วันอังคารที่ 26 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2553

Exploring Dynamics of Second LanguageWriting {Barbara Kroll}




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I THE CAMBRIDGE APPLIED LINGUISTICS SERIES
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I Series editors: Michael H. Long and jack C. Richards §
This series presents the findings of work in applied linguistics that are of _
direct relevance to language teaching and learning and of particular interest to
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} Recent publications in this series: g _
~ Cognition and Second Language Instruction edited by Peter Robinson
I Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition by Carol A. Chapelle
I » ·
5 Ccnrrasuvc Rhetoric by Ulla Connor
i Corpora in Applied Linguistics by Susan Hnnston {
¤ Criterion—referenced Language Testing by james Dean Brown and Thom
; Hudson e
I Culture in Second Language Teaching and Learning edited by Eli I-Iinleel
i Exploring the Dynamics of Second Language Teaching edited by Barbara Kroll · Q,
i Exploring the Second Language Mental Lexicon by David Singleton
Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition edited by Catherine
l Doughty and jessica Williams
i Immersion Education: International Perspectives edited by Robert Keith
{ johnson and Merrill Swain _
Interfaces Between Second Language Acquisition and Language Testing I
Research edited by Lyle E Bachman and Andrew D. Cohen
l Learning Vocabulary in Another Language by I . S. P. Nation
g Network-based Language Teaching edited by Mark Warschaner and Richard i
i Kern
Pragmatics in Language Teaching edited by Kenneth R. Rose and Gabriele
Kasper
Research Perspectives on English for Academic Purposes edited by ]ohn
I Flowerdew and Matthew Peacock
2 Researching and Applying Metaphor edited by Lynne Cameron and Graham
i Low
Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition edited by james Coady and Thomas
- — Hnckin ·
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching edited by Sandra Lee McKay and
. Nancy H. Hornberger I
Teacher Cognition in Language Teaching: Beliefs, Decision—Making, and _-’
Classroom Practice by Devon Woods .§
Text, Role, and Context by Ann M. fohns ·
Understanding Expertise in Teaching: Case Studies of Language Teacher Z
Development by Amy B. M. Tsai ‘ A
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Exploring the
I Dynam1cs of
F Second Language Writing
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i Edited by ‘
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i Barbara Kroll I i
California State University, Northridge U
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. CAMBRIDGE E
? UNIVERSITY PRESS

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. Exploring the dynamics of second language writing I edited by Barbara Kroll.
p. cm. — (The Cambridge applied linguistics series) i,
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0—521~82292-0 (hardback) -— ISBN 0—521—52983—2 (pbk.)
1. Language and languages — Study and teaching. 2. Composition (Language arts) l
3. Rhetoric — Study and teaching. I. Kroll, Barbara. H. Series.
P53.27 .E97 2003 l
808’.0071—dc21 2002074049
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ISBN 0 521 82292 0 hardback
ISBN 0 521 52983 2 paperback ,
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il Contents
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I List of contributors page ix
· Acknowledgments xi f·
List of abbreviations used xiii
» Series editors’ preface xv lg
I ` 92-}
*- Introduction: Teaching the next generation of second
language writers 1 i
> Barbara Kroll _ I
· I EXPLORING THE FIELD OF SECOND LANGUAGE
WRITING 1 1
_ ‘ Chapter 1 Second language writing in the twentieth century: A
- situated historical perspective I5
5 Paul Kei Matsuda
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} (3l'13.plI€[ 2 Research O1'}. S€C01'1Cl lElHgU3g€ Wfltillgi All overview
of what we investigate and how 35
i Charlene Polio I i;Z
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F II EXPLORING THE VOICES OF KEY I t
STAKEHOLDERS:TEACHERS AND STUDENTS 67
Chapter 3 Experienced ESL/EFL writing instruc_tors’ conceptu- p
l alizations of their teaching: Curriculum options and g
implications 71 i
’ I Alister Cumming .
l Chapter 4 Second language writing up close and personal: Some i *¥
5 success stories 93 p {
Tony Silva, Melinda Reichelt, Yoshiki C/ailaurna, Nathalie
5 . Duval—Couetil, Ruo-Ping ]. Mo, Gloria Vélez-Renalon, I
and Sandra Wood p
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viii Contents l
III EXPLORING WRlTERS’ FINISHED TEXTS 115
Chapter 5 Responding to writing 119 (
Dann Ferris i
Chapter 6 Grammar and the ESL writing class 141 ·
jan Frodesen and Christine Holten
\
Chapter 7 Writing teachers as assessors of writing 162
Liz H¢nnp—Lyons ‘
IV EXPLORING CONTEXTUALITIES OF TEXTS 191 ‘ *
Chapter 8 Genre and ESL/EFL composition instruction 195 `
Ann M. fohns _
Chapter 9 Changing currents in contrastive rhetoric: }
Implications for teaching and research 218 ’
. Ulla Connor _ _ }
Chapter 10 Reading and writing relations: Second language }
perspectives on research and practice 242
William Gmhe I x
Chapter 11 Literature in the teaching of second language 1
composition 263
Stephanie Vczndricla i `
V EXPLORING TECHNOLOGY 285 i
Chapter 12 The impact of the computer in second language ~
writing 287 . `
Martha C. Pennington _ ¥·
EPILOGUE: EXPLORING OURSELVES 311 ’
Chapter 13 A challenge to second language writing “
professionals: Is writing overrated? 315 a
Ilona Lelei . _ l
Index sas I `

I
I
Contributors i
>
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Yoshiki Chikuma, College of Charleston
Ulla Connor; Indiana University—Purdue University in indianapolis l
Alister Cumming, University of Toronto
Nathalie Duval—Couetil, Purdue University
Dana Ferris, California State University Sacramento
jan Frodesen, University of California, Santa Barbara
1 William Crabe, Northern/lrizona University T
Liz Hamp—Lyons, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Christine Holten, University of California, Los Angeles
‘ l Ann M. johns, San Diego State University
l Ilona Leki, University of Tennessee
y Paul Kei Matsuda, University of New Hampshire ` *
Ruo—Ping j. Mo, Canton, Michigan
} ‘ Martha C. Pennington, University of Luton
l Charlene Polio, Michigan State University I ‘
l Melinda Reichelt, University of Toledo
I Tony Silva, Purdue University _, g
Stephanie Vandrick, University of San Francisco
- Gloria Vélez—Rendén, Purdue University—Calumet .
I Sandra Wood, University of Connecticut _ . . I
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i Acknowledgments
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i For most of my 35 years of teaching, I have been working to address the
needs of writers and to investigate the variables that contribute to differ—
ing skill levels in the texts that non—native speakers of English produce.
I salute all of my colleagues who have worked to create the field that no
one could have named when Istarted teaching: second language writing
studies; they have enriched my life immeasurably with their efforts to
{ establish a discipline and seek answers to our common questions. This
book represents the work of several members of that scholarly commu-
nity, each focusing on a specific aspect of our now very diverse field.
{wish to thank the contributors to this volume; they worked diligently
to repeatedly revise their chapters, helping me realize the vision I had for
this book. They also dealt gracefully with the feedback given by a variety
t of anonymous reviewers who read multiple versions of the manuscript.
I thank the reviewers for putting in such scrupulous attention to the vol-
l ume; even when their individual suggestions and concerns contradicted
each other, their collective advice proved useful in shaping the final text.
[ Linda Lonon Blanton graciously volunteered to offer focused and
speedy feedback on my own contributions to this volume; I am grateful
I to her. I also appreciate the hard work of the series editor jack Richards
_ and all of those at Cambridge University Press who encouraged me dur-
ing this project and who worked ciosely. with me during a fairly lengthy I
birthing process: Mary Vaughn, Debbie Goldbatt, ]udy Bernstein, and
]ulia Hough. Many thanks to Regina Paleski, my very efficient produc-
{ tion editor, and Patterson Lamb, an eagle—eyed copy editor if ever there
g was one! _
Lastly, my bountiful thanks to Ruthgishe knows why.
. ` i _ Barbara Kroll (
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I Abbrevzcztzons used
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ACT American College Testing Program
I ASTP Army Specialized Training Program
I CCCC Conference on College Composition and
Communication
I CLEAR Center] for Language Education and Research
· CUNY City University of New York
I EAP English for academic purposes
EFL _ English as a foreign language
I ELI English Language Institute
ELTS English Language Testing‘Service
ESL English as a second language
ESP English for special [or specific] purposes e
ETS Educational Testing Service
FCE (Cambridge) First Certificate in English
I FL foreign language
GSLPA Graduating Students’ Language Proficiency Assessment `
I IATEFL International Association of Teachers of English as a ` · ‘
I ` Foreign Language
I IEA International Educational Achievement
i IELTS International English Language Testing System
IRC Internet relay chat
]B W journal of Basic Writing
LAN local area network
L1 native [or first] language
L2 second language
MELAB Michigan English Language Battery I
MOO multi—user domain, 0bject—oriented I
MUD . multi—user domain ·.
NES native English speakers _ I
NR New Rhetoricians I ` t
PEG Project Essay Grader ` I
SAT Scholastic Aptitude Test
I SFL Systemic Functional Linguistics
I SLA second language acquisition
I `xiii
{ ·. I

