Comparative essay: writing


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Comparative essay: writing

  1. 1. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING1ComparativeEssay: TeachingWritingDannae Del Campo Méndez y Gabriela Quezada CabezasUniversidad Católica de La Santísima Concepción
  2. 2. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING2The psycholinguistic Lenneberg (1967)once mentioned that human beingsuniversally learn to walk and to talk, but that swimming and writing are culturally specific,learned behaviours. This quotation highlights the importance of teaching writing in aneffective manner, teaching students the necessary strategies that will help them to developand improve their writing skills. In the following paragraphs will be develop the mostrelevant characteristics of teaching writing skill from different points of view according tothree different authors Nunan, Brown and Hyland, (2003).....(Dannae Del Campo yGabriela Quezada)Firstly, according to Brown, (2001) there are 6 main issues existing at the momentof learning second language writing. We are going to name a few of them that we considerthe most important ones. The first of these issues is composing vs. writing; the authorexplains that writing is the result of thinking processes such as, drafting and revisingprocedures which lead to focus on the students and how they generate ideas, how to becoherent, how to use discourse markers and how to use appropriate grammar to get the finalproduct. The second issue is called by the author process vs. product; he explains how ahalf century ago teachers were focused on the final product of writing instead of the processto get to that product which it is what concerns teachers today. In the samechapter,according to Shih, (1986), it can be noticed that process approach focuses on theprocess of writing instead of the written product, it helps students to understand the processof writing, it also gives importance to the process of revision, it gives students time to writeand rewrite and it gives them feedback during the entire process and not just in the finalproduct. The third issue is called contrastive rhetoric and it is based in an article writtenbyKaplan(1966),in which he argued that all types of language have different patterns of
  3. 3. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING3written discourse. Consequently learners of English bring predispositions because of theirnative language; this means that everyone’s native culture has an effect on the process oflearning writing. The fourth issue are the differences between L1 and L2 writing;Silva(1993) explained that there are many differences between the process of learning writing inL1 and L2, some of the differences mentioned by this author are that L2 writers did lessplanning, they were less fluent, less accurate, less effective in starting goals and that theydid not use appropriate grammatical and rhetorical conventions. Thus, Silva (1993) alsogave the solution of using the appropriate approaches to writing instruction, to dealeffectively with the sociocultural and linguistic differences of L2 students and also that theassessment of L2 has to take into account the main differences between L1 and L2 writing.On the other hand Brown (2001) focused his analysis also in the principles fordesigning writing technique. The first of these is to incorporate practices of good writers,for instance, planning what to write, focusing on a main idea and following anorganizational plan. The second principle is to balance process and product, this means tocreate a balance between the process of the writing in the students’ drafts and the finalproduct they are leading up. The third one is to account for cultural and literarybackgrounds, which refers that the teacher must not assume that students know Englishrhetorical conventions, so teachers have to help them to understand it. The fourth principleis to connect reading with writing because by reading they learn important insights of howthey should write. Moreover is to provide as much authentic writing as possible, which isalso mention previously on this author’s chapter so the purposes of writing are clear forstudents. (Dannae Del Campo)
  4. 4. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING4Secondly Teaching Writing according to Nunan (1999) is based on methodologyof task-based language instruction. In his book the nature of the writing is focus on productand process approaches, the first of them is defined as an approach which is focusedon thefinal product; furthermore, the second of them is focuses on the steps involved in draftingand redrafting a piece of writing. Nunan’s text focused special attention on the processapproach and some critics about it such as the development of the necessary criticalthinking skill to produce a factual writing in which they need to succeed in school;moreover, the type of text that students are required to produce. Finally in terms of natureNunan concludes that what students need in the writing classrooms are both approaches andappropriate procedures, in contrast toBrown (2001) who also mentioned that it is importantto find a balance between process and product but that the product is, after all, the ultimategoal and that the process is not the end; it is the means to the end . In the aspect of genretheory Nunan in contrast to Brown (2001),who did not mentioned any of them, is focusedon two research, the first of them is the Disadvantaged Schools Projects (DSP) which one isfocused on the improvement of the academic writing skills in children, in this projectsteachers should show to the students the grammatical resources that would help them toproduce successful texts. As result of this project Nunan mentioned that students whoparticipated in the innovation schools produced a greater range of factual texts, andproduced the texts more successfully. The second project is The SNAP project (SouthAustralian Needs Assessment Procedures)Nunan(1999)mentioned that this project wasimplemented with the intention of the development of a systematic procedure fordiagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of students in their control over the spoken andwritten genres that they would need in order to succeed in school. In this kind of project isnecessary that teachers would be explicit about what learners are supposed to do and why.
  5. 5. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING5Another important point mentioned by Nunan (1999) is the discourse-basedapproach that argued that discourse and grammar should be seen together; furthermore aninteresting way in which it can be done is by discourse processes, and in this type ofprocesses some specialists have suggested that topical structure analysis is a promisingtechnique for improving the coherence of written work. Finally in terms of the issue ofcontrastive rhetoric Nunan (1999) mentioned Robert Kaplan’s work as well as Brown,(2001) did; thestudy has relationships between cultural thought patterns and discourse. Themain argument of the research in contrastive rhetoric as it was mentioned above is basedon that certain culturally determined ways of thinking and communicating will transferthemselves to second language texts. (Gabriela Quezada Cabezas)Thirdly, according toHyland, (2003) the main focused on teaching writing is thecultural aspect. In contrast to the authors mentioned above, he mentioned in his book thatL2 writing instruction should be seen as an expression of culture; moreover, that it isnecessary to put special attention to previous learning experiences, due to it is going toprepare them for the future tasks and assignments in their classrooms; Furthermore,Hyland,(2003)mentioned that one of the most important issues related to cultural aspect is thewriting topic, because some cultures are especially sensitive and some topics may be seenas an offense to the society. (Gabriela Quezada)Moreover, Hyland, (2003)also argued that teachers have to be concern about thedifferent learning styles of their students previously shaped by their cultural backgroundsand experiences. This author mainly focused in three types of styles, the cognitivedimension which is for learners that are more analytic, the affective dimension which is forstudents who depend on social and emotional factors and the perceptual learning style
  6. 6. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING6which is the most important in the ESL/EFL class because it is oriented for visual, auditoryand kinaesthetic learners. (Dannae Del Campo)To sum up, Brown’s text (2001) it is focus on weaknesses and advices speciallydirected to teachers while Numan (1999) is focus on approaches and techniques forstudents who have different ways of learning. To support Numan’s ideas is Hyland,(2003)who argued that cultural aspects are also important because it sets on studentsdifferent styles to acquire new information. Thus, Hyland (2003)focuses on culture andlearning styles. (Dannae Del Campo y Gabriela Quezada).
  7. 7. COMPARATIVE ESSAY: TEACHING WRITING7ReferencesBrown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to languagepedagogy. Longman.Hyland, K. (2003). Second Language Writing.Cambridge University Press.Kaplan, R. B. (1966). Cultural Thought Patterns in Inter-Cultural Education.LanguageLearning, 16(1-2), 1–20.Lenneberg, E. H. (1967). Biological foundations of language.Wiley.Nunan, D. (1999). Second language teaching & learning.Heinle&Heinle Publishers.Shih, M. (1986).Content-Based Approaches to Teaching Academic Writing.TesolQuarterly, 20(4), 617–648.Silva, T. (1993).Toward an understanding of the distinct nature of L2 writing: The ESLresearch and its implications. Tesol Quarterly, 27(4), 657–677.