Written arguments and collaborative speech acts in practising the argumentative power of language through chat debates
Computers and Composition Volume 24, Number 3 ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This study deals with the quality of argumentation and collaboration in students’ chat debates. The argumentative interaction between students is analysed by categorising their speech turns into seven functional categories. The argumentative task-related parts of the students’ discussions are further analysed into collaborative and non-collaborative speech acts. Argumentation patterns are revealed when the results of both analyses are combined with observations on the students’ writing styles. Students (n=24) participated in 12 dyadic debates concerning either nuclear power (NP) or genetically modified organisms (GMO). We found that the majority (67.2%) of the speech turns in NP debates and almost half (47.8%) of the speech turns in GMO debates belong to the argumentative categories (explore and deepen; arguments; opinions). Furthermore, there are four types of debates that could be placed in the continuum of sophisticated argumentative debates (written code of language was used)—oral-like debates (the quality of argumentation was quite low). Irrespective of the level of argumentation, all the debates were collaborative. The study shows that students acquired the skill to use language collaboratively. Most students embedded short collaborative semi-oral utterances in their written arguments to provoke and scaffold the debate.
Laurinen, L.I. & Marttunen, M.J. Written arguments and collaborative speech acts in practising the argumentative power of language through chat debates. Computers and Composition, 24(3), 230-246. Elsevier Ltd.
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English Teaching: Practice and Critique Vol. 10, No. 3 (September 2011) pp. 60–71
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