l
xiv Abbreviations
TESL Teaching of English as a second language
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages l
TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language
TWE Test of Written English {
WAC writing across the curriculum
WAN wide area network l
WSSE World Standard Spoken English [
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{ Serzes ealztors preface
Whereas it is commonplace to talk of English as the language of global-
I ization and international communication, it is appropriate to recognize
1 that it is written English that is the predominant medium for much of
, this discourse. Second language writing skills play an increasingly im-
) portant role today in the lives of professionals in almost every field and
, discipline, creating a challenge to those responsible for the teaching of
l second language writing. The growing body of research by scholars in
i the field of second language writing instruction reflects an international
' response to this phenomenon, much of the results of which are reflected
` in the present volume. .
' Exploring the Dynamics of Second Language Writing is a timely col- · L
1 lection of original papers surveying theory, research, and practice in the .
{ teaching of second language writing. Each of the chapters provides a
useful overview of a key topic in second language writing, identifying
l the major theoretical issues, surveying research findings, and exploring
F applications to second language teaching. ·
I The book is based on several assumptions:
P • The field of second language (L2) writing is an autonomous disci-
, pline, though one that draws on a number of related Helds, including
I r composition studies, rhetoric, contrastive rhetoric, text linguistics, and
2 genre theory. ‘
[ • There is a ·demand today for teachers with a high level of pedagogi-
cal understanding and expertise in the different aspects of writing in-
struction, from curriculum development, to classroom pedagogy to
l assessment. t e t
• If teachers, teacher educators, and language teaching professionals are
{ to keep abreast of ideas and developments in this rapidly expanding
; field, they need access to information on current research theory and
l practice. Language programs around the world require instructors who
l can assist international students to meet the complex academic writing
l demands of a wide range of disciplines. e
• The teaching of writing is based on an understanding of the nature of e
; ‘ texts, cognitive processes, learners, participants, and learning contexts; i
. 7 ‘ xv · l
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xvi Series Editors’ Preface I
and a variety of different research approaches are needed to explore
these variables. I
These themes are reflected throughout this book, which draws on I
theory and research to examine pedagogical issues and to provide a basis
for the development of courses in L2 writing. The contributors show I
how the held has developed in the last 40 years, explain the shifts in
theoretical perspectives and teaching approaches that have marked its
development, and suggest directions for future research. The book will
thus prove an invaluable resource for teachers in preparation, as well as
for experienced teachers, researchers on L2 writing, and curriculum and `
materials developers. I
. Michael H. Long I
_ ]acl C. Richards I ,
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I wrzters
I ` Barbara Kroll
I As a field of academic inquiry, the teaching of writing to second lan—
guage (L2) learners sits at the junction of the discipline of composition
I and rhetoric (which concerns itself primarily with identifying the na-
ture of texts and the processes that writers engage in to produce those
I texts) and the discipline of language learning (which concerns itself with
cognitive and affective factors learners engage in as they move toward
I mastery of a particular linguistic code).l No one teaching writing to this
» population of learners can responsibly serve his or her students without
I a clear recognition that these two fields intersect, especially at the post-
, secondary level. This volume is addressed to future L2 writing teachers;
I the authors of the chapters are steeped in traditions of inquiry central a
to composition and rhetoric and offer an applied linguistics perspective
I focused on adult learners.
I A growing need for English teachers ·
` If teaching second language skills to populations of adult students who
I grew up speaking other native languages was ever a simple matter for
teachers, it is certainly no longer so in the twenty—first century. The com-
plexity has been intensified by the phenomena known as “glol>aliza—
tion" and the Internet revolution. They have brought such an expansion
in the use of English throughout the world that one can only partly imag- I
I ine the still unfolding ramifications, including the changing of the English I
language itself (Warshauer, 2000). Full participation in the world com- l
I munity, particularly within interconnected economic, technological, and I
geopolitical realities, can.require a fluency in English that goes beyond l
the spoken language and embraces a variety of uses of the written lan-
guage as well. Because the English—language cultures (among others) are
I increasingly literacy—driven_cultures (see, for example, Baynham, 1995; I
l Cushman, Kintgen, Kroll, Sc Rose, 200]; Kern, 2000) and digital—literacy I
I driven (Warshauer, 2001), the pursuit of English entails a pursuit of writ-
T ten English, offering those who acquire skill in this code the possibility for
improved, life chances. Thus, career options in English—language teaching
· 1
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2 Barham Kroll l
seem assured for the foreseeable future, and perhaps especially for teach- [
ers who focus on teaching writing skills. (
To judge by what is going on in the United States, there is a steady
increase in the number of learners of English seeking entrance to our (
institutions of higher education. The Institute of International Educa-
i tion (IIE) has been tracking the number of foreign visa students enrolled (
in U.S. institutions of higher education since 1949 (Institute of Interna-
tional Education, 2001). That number has continued to increase every (
year, undiminished in toto by any war or economic disaster impacting a ·
( particular population or world area. In the decade from 1990 to 2000, (
Q for example, the number of foreign visa students in the United States in-
creased by over 140,000 and surpassed half a million2 for the Hrst time in (
_ the 1999--2000 academic year (Open Doors, 2001). And this says noth—
. ing of the vast and ever-growing number of L2 students on U.S. campuses E
not included in these tabulations (or any other official counts) because (
. they are U.S. residents or citizens and do not hold foreign visas. ,
Further, countries outside the traditional English-speaking world are (
increasingly drawn into situations where fluency in English becomes crit- ,
ical for their citizens who wish to participate in the global arena. For (
example, a report prepared for the then Prime Minister of japan and is-
sued in january 2000 called for a national discussion on making English (
japan’s official second language and recommended that Englishdanguage .
teaching be introduced in kindergarten (Tolbert, 2000). The document (
‘ suggested to the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi that increased fluency
in English among the japanese would greatly contribute to reversing the (
economic stagnation japan was experiencing at the time, but this fluency (
could be accomplished only with radical changes in the current methods (
of delivering English—language instruction in japanese schools (Tolbert, S (
2000). On another plane, many in our profession worry about the in- (
creasing number of languages dying out around the world, often with- ,
English as the replacement tongue (Crystal, 2000; Nettie SC Romaine, (
2000), and the concomitant need for fluency in English. Regardless of I
how one views such a phenomenon, it contributes to the increasing use (
of English in geographic regions where, different from such places as (
North America, Great Britain, and Australia, English does not have a
long tradition. To a certain extent, then, geopolitical realities contribute - 2 (
to the expanding need for English-language teachers outside of English- L
dominant countries. I _ Q
So far, I have referred primarily to Englishlanguage teaching. The
teaching of writing is a specialized component of this instruction, one
that has come to occupy a prominent place in research and teaching
due in part to the ever—expanding student body and the recognition of (
changes in global realities. Over the past quarter of a century or so, faculty J
_; and researchers in many countries around the world have increasingly
I I tzir 4-

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{ Introduction 3
recognized that teaching English writing skills to tertiary—level students
( who come from non-English—spea backgrounds is a critical part of
the higher education system. The growing interest in second language
writing as an academic enterprise is attested to by the large number of
courses in writing offered to second language students at institutions
from community colleges to the most prestigious graduate research insti-
tutions; the phenomenal growth in the number of papers on the subject
published in books and professional journals; the number of presenta-
tions delivered at regional, national, and international conferences spon—
sored by a wide range of professional organizations; and the founding of
I a scholarly journal devoted to the topic (the journal of Second Language
. Writing, established in 1992). The teaching of writing in L2 contexts,
once little discussed (see Blanton SC Kroll et al., 2002), has come front
and center in the profession of applied linguistics.
While this volume is devoted primarily to issues in the acquisition of
- Englishdanguage writing skills, the teaching of second/foreign languages
( other than English remains a significant part of school and university cur-
¤ ricula in many different countries. Indeed, the field of second language
j writing is an area affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of students
at institutions around the world where they must submit higlrquality -
l written work in a language they did not acquire as native speakers; and
in fact, multilingualism is alive and well in numerous locales where it
l might even be considered the norm (Edwards, 1994; Nettie Bc Rornaine,
2000). Many users of second languages other than English need to be able
l to write fluently in their L2, and books and anthologies on specific class-
room practices and issues related to second language writing in a variety
i of European languages (as well as in English) have begun to proliferate
( (e.g., Brauer, 2000; Kern, 2000; Scott, 1996). Reichelt (1999) reviews i
some 200 published works relating to foreign language (FL) writing and
I - research pedagogy in the United States alone, identifying ways in which
EL concerns overlap with and differ from concerns in English as a second
[ language/English as a foreign language (ESL/EFL). The discussions in the
following chapters may also be of value to future teachers of L2 writing
I in non—·English settings, who can adapt some of the Englislvspecific foci
to their own situations and contexts.
l l
( Understanding teacher training (
l . With all of these factors, multiple teaching opportunities are likely to (
await faculty able to provide instruction in L2 writing in a variety of
( postsecondary settings. A critical question thus becomes how best to
_' prepare teachers to undertake this task. To serve their students well,
( teachers of L2 writing must be prepared with more than a set of lesson (
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4 Bezrbam Kroll
plans, an interest in their students, and strong skills of their own in the
target language. To be sure, these are necessary components, but they are [ t
not sufficient. As distinguished researcher Arthur Applebee pointed out:
"Teachers of English need to make the distinction between knowledge l
which informs their teaching, and that which should be imparted to the [
student" (Applebee, cited in Applebee, I999, p. 362).
So too, teachers of writing to L2 students need to make the distinc-
tion between what can be termed “foundational knowledge" — subject
matter content that serves them as professionals - and “procedural
knowledge" -— ideas and techniques that will shape specific lesson plans l
for their students. For example, as part of building a foundation of knowl— l
edge, future teachers must acquire an understanding of how the profes- Q
sion has evolved and what issues form the core of subject matter (as
opposed to methodological) concerns — that is, they must know what
drives the field forward. Additionally, teachers should come to see that |
the tools they will use for analyzing their own students’ progress (or 5
lack thereof) not only serve their immediate needs on a day—to—day basis I
and form a component of requisite procedural knowledge but can also ‘»
provide raw data that might contribute to changes in course design moti-
vated by their foundational knowledge of course possibilities (cf. Graves,
2000) z §
Because good writing teachers must have a rich understanding of the
field to be able to make the best possible choices in their uniquely situated
teaching positions, this book is designed to help them acquire such un- {
derstanding. Knowing the Held includes being able to recognize how any
given classroom choice speaks to a particular approach toward teaching {
and/or awareness of student learning issues and/or interpretation of what
texts are and what they do. Further, even the most classroontroriented of [
teachers should be able to contribute knowledgeably to ongoing profes- i
sional discussions. The so—called theory-—practice divide is undoubtedly
an artificial one; I would prefer to conceive of the relationship between
research and practice in the field of second language writing as an in- l
teractive one. As I have pointed out elsewhere, "Research insights drive -
practice and concerns for practices that do not seem to be working drive {
additional research" (Kroll, 2001, p. 230).
Foundational knowledge gives faculty the scholarly background to
provide the best of instruction to students in second language writing and
guides instructors toward making appropriate curricula and classroom
choices. Attaining this scholarly background involves exposure to the ;
accumulated knowledge of the profession and an awareness of what tools
are available to expand and refine this knowledge base. It is simply not l
enough for prospective teachers to focus solely on acquiring information
about methods and materials, important though they are. While I do ’
not mean to downplay the significance of being able to learn from the

