum.
Jones, A. and S. McCracken. (2007). Teaching the discourse of legal risk to finance professionals: Foundations for a linguistically scaffolded curriculum. In Robert Wilkinson and Vera Zegers (eds.). Researching Content and Language Integration in Higher Education. Nijmegen, Maastricht: Valkhof Pers & Maastricht University. Pp. 122-136.
Jones, A. 2005. Conceptual Development in Technical and Textbook Writing: A Challenge for L1 and L2 Student Readers. Proceedings of the International Professional Communication Conference, Limerick, July 2005. CD-ROM. Available from IEEE Professional Communication Society (IEEE Catalog Number: 05CH37660C)
Jones, A., and S. Sin. 2004 The integration of language and content: Action research based on a theory of task design. Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 1 No. 1, 95-100.
Jones, A., and Sin, S. 2004. Integrating language with content in first year accounting. In R. Wilkinson (ed.) Integrating Content and Language: meeting the challenge of a multilingual higher education 478-492. Maastricht: Maastricht University Press.
Jones, A., and T. Freeman. 2003 Imitation, copying and the use of models: Report writing in an introductory physics course. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Vol. 46, No. 3, 168-184. Special Issue: Developing Language Support for Non-Native Speakers of English in Science and Engineering (guest editor Thomas Orr).
You might like to include a reference to some of these on your edu-wiki, especially (if I may) Sin et al 2007.
Best regards, Alan
-- Dr Alan Jones Convenor, Programs in Communication in Professions and Organisations, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University.