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1. What characteristics do they have in common?

Many of those abstracts have a general introduction to the topics discussed. They have a
clear structure in which the aim of the study is mentioned first followed by the description
of the methodology (e.g. a case study), participants and finishing with the interpretation of
results as well as some important implications for future research. In most of those
abstracts a clear justification as to why the research has been done is provided (e.g. the
area that has not yet been thoroughly explored and requires more discussion). As regards
the linguistic aspects of the abstracts given, they also share some features. Typical
expressions related to academic writing are used frequently, such as those connected with
introducing the aim of the study (e.g. research examining, this study examines, the study
describes, the article describes) and some typical expressions related to describing the
study and interpreting its results (e.g. this study contributes, it analyzes, this study
revealed).

2. What are the differences?


Not all the abstracts follow the same pattern, namely some of them do not begin with an
introductory statement. Instead of that, they move directly to stating the aim of the study.
Abstract number 4 is slightly different from the remaining ones in that it is fairly short and
its results are not clearly stated (there are some differences found between participants,
but the author does not describe them thoroughly). The author provides only some general
information about the study, but does not discuss the methodology and stages in great
details as it is done in other abstracts.

3. What conclusion can you draw from this comparison?


Having analyzed the structure and language of the abstracts given, we can conclude that
they follow a fairly fixed pattern in which the aim of the study, details about the research
done, its participants are clearly stated and finally results or possible implications are
described. All abstracts are concise and capture the gist of the study mentioned. They are
informative enough so as to attract readers’ attention, but on the other hand, they do not
reveal too much about the research in order to intrigue and get people to read them fully.
There are some slight modifications in the way those abstract are structured, but they still
include the same points. The language used is also very specific. Many expressions
utilized in such pieces of writing that relate to the description of the study or results repeat
themselves (e.g. examine, analyse, describe, reveal).
4. What are the common characteristics of the titles of these articles?
The titles used in the articles given are concise, capturing the gist of the research
conducted. All of them state clearly what the aim of a given study is and provide some
information concerning the type of research used in each of them. They are very informative,
trying to squeeze as many necessary pieces of information into one sentence as possible to
give readers a general idea about the topics discussed. The titles provided follow a certain
pattern, namely they all state at the very beginning what the topic of the research is and then
explain more about the methods used and participants.
ABSTRACT 1
Applied Linguistics 26/2: 192–218 _ Oxford STEPHEN J. CALDAS Hofstra University,
University Press 2005 Hempstead
Exploring L2 Language Play as an Aid to SLL: A In the emerging tradition of language socialization
Case Study of Humour research, this study examines
in NS–NNS Interaction the changing bilingual self-perceptions of three
NANCY D. BELL Indiana University of Pennsylvania children, identical twin girls
In the past few years researchers have begun to and their older brother, from early adolescence
show an interest in humour through early adulthood.
and language play as it relates to second language The children were reared in a predominantly
learning (SLL). Tarone (2000) French-speaking home in south
has suggested that L2 language play may be Louisiana by French/English bilingual parents, but
facilitative of SLL, in particular by spent summers in Frenchspeaking
developing sociolinguistic competence, as learners Quebec. When the children were aged 12;10 and
experiment with L2 voices; 10;10 respectively,
and by destabilizing the interlanguage (IL) system, they completed two author-constructed instruments:
thus allowing growth to one which allowed selfreporting
continue. She recommends research examining the of various dimensions of their French-proficiency,
ways in which adult L2 and the other
speakers interacting outside the classroom play with designed to gauge their perceptions of their
language as a way of bilingualism and biculturalism.
learning more about this issue. Using case study At two subsequent intervals, approximately five
methodology to document the years and eight years later,
ways in which L2 verbal humour was negotiated respectively, the subjects completed the same two
and constructed by three instruments. The children’s
advanced non-native speakers (NNSs) of English as responses at Time1, Time2 and Time3 were
they interacted with native compared and analyzed to gauge
speakers (NSs) of English, this study contributes to how their perceptions of their proficiency in French
this knowledge base by had changed over the
showing patterns of interaction that arise during course of their adolescence. Both paired-sampled t-