I Introduction 5
I accumulated classroom wisdom ("best practices") of highly experienced
teachers, Edge and Richards (1998, p. 571) caution that focusing solely
on the search for "best practices" in and of themselves can lead to the
"deskilling of teachers, who are [then] seen as the technicians responsible
for learning-delivery systems" (p. 571). Rather, teachers must rely on
theory to become well—trained professionals responsible for helping their
students gain needed mastery. As Stenberg and Lee (2002) point out
in regard to training native language (L1) composition teachers, "theory
and practice necessarily function in interplay, and pedagogy encompasses
I hoth" (p. 328).
I In fact, it is the command of basic foundational knowledge in a given
held that allows teachers to make principled rather than ad hoc curricu-
lum decisions. In that sense, this volume, which helps to build subject
matter background, is truly a teacher—training book even though it does
not provide direct guidance on such day—to—day concerns as syllabus
design and lesson planning. Identifying what constitutes the "subject
I . matter” knowledge critical for teachers is not without its controversies,
however, and the reality is that the topics selected for inclusion in this vol-
I ume constitute one vision of the parameters of the profession — a vision
shaped by the collective experience of the contributors to this volume
I . and our beliefs about areas of knowledge critical for teachers. ·
This volume is intended primarily to assist in the preparation of new
I teachers by providing chapters that offer overviews of key issues, dis-
cussions of the relevance of prior and ongoing research to teachers, and
I insight into current thinking as presented by leading scholars in the field.
I Whether teachers are trained in programs allied to applied linguistics,
I second language acquisition, modern languages (including English as a
second/foreign language), or education, they must also learn to be lifelong
learners themselves, continually prepared to expand their own knowl-
I edge and. understanding in the pursuit of sounder teaching practices.
Thus, the information contained in this book should be considered a
I starting point and not the end point for promoting teacher engagement
with the field of second language writing.
I A note on theory/model-building
I. Unlike introductions to some other disciplines, this book begins with
a historical perspective rather than an outline of theory. In contrast,
I trainees in some fields, including linguistics, are initiated into and
expected to become familiar with well—established theories relevant to
I their education and training. Although many researchers in the field of
second language writing, including several contributors to this volume,
I are particularly interested in theory—building (e.g., Cumming, 1998;

l
6 Barbara Kroll I
Grabe, 2001; Matsuda, 1998; Silva, 1993), regrettably at the present -
time "there is no single theory of writing in a second language" (Gebhard, I
1998) capable of explaining the role of and interaction among key vari-
ables discussed here. In fact, despite a wealth of information on L2 com- I
posing processes and the description of texts produced in L2, "we have
very little information on how people actually learn to write in second
languages or how teaching might influence this” (Cumming 8c Riazi,
2000, p. 5 7, italics mine).
In fact, to build a theory of second language writing, we would need `
to ask whether a theory of writing would overlap with or be distinct I
from a theory of learning to write, and to further delineate if, how, and I
in what ways theories relevant to second language writers applied to or
distinguished themselves from theories applicable to first language writ-
ers. Grabe (2001) explains that we turn to theories for their predictive [ ·
t and explanatory properties, and at the moment, most of the information I
we have about writing and learning to write and writing classrooms is
descriptive in nature, thus making theory—building difficult. Even substi— I
tuting the notion of "models" for theories does not resolve the dilemma.
After reviewing a number of models that have been advanced (not the- I
ories, really), Cumming (1998) notes, "We are far from seeing models
that adequately explain learning to write in a second language or pre- I
cisely how. . . [L2] writing should be taught" (p. 68). And last, in his I
recent conceptual overview of L2 writing, Hyland (2002) uses the words I
"theory" and "frameworl" interchangeably to review key approaches l
to the teaching of writing. Thus, volumes such as this cannot present I
"standard” theory in a neatly packaged format. . I
‘ We can point out that what can pass for theory is sometimes better I
labeled a methodology or a widely held belief. For example, terms fre- [
quently used in discussing writing are "the composing process" and l
"process theory." When these were first introduced and popularized, l
many felt that focusing the writing course on the process of writing itself I
was a theoretical breakthrough. In retrospect, a more accurate claim
would be that process insights gave rise to a methodological break- I _
through in the teaching of writing. In fact, process theory, although I
widely discussed in L1 writing circles, has itself been challenged by many ` .
L1 writing theorists who have moved into a so-called post-process l _
period (see, for example, Kent, 1999; Olson 8c Dobrin, 1994). Clearly, -
. every writer, from the most novice and inept to the most skilled and l Q
professional, completes a given writing task by engaging in some sort j
of process. We should recognize the importance of the methodological I ‘
breakthrough engendered by insights from research into the composing j
process of skilled L1 and L2 writers; these findings assist teachers in help- §
ing less skilled writers alter their writing behaviors so they can write more Z I
successfully. But no matter how much we help student writers "improve" I ,

l Introduction 7
it l their composing process(es), we are still talking about methods and not
li { theory, and this is just one variable in the multifaceted enterprise known
l' as "writing."
1* Among other critical variables in the equation of writer, writing task,
'€ discourse constraints, and audience expectations is context. Here, too,
d terms such as EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and ESP (English for
ii Special Purposes), when first introduced, seemed likely to contribute to
theory-building, but they turn out to be methodologically based as well.
Cl EAP and ESP provide helpful orientations to pedagogy — perhaps more
it than they do to theory—building — because they suggest that the entire
Cl curriculum for a writing course is context—driven; change the context
**i and you need to change how a course is packaged and delivered — not a
lit trivial point, as well discussed by Swales (1990) among others.
'€ Thus, this volume is not about specific pedagogical practices or any
H given theory per se, but it is a volume that should help teachers to more
is . fully understand the framework of concerns within which the field and
i" i its key constituents (teachers and learners) operate.
1.
IS g Overview of this volume r
is This book has thirteen chapters that collectively offer an orientation to
ls I second language writing as a field, they are grouped around five areas
TS that serve as "explorations" into the subject and set out parameters for
It identifying critical subject matter material, the collective foundational
knowledge discussed earlier. Exploring what goes on in writing class-
if rooms is a multifaceted enterprise. Although certain cornmonalities are
it to be expected in how teachers and students work together toward the
Cl improvement of students’ L2 writing proficiency, a single change in one of
li . many variables can alter the specific dynamics of any given class. Some of
if the variables considered in this volume are related to the student—teacher
H dynamic; others investigate the specific epistemologies associated with
i" L2 writing as a discipline and various contexts of the writing situation;
ll Each section of the book is preceded by a short overview of how the
—Y chapter or chapters in that section relate to the theme of the section and/or
*9 interrelate to each other. These section introductions, by providing addi—
53 ‘ tional background not specifically discussed in the chapters themselves,
Cl highlight and sometimes interpret key issues in the individual chapters.
rt In the section introductions I highlight the key focus of each chapter
il by showing how it answers a significant question of concern to second
—g language writing theorists andfor practitioners.
J- The first section of the book explores the field in broad strokes, noting
76 how we continue to build the bases of knowledge that are specific to the
ii area of L2 writing. it provides a historical orientation (Chapter 1) and a

