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SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY AND THE TEACHING OF PROCESS WRITING: THE SCAFFOLDING OF LEARNING IN A UNIVERSITY CONTEXT

SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY AND THE TEACHING OF PROCESS WRITING: THE SCAFFOLDING OF LEARNING IN A UNIVERSITY CONTEXT,Roger Barnard,Lucy Campbell

SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY AND THE TEACHING OF PROCESS WRITING: THE SCAFFOLDING OF LEARNING IN A UNIVERSITY CONTEXT  
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This paper considers how independent and interdependent learning can be fostered through a process approach to the teaching of writing. It does so by presenting the theoretical rational which underlies a university academic skills programme. Drawing on reports of this programme which have been published elsewhere (e.g., Brine & Campbell, 2002), it is a case study illustrating how scaffolding can be effected by teachers and students. The paper begins by briefly reviewing three central concepts of sociocultural theory: the zone of proximal development, scaffolding, and appropriation. Attention is then turned to a consideration of writing as a collaborative process rather than as a product of solitary endeavour. Details are provided about a university course which applies sociocultural concepts to the adoption of a process approach to EAP writing. Attention is then given to the ways by which six principles of scaffolding (Van Lier, 1996) are applied throughout the course. Firstly, various forms of tutor scaffolding are outlined, and then a short sample of transcript data illustrates how students on this course can work collaboratively to co-construct texts and scaffold each other's learning. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the broader pedagogical implications of sociocultural theory to the teaching of writing.
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