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Role of Motivation in International ESL Graduate Students' Engagement with Writing at the University Writing Center

Title: The Role of Motivation in International ESL Graduate Students' Engagement with Writing at the University Writing Center.

Inaccessible until May 8, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

Name(s): Jones, Aimee Ninette, author
Yancey, Kathleen Blake, 1950-, professor directing dissertation
Latham, Don, 1959-, university representative
Graban, Tarez Samra, committee member
Neal, Michael R., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of English, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (177 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation investigates and conceptualizes the sources of motivation that inform international ESL graduate students’ tutoring sessions focused on academic writing. In doing so, the study draws on Bonny Norton’s investment theory of motivation as a framework, which offers a theory of motivation from a sociological perspective that accounts for the relationship between the language learner and the social world in which they operate, and the changing nature of motivation in the writing process. Examining international ESL graduate students’ sources of motivation through the framework of investment illuminates the dynamic and shifting nature of students’ sources of motivation over time between material resources such as error-free polished texts, and symbolic resources, such as writing fluency and academic writing expertise. The research questions focusing this study ask (1.) What are international ESL graduate students’ motivations for utilizing the Graduate Writing Center? (2.) What do international ESL graduate students expect to gain during sessions at the Graduate Writing Center? (3.) How satisfied are international ESL graduate students with the knowledge or understanding they gain from their experiences at the Graduate Writing Center? To answer the research questions focusing this study, I use a two-part methodology: a recorded observation of each participant’s tutoring session and a retrospective, post-tutoring session interview with each participant. First, through the observation, I documented aspects of the tutoring sessions that did not come across aurally but could be helpful for understanding the tutors response practices, the tutee’s reception of the tutor’s feedback, and the power dynamic between the tutor and participant. Second, through the interviews, I gathered background and demographic information on the participants, inquired into the participants’ sources of motivation and expectations for utilizing the writing center over time, and ascertained the participants’ satisfaction with their writing center experiences. After synthesizing and interpreting these two datasets, I constructed a case study of each participant’s motivations for utilizing the Graduate Writing Center at FSU. Through the case studies, the research resulted in the following four claims: (1.) The participants had dual motivations (both material and symbolic); (2) the participants’ sources of motivation for utilizing the GWC over time were dynamic; (3.) the participants’ sources of motivation for utilizing the GWC shifted back and forth in relation to and were constrained by their needs, abilities, identities, assignments, and the stage of their PhD programs; (4.) With the dynamic shifts in their motivations and expectations, the participants expected their tutors to take on correspondingly dynamic roles and adjust their practices to accommodate the participants’ shifting sources of motivation and expectations. The results from this research can be used towards developing and articulating a more linguistically relevant theory of tutoring and tutoring practices that is more responsive to the dynamic motivations international ESL graduate students bring to the university writing center.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Jones_fsu_0071E_14005 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: June 20, 2017.
Keywords: Composition, ESL, Graduate Students, International Students, Motivation, Writing Center
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Kathleen Blake Yancey, Professor Directing Dissertation; Don Latham, University Representative; Tarez Samra Graban, Committee Member; Michael Neal, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Rhetoric
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Jones, A. N. (2017). The Role of Motivation in International ESL Graduate Students' Engagement with Writing at the University Writing Center. Retrieved from