Settling students into a community of practice

Vijay Kumar, Elke STRACKE

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The supervisor's role is to prompt the writer's development of writing skill. Literacy teaching is a time-consuming exercise, even more so when the quality of the student's written work is poor. Supervisors could encourage the formation of peer-led mentoring groups, preferably teaming up with other academic colleagues and merging groups of students. An additional benefit is that learning does not take place only within the supervisor-student interactions, but also with other members of the community of practice. This chapter presents five strategies that supervisors could consider when working with their students in a community of practice: develop writing and feedback as a thinking process; encourage 'noticing' and acquisition of lexical bundles and academic vocabulary; provide a range of feedback; consider the emotional aspects of feedback; and pre-empt possible misunderstanding and tensions. Depending on the university's support services, these strategies should ideally be implemented and practised with the support of academic skills advisors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping research writing
Subtitle of host publicationA handbook for supervisors and advisors
EditorsSusan Carter, Deborah Laurs
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781315541933
ISBN (Print)9781138688148 , 9781133688155
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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