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Workshop: Writing Proposals by Dr. Lilia Savova Teacher-Scholar Symposium, Friday September 25 Review of Blogs Group Discussion on CR Introduction to Intercultural Rhetoric Fikri and Bee’s discussion  Writing Across Boarders Evaluating an ESL student writing
What are your believes about the connection between language and culture? In your experiences writing in your L1 and L2, L3 etc. what CR/IR issues have arisen for you? Have you been consciously aware of your rhetorical decisions? Where did your awareness come from? What do you know about your students writing practices in L1? What can you do to investigate your students L1 writing practices? (in multiple genres)
often find myself accommodating my speaking and writing in English to the language I think is expected from me by the audience. I cannot say that it is completely devoid of my personality and cultural background, but it is definitely not the same language as the one I use with my L1 interlocutors (even if the communication is in English).
Yet, what are the possible futures for CR? Is the term “contrastive rhetoric itself problematic? Should we coin an alternative term that can compromise the current controversies and create a third place or safe zones? In other words, contrastive rhetoric confirms multiplicity of languages, rhetorical forms, and students’ identities, etc, while problematizing the discursive construction of rhetoric and identities. Thus, should we (i.e., as educators, EFL/ESL teachers, and researchers) establish alternative conceptual frameworks.
What drew my attention was the comment that “Oriental languages prefer an indirect approach and come the point at the end” (P.223). I am persuaded to think that it is broad-brush generalization, for the Orient does not mean an individual country with homogeneous culture. Instead it’s a group of countries and each individual country has its own cultural conventions which are reflected in their oral and written discourses.
Pedagogically, I have to ask how those who do teach L2 writers take these differences into consideration when they read their students' L2 writing? Some of the international students in class have talked about how their writing when they first moved to the U.S. doesn't even make sense to them when they read it now. There are indeed rhetorical differences in the ways that many students write, although I'm still unsure how to connect this to language and/or culture.
Furthermore, even within NESs don’t we have students who come from different habitus and who often display so many differences in the language norms, language use, etc. So considering any homogeneity within NESs is simply a myth. We don’t even need to consider the varieties among NESs of World Englishes and that is why Kaplan’s work was criticized for being ethnocentric although he revised his work later. That is why I think that Kaplan’s original work may be thought to look at the ESL students from a deficit perspective. These ESL students cannot write the way they are expected because of their L1 and culture.
Contrastive Rhetoric: Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education” (Kaplan, 1966; the doodle article)
The assumption of negative transfer from L1 to L2 Uniqueness of paragraph organization in different cultures. There are rhetorical differences in the written discourses of different languages.
Contrasted the English paragraph development with paragraph developments in other linguistic systems Analyzed seven hundred student compositions, representing three language families.  “ The patterns of paragraphs in other languages are not so well established, or perhaps only not so well known to speakers of English” Finds prevalent patterns in L2 learners’ English essays. Oversimplified  assumptions, interpretations and methodologies.
The generalizations about student’s culture based on the rhetorical and cultural through patterns has been contested by many scholars (Scollon, 1997; Spack, 1997; Zamel, 1997, Kubota, 1997; Atkinson, 2004).  Reader-responsible versus writer responsible writing Faulty argumentations: making assertions about one’s L1 writing rhetoric based on L2 essay structure. Other factors such as topic knowledge, language proficiency, educational background also influences students paragraph development .
Early CR not  reflecting multiplicity of texts, hetereglossia, diversity and change Getting tangled in philosophical and rhetorical arguments based on textual analysis.  Breaking away from the static notions of L2 writing (Matsuda, 1997) Academic writing is not necessarily linear (Leki, 1997)
Awareness building activities of audience, expectations of rhetorical features. Teachers need to be cautious in  essentialzing languages and cultures (“reinforcing the cultural uniqueness” Kubota, 1998)
In the film, international students provide a number of cultural differences they have noticed between writing in their home countries and the United States. How has culture played out in your own classrooms and with student writing? What experiences have you had?  Jean Kaunda, the student from Malawi, talked about her fears of writing about politics. What kinds of issues does that raise for you in your classrooms? How might you deal with that issue with your international students?     What research-based issues have you noticed in international students' writing? How do you handle those issues?    To what extent do you think we should accept cultural preferences even though the students are writing for American classrooms?     How do you approach surface error in ESL student writing? Do you correct a lot, a little, none? What has worked or hasn’t worked so well for you in the past?    
Does the concept of paragraphs exist in students native language? How can we raise students’ awareness of rhetorical differences in various writing genres? Ask your students their beliefs on good writing in different genres. Raise students’ awareness on readers’ expectations. Refrain from perpetuating stereotypes when talking about student writing.
CR deserves the attention of L2 writing CR needs to include more scholarship on multiple languages, hybrid genres and multimodal textualities.  Helping students and teachers come to a complex understanding of L1 rhetoric Before making any kind of comparison in languages, we need to see if the features(linguistic or rhetorical) are comparable.
Research the writing experiences and educational backgrounds of your students. Try to undersytand your students’ definition of good writing.
A move from the received notion of culture (static, objective) to alternative definitions of culture (dynamic, flexible, changing, culture as a verb etc.) IR should be sensitive to context, multiplicity of cultures and particularities.
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Second Language Literacy Session 3

