Understanding students’ opportunities and challenges in a curriculum vitae writing process: Activity system as an analytical tool
Writing is a complex language skill, and writing using English as a medium for employment purposes requires an intricate set of knowledge and skills. Because such a writing process frequently occurs outside of a formal learning setting, few attempts to study the phenomenon have been made. Through the lens of the activity theory, the paper analyses the influence of six components in a CV writing process from a social-constructivist approach. A mixed-method approach was adopted with a Likert scale survey with open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data from 184 participants revealed that students were mostly influenced by various digital artifacts (e.g., online dictionaries, online courses) and situated in online communities of learning. Qualitative results also indicate the prominent challenges relating to syntax and lexical use as one the conflicting factors and a certain level of autonomy as a facilitating factor while they managed to overcome these complications. The paper suggests how the curriculum of Business English could be adapted to support language learners in real-life employment situations.
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