I l
8 Barham Kroll
I
framework for considering the several research paradigms that provide -
insight into writers, their texts, and the contexts for writing (Chapter 2). I
l The second section of the book explores voices of the two key stakehold— r
l ers in the teaching of writing — teachers and students. it offers a tour I
of several English~writing curricula around the world as discussed by
the teachers in those settings (Chapter 3) and a presentation and inter-
pretation of several individual L2 writers’ personal learning narratives
(Chapter 4). The third section of the book explores perspectives on the
texts that students produce, including issues related to teacher and peer
response to student writing (Chapter 5), factors surrounding grammar- I
ical considerations in the analysis of student texts (Chapter 6), and the I
latest thinking about the assessment of writing (Chapter 7). The fourth _
section of the book explores some contexts in which to consider texts: I
defining and understanding how genre interacts with student writing e
needs (Chapter 8); an up—to—date look at the field of contrastive rhetoric I
(Chapter 9); drawing connections between texts consulted by writers
(readings) and their own evolving texts (writings), that is, reading- I
writing connections (Chapter IO); and finding a role for literature in the
L2 composition classroom (Chapter 11). The fifth section of the book I
explores technology, discussing the impact of computers and the Internet
on L2 writing students and classrooms (Chapter12). Last, the book con-
cludes with an epilogue (Chapter 13) that raises some interesting and
challenging questions about the whole enterprise of teaching writing.
All the chapters have been specifically prepared for this volume and
assembled to present a reasonably comprehensive sense of the key issues I
and questions of major concern to L2 writing specialists today. How-
ever, because teaching second language writing skills is a highly situated
I activity, the chapters focus primarily though not exclusively on teaching
Englishlanguage writing skills to non—native speakers of English. Addi-
tionally, although most of the chapters report on research conducted in
a wide range of international settings, they primarily discuss teaching
writing in North American university coursesf The goal of each chap-
ter is to provide key foundational knowledge primarily for prospective I
‘ and novice teachers. Most chapters can also function as resource guides I
by reference to extensive scholarship, with the bibliographical citations
useful in promoting opportunities for further investigation. Now is an I
exciting time to be engaged in teaching L2 writing, and I hope this col-
lection will inspire readers to join the conversation. I I
Notes I I
1. I am aware that Matsuda (1998) presents a more complex vision of the
disciplinary relationships. I
· I I
` ii iij . .
‘·-ii I

I Introduction 9
2. The number of foreign visa holders is not the same as the number of
I L2 speakers, since the tabulation includes native speakers of English (i.e.,
students from such places as England, Canada, and Australia - piausibly
English L1 speakers -— are included in the IIE number).
References
Applebee, A. (1999). Building a foundation for effective teaching and learning
of English: A personal perspective on thirty years of research. Research in
the Teaching of English, 33, 352-366.
Baynham, M. (1995 ). Literacy practices: Investigating literacy in social contexts.
New York: Longman.
Blanton, L. L., Sc Kroll, B., et al. (2002). ESL composition tales: Reflections on
teaching. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
_ Brauer, G. (Ed.). (2000). Writing across languages. Stamford, CT: Ablex.
I Crystal, D. (2000). Language death. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cumming, A. (1998). Theoretical perspectives on writing. Annual Review of
I Applied Linguistics, 18, 61-78.
Cumming, A., SL Riazi, A. (2000). Building models of adult second—language
writing instruction. Learning and Instruction, 10, 55-71.
Cushman, E., Kintgen, E. R., Kroll, B. M., Sc Rose, M. (Eds.). (2001). Literacy-:
A critical sourcebook. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.
Edge,]., tic Richards, K. (1998). Why best practice is not good enough. TESOL
Quarterly, 32, 569-574. c
Edwards,]. (1994). Multilingualisin. London and New York: Routledge.
Gebhard, M. (1998). Second ianguage writing theory. In M. L. Kennedy (Ed.),
I ` Theorizing cornposition: A critical sourcebook of theory and scholar-
ship in contemporary composition studies (pp. 277-280). Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press.
- Grabe, W (2001). Notes towards a theory of second language writing. In T. Silva
Sc P. K. Matsuda (Eds.), On second language writing (pp. 39-57). Mahwah,
N]: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Graves, K. (2000). Designing language courses: A guide for teachers. Boston:
` Heinle Sc Heinle.
Hyiand, K. (2002). Teaching and researching writing. Harlow, UK: Longman.
Institute of International Education. (2001, November 13). Press release. New
· York: Author. Retrieved February 16, 2002, from the World Wide Web:
I http://www.iie.org/svcs/pressrei/pr1 1 1301a.htm. A
- .Kent, T (Ed,). (1999). Post-process theory. Carbondale: Southern illinois Uni-
versity Press.
Kern, R. (2000). Literacy and language teaching. Oxford and New York: Oxford
University Press.
Kroll, B. (2001). Considerations for teaching an ESL/EFL writing course. In
Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second/foreign language
(3rd ed., pp. 219-232). Boston: Heinie Sc Heinle. c
Matsuda, P. K. (1998). Situating ESL writing in a cross—disciplinary context.
Written Communication, 15, 99-121.
Nettle, D., Sc Romaine, S. (2000). Vanishing voices: The extinction ofthe world’s
_ ( , languages. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

10 Barbara Kroll i
Olson, G. A., Sc Dobrin, S. I. (Eds,). (1994). Composition theory for the post-
modern classroom. Albany: State University of New York Press. {
Open Doors. (2001). Open doors on the web. New York: Institute of interna- I
tional Education. Retrieved February 16, 2002 from the World Wide Web: I S
http://wvvw.opendoorsweb.org/.
Reichelt, M. (1999). Toward a more comprehensive view of L2 writing: Foreign
language writing in the U.S. journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 181~
204.
Scott, V. M. (1996). Rethinking foreign language writing. Boston: Heinle &i i
· Heinle.
Silva, T (1993). Toward an understanding of the distinct nature of L2 writing. }
TESOL Quarterly; 27, 657—~677.
Stenberg, S., Sc Lee, A. (2002). Developing pedagogies: Learning and the teaching ,
of English. College English, 64, 326—347. \
Swales, j. (1990). Genre analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press. I ti
Tolbert, K. (2000, january 29). English is the talk of japan. The Washington V
POS:} P. ' 3
Warshaueig M. (2000). The changing global economy and the future of English V
teaching. TESOL Quarterly 34, 511-535. I 3
Warshauei; M. (2001). Millennialism and media: Language, literacy, and
technology in the 21st century. AILA Reuieug 14, 49-59. ( i
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l PART I:
EXPLORING THE FIELD OF
SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING
l When people set out to explore a previously unknown territory, they
l typically prepare themselves by studying maps and outfitting themselves
with the needed regalia of exploration, such as specialized equipment
I and a compass. For territories already well explored, new visitors set out
with a guidebook. So, too, a person newly drawn to a particular academic
E area should begin by preparing for his or her own exploration with the
appropriate equipment or guidebook to provide some understanding of
how the field has evolved and what to anticipate in the new terrain. What
i exactly should one expect to find in this field of study? What is central
to the field? Where is the field moving? What is controversial? Theseare
some of the questions that concern the authors of all the chapters in this
volume.
Second language writing is a uniquely characterizable specialty area
I that has ties to but does tnot completely overlap with the fields of first
language writing instruction, second language acquisition, or second
_ - language pedagogy. Perhaps a truism is that certain realities are true for
all students in any academic environment whereas others are uniquely
true for second language students. ]ust as linguists today recognize that
language is culturally constructed, so too are students ~ defined by and
- defining their own place in the educational spectrum. This book is con~
{ cerned with second language writers, bringing to the table not only
their needs as novice writers but also their needs as second language
speakers.
. _ The first part of this book lays the groundwork for helping future
teachers situate themselves as part of an identifiable scholarly endeavor
and for beginning to understand how we make the claims we do about
writers and texts. Although many scholars active in publishing in this
area are hasedin countries around the world, Atkinson (2000, p. 318)
believes that "an organized academic field is a group of scholars who "
not only study similar phenomena, but who also share. . . common the-
oretical and practical concerns (and similar research questions)." He
finds, by this definition, that the field as such and the scholars who are
_ p i i working collectively to explore it are "substantialiy North American”
P ’ 11

12 Part I l
(p. 319), particularly when considered from a historical perspective. The I-]
North American perspective is foregrounded by the first two chapters I H,
in this volume, and they serve to provide an orientation to the field of
study known as second language writing. The first chapter recounts how O
the field’s early scholars came to be identified as a community, and the IE
second chapter offers an interpretation of how we make knowledge in CC
this Held through a review of major research paradigms and perspec— cc
tives to address the similar research questions that continue to drive the in
Held. ‘ I Cc
te
From where and how has the field of second l
language writing come into being? I is,
A very large number of institutions have been offering specialized courses I W
- in writing to second language (L2) students for many years, particularly . Tl
courses in English composition to non—native speakers of English; realis- ( Wi
tically speaking, however, it wasn’t all that long ago that faculty had to dl
argue for the need to consider even native speaker (L1) writing as a dis- f hr
cipline worthy of scholarly study. Prior to about 1960, L1 "writing was G
the most often taught of college subjects and by a great measure the least is
examined" (Connors, 1997, p. 15). All that has radically changed, and (1
as the Held as grown, its initial preoccupation with practice has shifted
into_ a broadenbased set of scholarly and theoretical concerns (Kennedy, St
1998). But L2 writing draws its current insights from and has its histor— di
ical roots in more than just the field of L1 writing. SI
Chapter 1, by Paul Kei Matsuda, provides a historical perspective on tj,
second language writing as broadly conceived. He looks into the interdis— ja
ciplinary relationships between composition studies and second language ip
studies as they have evolved, starting in the latter part of the twentieth E,
century. Although his history draws primarily on specihc events that q, (
unfolded in the United States, his claims apply to a broad range of tc
geographic locations. Robert Kaplan (2000), whose pioneering work in . W
second language writing is much cited in this volume and elsewhere,
takes issue with the characterization of the field in this manner (as lirst _
presented by Santos et al., 2000), Ending it more international in scope, R
but Matsuda focuses on the significant part of discipline—building that .
took place in the United States. This chapter is particularly informative ., A
for those newer to the field; an understanding of the interplay between
concerns of compositionists and applied linguists should serve to ground ` A
them in the discipline of second language writing studies. In providing a ,
particular point of view and interpretation of our history, Matsuda has (
much to offer more established members of the L2 writing community C
as well. l
( l
I Q
~ i
i