humorous language play tests and correlations were
between NSs and NNSs and how these may benefit generated between and among the children at
second language acquisition Time1, Time2, and Time3.
(SLA). Results suggest that language play can be a The author’s ethnographic field notes, interviews
marker of proficiency, as with the children, and
more advanced participants used L2 linguistic a quantitative measure of French preference are
resources in more creative ways. used to help interpret the
Language play may also result in deeper processing results. In general, the children valued their
of lexical items, making bilingualism and biculturalism
them more memorable, thus it may be especially much more as older adolescents and young adults
helpful in the acquisition of than as younger adolescents.
vocabulary and semantic fields. This seems to be at least partly the result of the
Characteristics: a general; introduction into the greater exertion of peer pressure
topic, typical vocabulary: recommending, the results in early adolescence, which in the US venue in
suggest; the description of the method (case study particular did not place high
methodology),participants, the aim of the study, value on bilingualism. The children also exhibit
results of the study and its possible implications, greater bilingual self-confidence
justification and diminished self-consciousness as older
ABSTRACT 2 adolescents, as they moved toward
Applied Linguistics 29/2: 290–311 _ Oxford identity-achievement.
University Press 2007 Characteristics: the aim of the study clearly stated,
Changing Bilingual Self-Perceptions from Early typical vocabulary used: this study examines ,
Adolescence to Early Adulthood: participants, the detailed description of the study
Empirical Evidence from a Mixed-Methods Case (procedures and its stages), results and its
Study interpretation, justification
ABSTRACT 3 light on students' use of strategies as reflected in
System 27 (1999) 537±555 their diaries. Some interesting differences
An analysis of writing knowledge in EFL between successful and less successful students
composing: a case study of two effective and appear which, in their turn, open up questions
two about strategy training in general.
less effective writers Characteristics: introduction, the aim of the study,
M. Victori Universitat AutoÁnoma de Barcelona results are not clearly revealed, much shorter,
Abstract consice, the author des not dig too deep into the
The present study throws some light into an area issue, only provides some general information about
that has been relatively untouched: it the study, type of research (case study)
analyzes how differences in the beliefs or A justification for the study
metacognitive knowledge (MK) held about writing ABSTRACT 5
relates to differences in English as a Foreign System 26 (1998) 51±63
Language (EFL) writing skills. Data were col- Portrait of a future teacher: case study of
lected from four undergraduate university Spanish learning styles, strategies, and language
students, two good writers and two poor disabilities
writers, enrolled in EFL classes at the University of Christine Nam, Rebecca L. Oxford
Barcelona. They were first required to Abstract
take an English test and write an argumentative Many individuals persevere through their school and
essay to assess their language and writing university years with undiagnosed,
proficiency. Subsequently, they were interviewed language-related learning disabilities. This article
and required to think aloud as they wrote describes a future teacher who is partially
another argumentative essay. This study revealed a bilingual. Her problems with auditory memory and
number of areas in which the knowledge auditory processing speed were severe,
of the two pairs clearly differed. On the whole, these and as a result her performance in reading and
differences pointed to a more appro- writing suffered. Because of her concerns for
priate and comprehensive view of the writing people such as herself who must deal with
process, which they were able to apply more language-related learning disabilities, she is now
flexibly. In contrast, the less successful writers' MK becoming a teacher. This is a portrait of her
was limited and inadequate. Further- educational progress.
more, the case studies also revealed the clear Characteristics: introductory claim, stating the aim of
relationship that exists between the MK of the the study, vocabulary : he study describes,
writers and the strategies they deployed, participants, type of study (case study), the reason
underscoring the major role played by MK in pro- for the study (justification),
viding a rationale for the learners' approach to
writing and researchers with a more thorough
understanding of the learners' writing process.
Characteristics: introductory statement, vocabulary:
analyzing, stating the aim of the study, details about
the study (case study), participants, procedure,
results voc, it revealed, justification
ABSTRACT 4
System 28 (2000) 85±96
Finding out about students' learning strategies
by looking at their diaries: a case study
Ana Halbach Universidad de Alcala Madrid
Abstract
The concept of learning strategies has become
quite familiar to most professionals in
teaching English as a foreign language. However,
one of the main difficulties of working with
strategies is related to the lack of appropriate tools
to measure strategy use by language
students. In this study a checklist is presented and
tested to see whether it can help to shed some