Improving second language writing across the disciplines: resources for content teachers.

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Teaching and learningpeer-review


This paper summarizes the steps taken in a Hong Kong higher education institution to develop a teaching and learning project to improve academic writing in English across all disciplines. The project identified the specific writing issues encountered by teachers and students at this institution, where English is the mode of instruction, through interviews and workshops. Based on these, key features of academic writing that could be easily transferred to content teachers were developed as a series of writing instruction modules, following an adapted version of the teaching and learning cycle (Callaghan & Rothery 1988). The modules were trialled with two consecutive cohorts of the same subject but with different degrees of student interaction. Students’ levels of confidence in their writing abilities were measured before and after the writing instruction. Qualitative analysis of the students’ writing indicated that some of the key language features taught had been implemented in their texts while a quantitative analysis of the survey results indicated that better content-integrated writing instruction resulted in larger increases in confidence levels. The materials were revised after a final round of workshops with teachers and were presented as videos to be used by staff to instruct their students or by students studying independently.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Language and Content in Multicultural and Multilingual Classrooms. CLIL and EMI Approaches
EditorsMaria Luisa Carrió Pastor , Begoña Bellés-Fortuño
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillian
Number of pages222
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-56615-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-56614-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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