I Exploring the Held of second language writing 13
I How do we go about investigating what we
I need to know about L2 writing/writers? _
I Our understanding of second language writers and writing has been the L
result of painstakingly detailed research using a variety of paradigms I
common to composition and social science research. This variety is ne-
cessitated and perhaps made more complex because objects of inquiry j
_ include all or some ofthe following: the written product, the writing pro-
I cess, the writers’ backgrounds and experience, the classroom context, the
teacher, the social setting and writing goals outside the classroom, and
I educational interventions (i.e., teachers interacting with students). As I
noted by Archibald and jeffery (2000), in an introduction to a special
I issue of Learning and Instruction featuring research on second language _
writing:
I There has been considerable interplay over the years between research into i
I writing and learning and instruction in writing. Much of the research has had
direct repercussions on the classroom, and classroom practice and observation I
I has often been the source of research studies. (p. 7)
‘ I Given the interconnection between the classroom and the researcher, it I
is imperative that teachers familiarize themselves with how research is
conducted. - *
Chapter 2, by Charlene Polio, offers readers the opportunity to under-
stand a variety of research findings in the field that seem critical to the
discipline of L2 writing as determined through many research paradigms.
She explains the goals for and the methodology of research that uses
the following approaches: experimental and quasi-experimental, corre-
lational, causal-comparative, survey, content analysis, historical, partie- `
ipant observation, nonparticipant observation, and ethnographic —— in i
each case citing specific studiesin L2 writing that utilize the method in I
question. The framework she provides helps promote awareness of how I
to seek out and process additional published research studies about L2 ,
writing with richer understanding. ` l
` References
· Archibald, A., Sc jeffery, G. C. (2000). Editorial: Secondilanguage acquisition _
and writing: A mu1ti—disciplinary approach. Learning and Instruction, 10,
1-11. ‘ . A
i Atkinson, D. (2000). On Robert B. Kaplarfs response to Terry Santos et al.’s
"On the future of second language writing." foarnal of Second Language
Writing, 9, 317-320.
Connors, R. (1997). Cornposition—rbetoric: Backgrounds, theory, pedagogy.
Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

14 Part I
Kaplan, R. B. (2000). Response to "On the future of second language writing," A 1
Terry Santos (Ed.), et al. journal of Second Language Writing, 9, 31 1—314. ‘
Kennedy, M. L. (Ed.), (1998). Theorizing composition: A critical sourcebook .
of theory and scholarship in contemporary composition studies. Westport,
CT: Greenwood Press.
Santos, T, Atkinson, D., Erickson, M., Matsuda, P. K., Sc Silva, T. (2000). On
the future of second language writing: A colloquiurn. fournal of Second I
Language Writing, 9, 1—·20.
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l
i Existing historical accounts of studies in second language (L2) writing,
l which began to appear in the 1990s, usually begin with the 1960s _
and catalogue pedagogical approaches or emphases (e.g., Lel 1992; ii
Raimes, 1991; Silva, 1990).1 It is not historically insignificant that many
researchers see the 1960s as the beginning of the discipline, that they
. focus on pedagogical approaches or emphases, and that historical ac- gi
{ counts began to appear in the 1990s because these accounts embody a
set of assumptions about the disciplinary and epistemological status of
I second language writing. That is, these accounts tend to position second
language writing as a subfield of second language studies and present
the primary responsibility of second language writing researchers as the
development of pedagogical knowledge in the service of advancing the
field. Yet, a broader view of the history seems to suggest the limitations
of these assumptions. Although it is true that writing issues began to .
attract serious attention from L2 specialists only in the 1960s, historical
evidence suggests that L2· writing instruction did not suddenly become an
issue in the 1960s (Matsuda, 1999). Furthermore, the rise of historical
consciousness in the early 1990s seems to indicate that the nature of
second language writing studies began to change around that time,
My goal in this chapter is to provide an understanding of the dy-
namics of the lield of second language writing by considering its de-
velopment from a broader, interdisciplinary perspective. Specihcally, I
will be examining how this academic specialty has been shaped by the
interdisciplinary relationship between composition studies and second
language studies. Understanding the historical context of the field is im-
portant both for researchers and teachers because our theoretical and
pedagogical practices are always historically situated. Without know-
_ ing the context in which certain theories or pedagogical strategies de-
veloped, we will not be able to apply them or modify them in other
- contexts or in light of new theoretical insights. Without an understand-
ing of the history, we may continue to use pedagogical strategies that
are no longer appropriate for the changing student population or dis-
miss some useful ideas or practices for the wrong reasons. In other
words, this historical chapter tries to enhance second language writing

16 Paul Kei Matsuda 5
teachers’ understanding of the existing theoretical and pedagogical ·
insights. ‘ .
The genesis of second language writing issues [
Writing was neglected in the early years of second language studies pos- I
sibly because of the dominance of the audiolingual approach in the mid
twentieth century. As I have argued elsewhere (Matsuda, 2001), how— I
ever, the neglect of writing in second language studies goes even further ,
back, namely, to the rise of applied linguistics in the late nineteenth cen—
tury. Early applied linguists of that era sought to apply, quite literally,
the findings of scientihc linguistics — which has until fairly recently fo-
cused almost exclusively on spoken language — in the realm of language
teaching. Reacting against the perceived dominance of "writing" in L2 1
learning (i.e., literary texts in such "dead" languages as Latin), the in-
tellectual leaders of early applied linguistics in Europe -— most notably, {
phoneticians Henry Sweet (1899/1964) and Paul Passy (1929) - argued -
that phonetics should be the basis of both theoretical and practical stud- l
ies of language (i.e., linguistics and applied linguistics) and that the spo-
ken form of language should take precedence over the written form. For l
_ the most advanced language learners, the use of free composition — or ;
the production of extended written discourse by reproducing previously l
learned materials —— was recommended as a more desirable alternative
to then—traditi0nal translation exercises. However, priority was given to
spoken language because writing was defined merely as an orthographic
representation of speech and because letter writing was considered to be
the highest literacy need for most people.
The view of language teaching as an application of scientific descriptive
linguistics - with a strong emphasis on the primacy of spoken language — ·
became influential in many parts of the world. For this reason, writing did
not become an important component of L2 teaching until fairly recently.
The neglect of written language was most conspicuous in the United
States between the 1940s and the 1960s, when the view of language as
speech was institutionalized through the work of Leonard Bloomfield
and Charles C. Fries. °
The rise of L2 studies in U.S. higher education . (
Although U.S. higher education institutions began to enroll a significant
number of international English as a second language (ESL) students
starting in the late nineteenth century, the teaching of ESL did not receive
serious attention until the 1940s. At this time, the potential threat of
s g l
n
a |

I Second language writing in the twentieth century 17
totalitarianism coming into Latin American countries made the teaching
{ of English to people from those nations a matter of national security for
the United States, especially given their geographic proximity. To provide
English instruction and develop pedagogical materials for those Spanish-
speaking students, the English Language Institute (ELI), the first intensive
language program of its kind, was created at the University of Michigan
in 1941 with Charles C. Fries as its director. After World War Il, the ELI
expanded its scope to provide instruction for international students from
other countries.
i The curriculum at the Michigan ELI reflected the influence of Sweet’s
“ work as well as Fries’s strong commitment to the application of de-
scriptive linguistics (Allen, 1973). The production of extended written
discourse was not one of the instructional goals of the ELI because
Fries (1945), like Sweet, assumed that students would be able to write I
once they mastered the structure and sounds of a language. Although
written script was sometimes used, it was usually to facilitate the
learning of spoken language through the use of printed materials de-
veloped at the ELI. The ELI also provided professional preparation in
the teaching of ESL, contributing to the creation of intensive English
programs across the nation (modeled on the ELI) as well as the profes-
sionalization of the field of teaching ESL (hence TESL) in the United
States and abroad. The.- teaching of writing, however, was not a sig-
I nificant part of the ESL teacher’s preparation at least until the late
1950s. .
In the context of foreign- language teaching, this development was
paralleled by the work of Leonard Bloomfield. Because of his strong ij
commitment to the application of linguistics to the teaching of language -
which was inspired by the work of Sweet (1 899/1964) and Otto jespersen
(1904), among others — his pedagogy, which he had begun to develop as
early as 1914, focused exclusively on spoken language. Parallel to these _
developments, reading had been the primary goal of instruction in the
foreign language teaching community since the early twentieth century.
Only in the 1940s was Bloomfield’s Outline Guide for the Practical Study
of Foreign Language (1942) adopted by the Intensive Language Program
of the American Council of Learned Societies as well as by the Army
Specialized Training Program (ASTP).
Later, the ASTP Method — which was informed by Bloomfield’s ped—
agogical work — and Fries’s oral approach were consolidated to form
what came to be known as the audiolingual approach; this became in-
fluential in both ESL and foreign language classrooms. However; the
presence of an increasing number of international ESL students in higher
education and required college composition courses led to the emer—
gence of instruction in second language writing in U.S. higher education
institutions.2


