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Volume 7 Number 2, Summer 2010, Pages 1-359   

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IELTS Preparation Practices: Argumentative Writing Development

    Sharif Moghaddam

This paper reports on a recent investigation into literacy practices in a formal IELTS (Academic Version) preparation course in Tehran. The purpose of this study was to look at class tasks that generate opportunities for developing written argumentative texts. The focus was on aspects of written argument literacy practices. Students whose first language is not English seek to continue their education in English-medium-universities. They are required to sit for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to evidence their language proficiency. Despite meeting the required IELTS band scores, a number of them face difficulties and may underachieve in academic requirements. To address this problem this study aimed to investigate and analyze class tasks. In particular it examined the development of academic argumentative writing. In this ethnographic study I taught and recorded an IELTS academic preparation class for five months. Classroom discourse analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics were used to support the analysis. This paper discusses the objectives of the program and addresses the findings.

Keywords: literacy socialization, literacy development, systemic functional linguistics, IELTS, academic preparation practices