January 9, 2012

Call for Participants

Welcome back to a new school year, everyone! I am posting a call for participants from a fellow linguistics undergraduate. I believe you can email her for a copy of the survey file.


I am an undergraduate student here at UVic and I’m carrying out a study to see how speakers of English as a first language and speakers of English as an additional language differ in how they write their emails in order to inform the creation of academic email writing workshops.  If you want to help me out, all you have to do is:

1.      Read the letter of information below.
2.      Fill out the attached survey and send it back to me (bkoneill@uvic.ca)
3.      Submit 2-3 emails that you have sent to an instructor within the past year to me! (bkoneill@uvic.ca) Please ensure that all submitted emails are only your own messages and do not have copies of instructors’ responses attached.

Please do not respond to this post here, just send your responses directly to me.

Your help is greatly appreciated!
Brittney O'Neill

Participant Consent Form  
Emailing in Style : A genre analysis of email communication of English as a first and additional language students. 
You are invited to participate in a study entitled Emailing in Style that is being conducted by Brittney O’Neill. 
Brittney O'Neill is an undergraduate student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Victoria and a recipient of this year’s Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award. You may contact her if you have further questions at bkoneill@uvic.ca. 
This research is being conducted as a part of the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award. It is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Li-Shih Huang. You may contact the supervisor at lshuang@uvic.ca or 250-885-0359 
Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of this research project is to investigate the way in which speakers of English as a first language (EL1) and English as an additional language communicate with their instructors through email. 
Research of this type is important because it will inform administration as to the potential value of academic email workshops, as well as enabling institutions and individuals to better understand the use of stylistic conventions in a developing communication medium. 
Participants Selection
You are being asked to participate in this study because, as a student of the University of Victoria, you are likely to engage in email communications with an instructor. 
What is involved
If you agree to voluntarily participate in this research, your participation will include the completion of the attached demographics survey as well as submitting 2-3 emails that you have sent to an instructor within the last year that you are willing to share, via email. Please ensure that all submitted emails are only your own messages and do not have copies of instructors’ responses attached. 
Inconvenience & Risks
Participation in this study may cause some inconvenience to you, including ten minutes of time spent filling out the demographic survey. You are not required to supply any other materials that you would not normally have produced, and it is up to your discretion what you choose to submit to the researcher. 
To prevent privacy risk, all data will be stored on a password protected computer and all identifying features (names, contact information, etc.) will be removed prior to analysis. 
The potential benefits of your participation in this research include contributing to increased understanding of communication conventions used in the developing communicative medium of email, as well as helping to inform the creation of academic email writing workshops/seminars/classes. 
Voluntary Participation
Your participation in this research must be completely voluntary. If you do decide to participate, you may withdraw at any time without any consequences or any explanation. If you do withdraw from the study, your data will be removed from the study and erased. 
In terms of protecting your anonymity, all identifying features of emails will be removed prior to analysis and only the principal researcher and your instructor will see the materials in their original form. 
Your confidentiality and the confidentiality of the data will be protected by coding to remove all personal or identifying features from emails, as well as storage on a password protected computer. No identifying information will be given during the dissemination of results. 
Dissemination of Results
It is anticipated that the results of this study will be shared with others through a published article as well as various presentations at scholarly meetings including the JCURA Research Fair 2012. 
Disposal of Data
Data from this study will be disposed of upon completion of the study by erasing all stored digital files after three years. 
Individuals that may be contacted regarding this study include Brittney O'Neill and Dr. Li-Shih Huang (see above for contact information). In addition, you may verify the ethical approval of this study, or raise any concerns you might have, by contacting the Human Research Ethics Office at the University of Victoria (250-472-4545 or ethics@uvic.ca). 
Your submission of the attached demographics survey and any following emails indicates that you understand the above conditions of participation in this study, that you have had the opportunity to have your questions answered by the researchers, and that you agree to participate in this research project.

Demographic Information 
(Please highlight /fill in the blanks) 
1. Gender: M  F  Other
2. Age:  
3. Student Status: Undergraduate  Graduate (Masters / Doctorate)
4. Degree Program: 
 5. Major
6. Year: 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th 
7. What Languages do you speak?: 
8. Which is your first language(s)?: 
9. How long have you been in Canada?: 
10.Have you ever taken any of the following standardized tests?: 
IELTS TOEFL OTHER (please specify)
a. If yes, please provide most recent score and the year you took the test. 
i. Year: 
ii. Score: 

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