A Phenomenographic Exploration of Female Arab Second Language Writers’ Experiences with Information in an EAP Writing Course

Source of Publication

Journal of College Reading and Learning


©, Copyright © College Reading and Learning Association. Information literacy is a context-driven social practice that refers to the ways individuals experience information and create meanings regarding this experience. While much has been reported on information literacy in language learning contexts, not much has been written about how information is experienced. This paper reports on a phenomenographic study of how tertiary level female Arab EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners conceptualize and engage with information in an undergraduate EAP (English for Academic Purposes) writing course. Working with the assumption that experience refers to the internal relationship between an individual and the world, the study investigated the variation in the meanings students assigned to information as they participated in the course. Data collected via interviews and learner reflective journals over 16 weeks suggested that students experienced information in three ways: as an already existing entity, as legitimizing academic voices, and as creating connections between self and other. The study found that students’ experiences of information were grounded in familiar local Discourses as well as the assumptions and practices which the course made available. Students were information literate within the context of this particular writing course, adopting the identities and engaging in the practices that the course presented as desirable.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Mehtap Kocatepe, Zayed University