The present paper reports on a small-scale corpus-based study of 90 postgraduate applied linguistics student assignments, written in English, from an English-medium university in Hong Kong. In particular, the written assignments, considered as end-of-term assessments, allowed student writers to reflect on their own experiences when describing and discussing the knowledge of the field of applied linguistics. The study investigates the student writers’ visibility in the texts through the collocation of different types of verbs and personal pronouns as well as the nouns indicating their authorial presence. The verb types are classified through the transitivity system informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014) in terms of “processes”, those realising physical, verbal, mental, behavioural and linking actions. The findings indicate that mental and material processes, or more commonly “thinking” and “doing” verbs respectively are used most frequently in the students’ writing. This suggests that the students, when displaying their presence in the texts, preferred to express their cognitive states as “thinkers” and activities that they had undertaken as researchers. The students’ preference for choosing these processes with self-mentioning may reflect their higher commitment to research activities and arguments based on their identities.
|Title of host publication||Fifth International Scientific and Practical Conference "Foreign Language and Modern Trends in Foreign Language Education"|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2021|