  • 1.  
  • 2. Workshop: Writing Proposals by Dr. Lilia Savova Teacher-Scholar Symposium, Friday September 25 Review of Blogs Group Discussion on CR Introduction to Intercultural Rhetoric Fikri and Bee’s discussion Writing Across Boarders Evaluating an ESL student writing
  • 3. What are your believes about the connection between language and culture? In your experiences writing in your L1 and L2, L3 etc. what CR/IR issues have arisen for you? Have you been consciously aware of your rhetorical decisions? Where did your awareness come from? What do you know about your students writing practices in L1? What can you do to investigate your students L1 writing practices? (in multiple genres)
  • 4. often find myself accommodating my speaking and writing in English to the language I think is expected from me by the audience. I cannot say that it is completely devoid of my personality and cultural background, but it is definitely not the same language as the one I use with my L1 interlocutors (even if the communication is in English).
  • 5. Yet, what are the possible futures for CR? Is the term “contrastive rhetoric itself problematic? Should we coin an alternative term that can compromise the current controversies and create a third place or safe zones? In other words, contrastive rhetoric confirms multiplicity of languages, rhetorical forms, and students’ identities, etc, while problematizing the discursive construction of rhetoric and identities. Thus, should we (i.e., as educators, EFL/ESL teachers, and researchers) establish alternative conceptual frameworks.
  • 6. What drew my attention was the comment that “Oriental languages prefer an indirect approach and come the point at the end” (P.223). I am persuaded to think that it is broad-brush generalization, for the Orient does not mean an individual country with homogeneous culture. Instead it’s a group of countries and each individual country has its own cultural conventions which are reflected in their oral and written discourses.
  • 7. Pedagogically, I have to ask how those who do teach L2 writers take these differences into consideration when they read their students' L2 writing? Some of the international students in class have talked about how their writing when they first moved to the U.S. doesn't even make sense to them when they read it now. There are indeed rhetorical differences in the ways that many students write, although I'm still unsure how to connect this to language and/or culture.
  • 8. Furthermore, even within NESs don’t we have students who come from different habitus and who often display so many differences in the language norms, language use, etc. So considering any homogeneity within NESs is simply a myth. We don’t even need to consider the varieties among NESs of World Englishes and that is why Kaplan’s work was criticized for being ethnocentric although he revised his work later. That is why I think that Kaplan’s original work may be thought to look at the ESL students from a deficit perspective. These ESL students cannot write the way they are expected because of their L1 and culture.
  • 9. Contrastive Rhetoric: Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education” (Kaplan, 1966; the doodle article)
  • 10. The assumption of negative transfer from L1 to L2 Uniqueness of paragraph organization in different cultures. There are rhetorical differences in the written discourses of different languages.
  • 11. Contrasted the English paragraph development with paragraph developments in other linguistic systems Analyzed seven hundred student compositions, representing three language families. “ The patterns of paragraphs in other languages are not so well established, or perhaps only not so well known to speakers of English” Finds prevalent patterns in L2 learners’ English essays. Oversimplified assumptions, interpretations and methodologies.
  • 12. The generalizations about student’s culture based on the rhetorical and cultural through patterns has been contested by many scholars (Scollon, 1997; Spack, 1997; Zamel, 1997, Kubota, 1997; Atkinson, 2004). Reader-responsible versus writer responsible writing Faulty argumentations: making assertions about one’s L1 writing rhetoric based on L2 essay structure. Other factors such as topic knowledge, language proficiency, educational background also influences students paragraph development .
  • 13. Early CR not reflecting multiplicity of texts, hetereglossia, diversity and change Getting tangled in philosophical and rhetorical arguments based on textual analysis. Breaking away from the static notions of L2 writing (Matsuda, 1997) Academic writing is not necessarily linear (Leki, 1997)
  • 14. Awareness building activities of audience, expectations of rhetorical features. Teachers need to be cautious in essentialzing languages and cultures (“reinforcing the cultural uniqueness” Kubota, 1998)
  • 15. In the film, international students provide a number of cultural differences they have noticed between writing in their home countries and the United States. How has culture played out in your own classrooms and with student writing? What experiences have you had? Jean Kaunda, the student from Malawi, talked about her fears of writing about politics. What kinds of issues does that raise for you in your classrooms? How might you deal with that issue with your international students?    What research-based issues have you noticed in international students' writing? How do you handle those issues?    To what extent do you think we should accept cultural preferences even though the students are writing for American classrooms?    How do you approach surface error in ESL student writing? Do you correct a lot, a little, none? What has worked or hasn’t worked so well for you in the past?    
  • 16. Does the concept of paragraphs exist in students native language? How can we raise students’ awareness of rhetorical differences in various writing genres? Ask your students their beliefs on good writing in different genres. Raise students’ awareness on readers’ expectations. Refrain from perpetuating stereotypes when talking about student writing.
  • 17. CR deserves the attention of L2 writing CR needs to include more scholarship on multiple languages, hybrid genres and multimodal textualities. Helping students and teachers come to a complex understanding of L1 rhetoric Before making any kind of comparison in languages, we need to see if the features(linguistic or rhetorical) are comparable.
  • 18. Research the writing experiences and educational backgrounds of your students. Try to undersytand your students’ definition of good writing.
  • 19. A move from the received notion of culture (static, objective) to alternative definitions of culture (dynamic, flexible, changing, culture as a verb etc.) IR should be sensitive to context, multiplicity of cultures and particularities.

Editor's Notes

  1. Kaplan’s (1966) research pioneered the attention to cultural and linguistic differences in the writing of ESL students