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Volume 20 Number 2, Summer 2023, Pages 215-506   

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A Primer on Authorial Voice-Promoting Pedagogy in an Academic Argumentative EFL Context: An Innovative Mixed-Methods Research Approach

    Mohammad Amini Farsani, Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh & Bahareh Sadat Minaye Hashemi

Authorial voice is a remarkably slippery construct in second language (L2) argumentative writing. Given its fluid and dynamic nature, Zhao (2013) projects a framework which evokes different dimensions that writers should navigate in their L2 argumentative writing performance. However, such framework has not been empirically considered as a pedagogical one. As such, this study, adhering to Zhao's (2013) rubric and Riazi's (2016) innovative mixed-methods research, quantitatively examined the effect of teaching authorial voice on 27 MA students' voice development and argumentative writing quality. Then, qualitatively, the study traced the learners' conceptions of and potential challenges in constructing their authorial voice in their argumentative writing through stimulated recall interviews. The integrative results reveal that voice-promoting pedagogy was influential in promoting students' voice repertoire and argumentative writing quality. Although the quantitative results revealed that the three authorial voice dimensions (i.e., the presence and clarity of ideas in content, the manner of presentation, and the writer and reader presence) were almost equally affected by the treatment, the qualitative findings showed the centrality of reader-and-writer engagement in constructing good enough voice in L2 argumentative writing performance. The pedagogical and methodological implications for L2 writing instruction and argumentative writing are also discussed.

Keywords: L2 authorial voice; argumentative writing; MA students; innovative mixed-methods research