i 1 8 Paul Kei Matsuda (
L2 issues in English departments (
in English departments, which had been offering required first—year com-
position courses since the late nineteenth century, L2 writing instruction (
first became a serious concern. After World War II (1939-1945), the
number of international students in the United States began to increase (
rapidly, especially at research institutions. Between 1940 and 1950, the
number rose from 6,570 to 29,813 (Institute of international Education, (
1961). No longer able to ignore the presence of non-native speakers,
_ teachers and administrators of composition began to create special sec- (
tions of freshman English courses. Although some institutions labeled
these courses remedial, others considered them equivalent to composition (
courses required of native-English speakers and awarded ESL students (
college credit for such courses.
Reflecting the increasing recognition of the instructional problem, (
L2 writing instruction became a significant issue at annual meetings of
. the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), (
which was established in 1949 as the primary professional forum at _
which teachers and scholars gathered to discuss the field. During the (
1950s, ESL panels and workshops at CCCC were attended by composi-
tion teachers as well as ESL teachers. Many second language specialists (
at CCCC recommended the use of materials developed at the Michigan
ELI because no other available textbooks for L2 learners were informed (
by linguistic perspectives. Although these materials were intended for the r
teaching of spoken language in intensive programs, they were targeted
to L2 students, in contrast to available composition textbooks that had
been developed for Li students.
In the late 1950s, concern with L2 writing issues began to shift gradu- . __
ally from composition studies to second language studies. The profession- (
alization of second language teachers, prompted by the creation of the
I Michigan ELI and other teacher preparation programs, led ESL special-
ists to argue that L2 students should be taught only by trained specialists
(now that such training was available)Q As a result, many composition
specialists of the time lost interest in ESL issues. By the mid-1960s, at- (
tendance at ESL sessions of CCCC had become so small that at the 1966
meeting the discouraged members of the ESL workshop decided not to
meet there again. In the same year, a new organization was foundedeto
serve the needs and interests of L2 specialists in general: TESOL (Teachers
of English to Speakers of Other Languages). Consequently, writing issues .
were divided into L1 and L2 components, and L2 writing issues came (
to be situated almost exclusively in second language studies — or more .
specifically, in the area of Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).
' Thus, the disciplinary division of labor between composition studies and
second language studies was firmly established.3 (
l . l
l

I Second language writing in the twentieth century 19
Second language writing as a subdiscipline of TESL
I With the continuing increase of international students in U.S. higher ed-
I ucation and the creation of the disciplinary division of labor between L1
and L2 composition, preparing international ESL students for required
first—year composition courses became an important responsibility for ‘
ESL teachers in intensive English programs, which were usually external
to college curricula.4 In other words, the intensive English program began
to assume a remedial role in relation to the composition program. When
I second language writing instruction became part of ESL programs in the
early 1960s, however, ESL teachers were not specifically prepared for the
I new responsibility because their professional preparation, if any, focused
almost exclusively on teaching the spoken language. It was clear to many
that a pedagogy in second language writing was needed for intermediate
ESL students who had completed the oral component of the program
but who were yet not prepared for first—year composition courses. For
I this reason, second language writing emerged as a “subdiscipline" (Ferris
Sc Hedgcock, 1998, p. 5) of TESL with a strong pedagogical emphasis.
I A number of pedagogical approaches were proposed, each representing
a different conception of the nature of writing,$ several of which are
I discussed briefly. I -
Writingus sentence-level structure
In response to the gap between the need to prepare ESL students for free
composition — or the production of "an original discourse . . . about some
given subject matter" (Erazmus, 1960, p. 25) - and the lack of writing
pedagogy, ESL specialists attempted to extend the application of exist-
ing principles of second language pedagogy (i.e., the oral approach and
the audiolingual approach) to the teaching of second language writing. _
Edward Erazmus, who at the time was a staff member of the l\/Iichigan
ELI, attempted to reintroduce the use of free composition exercises as a
way of developing fluency in writing. He also suggested the application of
Kenneth Pike’s tagmemics as an invention heuristic, and this later became
influential in the field of composition studies. However, arguments for
free composition exercises were dismissed as "naive traditional views"
by those who, from the perspective of contrastive linguistics and a be-
havioral theory of learning, believed that “ any free, random, hit—or—miss
activity" should be “eliminated wherever possible, so that errors aris-
I ing from the native—to—target language transfer can be avoided” (Pincas,
1962, p. 185). Instead, the use of controlled composition, an approach
that focused on sentence-level structure, was proposed. informed by a
behavioral, habit—formation theory of learning, controlled composition D
consisted of combining and substitution exercises that were designed to

20 Paul Kei Matsuda l
facilitate the learning of sentence structures by providing students with l I
“no freedom to make mistal ” (Pincas, 1982, p. 91). ( (
The limitation of controlled composition soon became clear, however, ,
because sentence—level grammar exercises did not help students to pro- { ]
duce original sentences, let alone free composition. For this reason, the · (
use of guided composition, which provided less rigid structural guidance, (
was devised. In its broadest conception, guided composition "includes 6
any writing for which students are given assistance such as a model to j
follow, a plan or outline to expand from, a partly—written version with (
indications of how to complete it, or pictures that show a new subject to l [
write about in the same way as something that has been read" (Pincas, I
1982, p. 102). Despite some efforts to provide empirical support for l ]
fluency over accuracy (e.g., Briére, 1966), a consensus seemed to have {
emerged that "composing — writing beyond the sentence — must be guided
or controlled" (Slager, 1966, p. 77). Although the teaching of sentence- l l
level structure continues to be a concern in many ESL writing classrooms, [
its place in writing pedagogy has been a controversial issue (see Ferris, { H
1999; Truscott, 1996, 1999). S
d
Writing as disconrselevel structure ` il
Neither controlled nor guided composition provided adequate prepa- _ _ E
ration for free composition, however, because both focused almost ex- P
clusively on sentence-level structures. Observing the discrepancy between tj
students’ ability to produce grammatically correct sentences and the abil- 3
ity to achieve "logical organization" as judged by native English speak- e T]
ing (NES) readers, Robert B. Kaplan (1966) argued that the problem 1
stemmed from the transfer of L1 structures beyond the sentence level. He
was especially influenced by composition specialist Francis Christensen, \g
whose "Generative Rhetoric of the Paragraph” (1965) extended the anal- ` 1;
ysis of linguistic structure to the level of the paragraph. Drawing on the C,
principles of contrastive analysis and the Sapir~Whorf hypothesis, Kaplan P
suggested that paragraph structures, like sentence structures, were lan- - 3
guage and culture specific, a founding principle of the field of contrastive gQ
rhetoric (discussed more fully- in Chapter 9, this volume, by Connor). fi
Kaplan’s suggestion led to a realization that "writing is much more if
than an orthographic symbolization of speech; it is, most importantly, A
a purposeful selection and organization of experience"'(Arapoff, 1967, if
P- 33l· a
The emphasis on "rhetoric," narrowly defined as the organizational ji
structure, came to be conceived of as an intermediate step between con- Ig (
trolled or guided exercises at the sentence level and free composition at I P, I
the other extreme. In the 1980s, the development of discourse analysis tg.
and text linguistics in the United States and Europe provided various h, (

i Second language writing in the twentieth century 21
i theoretical and methodological frameworks for investigating written dis-
l course systematically, and researchers began to examine structures of
written discourse in various languages and their possible influences on
[ L2 texts. Alternative explanations for L2 textual structures were also
explored, and the notion of contrastive rhetoric came to be defined Z
less deterministically. In recent years, contrastive rhetoric research has ii
evolved into a held of research of its own, encompassing more than i
just the organizational structure of written discourse (see Connor, 1996,
Chapter 9 this volume; Panetta, 2.001). Yet implications of contrastive ii
I rhetoric research in the context of the second language writing classroom §'_
I remain a point of contention (see Kubota, 1998; Leki, 1991; Matsuda,
e 1997) it
[ —, il
Writing as process
Until well into the 1970s, the teaching of second language writing focused
mostly on the features of L2 written text —— orthography, sentence—level
structure, and discourse—level structure — and the way L2 student texts
deviated from the L1 norm. In the late 1970s and the 1980s, however,
a number of developments in both composition studies and second lan-
guage studies prompted second language writing teachers and researchers
to consider factors other than properties of the texts themselves. in com-
position studies, the interest had begun to shift from textual features to
the process of writing itself, with researchers from various philosophical
and methodological orientations investigating the processes underlying
the production of written discourse (e.g., Emig, 1971; Flower 8c Hayes,
1981)6 c i
The notion of writing as process was introduced to L2 studies by ig
Vivian Zamel (1976), who argued that advanced L2 writers are simi—
lar to L1 writers and can benefit from instruction emphasizing the pro- ‘
cess of writing. Rather than the view of writing as a reproduction of
previously learned syntactic or discourse structures, the process—based
` approach emphasized the view of writing as a process of developing or-
ganization as well as meaning. Invention strategies, multiple drafts, and
formative feedback — both by the teacher and by peers — also became
important parts of writing instruction in many L2 writing classrooms.
Although some L2 teachers — following Hairston (1982) and others il§
in composition studies — enthusiastically promoted the process-based -
approach, characterizing its arrival as a paradigm shift (e.g., Raimes,
1983b), others warned against its uncritical acceptance (e.g., Horowitz,
1986; Susser, 1994). The applicability in the L2 context of pedagogical
practices that had been developed for L1 writers also came to be ques- ·
tioned, and researchers began to examine L2 writing processes to see
how they were similar to and different from L1 processes (for overviews

22 Paul Kei Matsuda I
of L2 writing process research, see Krapels, 1990; Sasaki, 2000; Silva, · ff
1993). I fl
I P
Writing as language use in context . Q;
The introduction of writing as process was paralleled by a development I fl
in second language studies — that is, English for Specific Purposes - P
which considered language and writing in the specific context of their I 3
use (see johns Sc Dudley$Evans, 1991) as well as the development of I 0
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) (see jordan, 1997), a major em- 3
phasis prompted by an increase of composition courses designed specifi— I
cally for international ESL students in English-dominant countries. This
movement was also fueled by the demand for writing instruction for a I
growing number of non—native English-speaking graduate students, par- Il
ticularly in the United States. I ,
If instruction that was specific to the context of language use was to P
be provided, an understanding of the various contexts of writing first I Sl
had to be developed. For this reason, EAP researchers began to describe - ti
various aspects of writing in relation to their specific context of use, in- I il
cluding features of academic genre (for a review, seejohns, Chapter 8 this Cl
volume) and academic writing needs as well as tasks that are required in ` I l
courses across the discipline. The reconceptualization of errors in light- it
of their effects on a native English speaking academic audience has also I C
taken place as part of this focus (see Frodesen 86 Holten, Chapter 6 this rf
volume). As a result of these developments, ESL writing courses at many I H
institutions were reconceived as preparation for writing in academic dis- b
course communities rather than as remediation for required composition I h
courses, although the ability of language teachers to provide domain-
specific language instruction has been questioned by some teachers I ii
(see Spack, 1988). I vi
1I
The limitations of pedagogical focus I
These pedagogical approaches, which were based on differing concep- tc
tions ofwriting, emphasize different aspects of second language writ- If
ing, but they are by no means mutually exclusive. As Raimes (1983a) ir
writes, few teachers are "so devoted to one approach as to exclude it
all others" (p. 11). Yet in the professional literature, these approaches fi
have often been pitted against one another, resulting in “a rather un-
productive approach cycle” that did not “encourage consensus on im- il
portant issues, preservation of legitimate insights, synthesis of a body of if
knowledge, or principled evaluation of approaches" (Silva, 1990, p. 18). 3 I
Further aggravating the situation was the lack of professional prepa- Si I
ration opportunities in the teaching of L2 writing. Until fairly recently, vi
I
I
I
‘`._.

i Second language writing in the twentieth century 23
l few post—baccalaureate professional preparation programs in TESL or
I related fields offered a course in second language writing. With few op-
portunities for professional preparation, teachers of L2. writing often
I relied on textbooks as their source of pedagogical knowledge coupled
with their own classroom experience for most of their preparation in
the field. Thus, textbooks and teacher "lore" (North, 1987) were their
preparation. However, as Raimes (l986) has pointed out, “new theories
and approaches are . . . often slow to find their way into practice" because
’ of the influence of “the oppositions in the field" as well as "publishing
I and marketing demands" (p. 157).
i ESL writing issues in composition studies
I in North America `
I While ESL writing pedagogy and research flourished in second language
I studies, ESL writing issues were conspicuously absent from composi-
. tion studies for many years because of the disciplinary division of labor
I (Matsuda, 1998, 1999). Although there were some exceptions, ESL con-
cerns were virtually nonexistent in composition studies between the mid ‘
1960s and the late 1970s. In the meantime, the ESL student population
in U.S. higher education continued to grow, as reflected in the annual
Open Doors Reports issued by the Institute of international Education.
The number of ESL writers was further increased by the advent of open
I admissions policies in the‘1960s and the 1970s, which brought in num-
bers of immigrant ESL students who had previously been excluded from
I higher education.
Although the quantity of intensive English programs was also increas-
I ing, composition instructors in general continued to face the challenge of
working with ESL writers because the number of institutions enrolling
I international ESL students far outnumbered those that offered special
ESL programs. Even when ESL programs were available, L2 writers’
"written accent" — L2 textual features that deviated markedly from L1
texts —- would not often disappear after a few months of instruction. As a
result, many international ESL students seeking a baccalaureate degree —
in many cases after completing intensive language courses —— were placed
in basic writing courses before becoming eligibleto enroll in required
first—year composition courses. _
The field of basic writing,7 a subfield of composition studies, emerged
in the 1970s as a result of open admissions policies at many urban
institutions — most notably, the City University of New York (CUNY) ——
I and brought a significant number of traditionally excluded groups of
students to U.S. higher education, Although basic writing was concerned
I with all students who were enrolled in basic writing courses, its primary

|
24 Paul Kei Matsuda l
focus was "native—born" rather than "foreign—born" students because of OOO
the differing needs of the two groups. Some institutions, such as Hunter ( dw
_College, created separate courses for NES basic writers and ESL students, YO?
but many institutions, because of the lack of resources, placed ESL writ- ( OOH
ers into basic writing courses that were taught by teachers with little ’ {Oli
or no preparation in working with ESL writers. Thus, the placement of ( CO'
ESL writers in basic writing classes became a point of contention. Many I
argued that ESL and basic writers should be taught separately because ( O if
of their differing needs; others — especially those who had background I WO?
in both ESL and writing — argued that they could be taught together l msi
profitably. 8 { PY O
Contrary to popular belief that L1 composition influences L2 compo- COO
sition but not the other way around, some insights from second language { WSI
studies have been applied to L1 composition studies as a way of address- OOO
ing the needs of NES basic writers. For instance, Mina Shaughnessjg a I {Og
pioneer in the field of basic writing, suggested that "many of the tech- mg]
niques developed in foreign language teaching seem to be applicable to ( hOV
basic writing" (1976, p. 162) because basic writers, “however differ- _ OOO
ent their linguistic backgrounds, are clearly colliding with many of the WU
same stubborn contours of formal English. . . that are also troublesome mc!
to students learning English as a second language" (1977, p. 92). For YO l
this reason, a number of basic writing specialists suggested the applica- (Mi
tion in basic writing instruction of theoretical and pedagogical insights (
from second language studies, including error analysis, vocabulary lists, i
and controlled composition. Shaughnessy (1977) also tried to improve Th
· writing teachers’ attitudes toward basic writers by adapting ‘°the view a
teacher is more likely to have toward a foreign student learning English” AS1
(p. 121). As a result, "writing as a second language" came to the fore as a gm
metaphor for characterizing the difhculties NES writers faced in learning PIO}
to produce the type of formal writing required in higher education. How- and
ever, the goal of these borrowed practices usually was to meet the needs abil
of NES basic writers rather than to help ESL writers in basic writing Wm
programs (Matsuda Bc jablonski, 2000). for
Nevertheless, basic writing specialists, with their strong commitment PIO ,
to helping traditionally excluded students gain access to higher educa- gag
tion, also welcomed the discussion of ESL issues in their publications. gYO‘
For instance, the ] ourmil of Basic Writing (]B W), established in 1975 and and
published by CUNY, has featured a number of articles concerning ESL OIOS
writers. In 1985, the ]BW officially announced the inclusion of ESL as a lanf
topic of interest, and articles focusing on ESL writing increased rapidly. in P
The interest in ESL issues was so intense that in 1991 College ESL, Y
also published by CUNKQ was established as a journal that focused on ber
“urban immigrant and refugee adults in college and pre—college settings" OO * `
(editorial policy). The publication of this new journal was significant IOW (
· l
I
I
l
._._ u ,,. y (
A ..ri ..(t ( (

I Second language writing in the twentieth century 25
S I because it created additional space to discuss issues surrounding the tra-
I ditionally neglected population of immigrant and refugee ESL writers.
Yet it may also have reinforced the disciplinary division of labor between
I composition studies and second language studies, as the number of ESL-
. related articles in the ]BWhas dropped noticeably since the founding of
I College esi,.
Although intensive English programs and basic writing courses served
I a remedial role, composition teachers continued to face the challenge of
working with ESL writers because a few semesters of additional language
I instruction would not usually allow them to achieve native—lil writing
proficiency. For this reason, ESL issues once again became an issue in
I composition studies in the late 1970s. As L2 writing issues became more
visible and as teachers and researchers from both composition studies
I and second language studies became involved in second language writ-
ing research, the disciplinary boundary between the two became increas-
I ingly blurred. Although the collaborative efforts of L1 and L2 specialists
I have resulted in various publications, and although CCCC has recently
I adopted an official statement concerning second language writing and
writers in North American college composition programs (CCCC State- ‘
I ment on Second Language Writing and Writers, 2001), more efforts need ‘
I to be made to fully integrate L2 writing issues into composition studies
I (Matsuda, 1999; Silva, Leki, ESC Carson, 1997).
I The emergence of an interdisciplinary field
I As the exchange of insights between composition studies and second lan-
guage studies has increased, researchers have come to recognize the com-
I plexity and multidisciplinary nature of second language writing research
· . r and teaching. For instance, johnson and Roen (1989) pointed out that a
" broader, multidisciplinary base is important in examining issues in L2
writing" because "no single theory from a single discipline can account
for the complex and interacting social, cultural, cognitive, and linguistic
processes involved" (p. 3), Kroll (1990) also writes that "for those en-
gaged in teaching second language [writers], what is needed is both a firm
grounding in the theoretical issues of first and second language writing
and an understanding of a broad range of pedagogical issues that shape
classroom writing instruction" (p. 2; italics mine). Consequently, second
language writing evolved into an interdisciplinary field of inquiry situated
in both composition studies and second language studies simultaneously.
With second language writing recognized as a legitimate field, the num-
ber of studies examining it has increased exponentially. Research articles
on second language writing issues have become increasingly visible in
journals such as College ESL, English for Specific Purposes, Language

26 Paul Kei Matsuda I
Learning, and TESOL Quarterly. Some journals in composition studies — I
such as College Composition and Communication, Teaching English I
in the Two—Year College, WPA: Writing Program Administration, and
Written Communication — have also begun to feature articles related to I
L2 writing. An increasing number of dissertations are now being devoted
to second language writing. Only about a half dozen dissertations on
L2 writing were written in the 1960s and about thirty in the 1970s, but
this number rose to more than 150 in the 1980s and well over 300 in
the 1990s. As the number of studies increased, the shortage of outlets
for publication became apparent and the Held began to develop its own
disciplinary infrastructure to facilitate the creation and dissemination of
knowledge about second language writing. I
In response to the “explosion of interest in research on compos~
ing in a second language" (Leki ESC Silva, 1992, p. iii), the journal of
Second Language Writing was established in 1992, indicating "the ma-
turing of scholarly communication in the field" (Tannacito, 1995, p. v).
The number of books on second language writing also increased, in- I
cluding monographs (e.g., Connor, 1996; Fox, 1994; johns, 1997; Li,
1996; Pennington, 1996; Rodby, 1992; Swales, 1990; Tucker, 1995) and I
edited collections (e.g., Belcher Bc Braine, 1995; Connor Sc johns, 1990;
Harklau, Losey, 8c Siegal, 1999; Kroll, 1990; Severino, Guerra, Sc Butler,
1997; Silva Sc Matsuda, 2001b) as well as collections of reprinted arti-
cles (e.g., DeLuca et al., 2002; Leeds, 1996; Silva 8c Matsuda, 2001a;
Zamel ESC Spack, 1998). Textbooks for second language writing teach~
ers also began to appear (Campbell, 1998; Ferris 86 Hedgcock, 1998; I
Grabe Sc Kaplan, 1996; Hyland, 2002; Lelti, 1992; Reid, 1993). With
the increase of scholarship in the field, bibliographic sources focusing on
second language writing have also become available. A Guide to Writing
in English as a Second or Foreign Language: An Annotated Bibliography
(Tannacito, 1995) features annotations of articles, books, and conference
presentations that were published before 1994. Since 1993, the ] ournal of
Second Language Writing has been providing annotated bibliographies
of recent related scholarship on a regular basis. A 1'ive—year compilation
of this bibliography has also been separately published (Silva, Brice, Sc
Reichelt, 1999). In addition, Polio and Mosele (1998) have developed an -
online bibliography that focuses on the teaching and learning of writing I
in second languages other than English. I
Several conferences focusing solely on second language writing issues I r
have been held, each resulting in an edited collection of essays and re-
search reports. The Erst of these conferences, called Second Language
Acquisition and Writing: A Multi—Disciplinary Approach,‘tool place in
the summer of 1996 at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom). I
Papers from that conference appear in Archibald and jeffrey (1997). 5
Additional edited collections resulting from recent conferences include I I
I
I

I
l.
I Second language writing in the twentieth century 27
I papers from the Ohio State Conference on Reading—Writing Connec—
| tions (Belcher {Sc Hirvela, 2001) and papers from the first Symposium on
Second Language Writing held at Purdue University (Silva Sc Matsuda,
I 2001b). The Symposium on Second Language Writing has now become a ‘:
biennial event. In addition to specialized conferences, presentations and
workshops focusing on second language writing issues have become in-
creasingly visible at related conferences, such as those of the American
Association for Applied Linguistics, the Conference on College Compo-
sition and Communication, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other
Languages, among others.
Opportunities for professional development have also increased in (
recent years. In the latest edition of The Directory of Professional Prepa- I `
ration Programs in TESOL in the United States and Canada, 1999—2001 .
(Garshick, 1998), an increasing number of professional preparation pro—
grams in TESOL have indicated the availability of coursework in sec-
ond language writing or writing in general. A few programs are even
beginning to offer a specialization in second language writing that in~ ·
tegrates coursework in both composition studies and second language
studies. At a number of institutions — such as indiana University of
Pennsylvania, Northern Arizona University, Purdue University, the Uni- _
versity of Toronto/Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education, and
the University of New Hampshire —— second language writing specialists
work closely with doctoral students, contributing to the development of
the next generation of second language writing teachers, researchers, and
teacher educators. ·
- Another important sign of maturity for second language writing as
. a field is the existence of metadisciplinary discourse — or self—conscious
inquiries into its nature and history (Matsuda, 1998). Metadisciplinary
discourse may include, for example, the discussion of methodology (e.g.,
Goldstein, 2001; Polio, 2001, Chapter 2 this volume), history (e.g.,
Matsuda, 1999, 2001; Raimes, 1991; Silva, 1990), interdisciplinary re-
lations (e.g., Atkinson Sc Ramanathan, 1995; Matsuda, 1998; Matsuda
8c jablonski, 2000; Santos, 1992; Silva, Leki, Sc Carson, 1997), and
ideological and political -issues (e.g., Benesch, 1993, 2001; Santos, 1992,
2001), as well as personal reflections on professional growth (e.g., Belcher ·
Sc Connor, 2001; Blanton Sc Kroll, 2002; Kroll, 2001), and the general
discussion of the status of the field (e.g., Atkinson, 2000; Kaplan, 2000;
Santos, Atkinson, Erickson, Matsuda, Sc Silva, 2000). ·-
Thus far, the field has focused mostly on issues that are specific
to the needs of international ESL students in U.S. higher education
because of the historical circumstances surrounding the origin of second
language writing; more recently, however, there has been an increasing
attention to immigrant and refugee students in North America (e.g.,
Harklau, Losey, Sc Siegal, 1999).9 This is not to say that research -

I
28 Paul Kei Matsuda I i
in contexts other than U.S. higher education or second languages other I W
than English has not taken place. As Reichelt (1999) points out, there I tc
is a growing body of literature on foreign language writing in the P,
United States that draws on both Ll and ESL composition research. I
An increasing number of studies have also examined L2 writing in- I
struction outside the United States (e.g., Tarnopolsky, 2000), with many I N
such studies coming out of Hong Kong and ]apan. Unfortunately, these ·
studies are often circulated locally and tend to remain unknown to I 1.
researchers and teachers in other countries. The lack of interaction 2-
among scholars and teachers in various sites is problematic: just as
theories of writing derived only from first language writers "can at_ 3'
best be extremely tentative and at worst totally invalid" (Silva, Leki, 4
Sc Carson, 1997, p. 402), theories of second language writing derived I
only from one language or one context are also limited. For second I
language writing instruction to be most effective in various disciplinary I
and institutional contexts, it needs to reflect the findings of studies con- ,
ducted in a wide variety of instructional contexts as well as disciplinary
perspectives. i 5'
_ _ - 6.
Directions for the future I 7,
The field of second language writing, which initially arose in reaction I
to immediate pedagogical concerns in U.S. higher education, has under-
gone a number of disciplinary and epistemological shifts to become an I
interdisciplinary field of inquiry with its own body of knowledge about `
the nature of second language writing and writing instruction. In ad-
dition, to facilitate and guide the development of knowledge, the held
has developed its own disciplinary infrastructure and metadisciplinary
discour_se. Yet second language writing should not become completely
independent from other fields that are also concerned with language
and writing. Severing interdisciplinary ties would be counterproductive R
because the field does not have its own instructional domain; that is,
L2 writing courses or programs are almost always situated in broader Al
programs or departments, such as applied linguistics, composition stud-
ies, education, foreign languages, linguistics, and TESL. To maintain the A]
Helcl’s ability to affect pedagogical decisions in a wide variety of institu— A,
_tional contexts, L2 writing teachers and researchers should continue to
draw on and contribute to other domains of knowledge that may influ-
ence L2 writing instruction; in other words, the field of second language Al
writing should be seen as a symbiotic field (Matsuda, 1998). As such,
it can and should continue to provide an evolving discourse commu- At
nity in which specialists from various related fields can come together
to discuss common issues and concerns — the nature of second language
a
I
I

I l o
J l
· Second language writing in the twentieth century 29
I l 1-
writing and writing instruction in various institutional contexts —- and
I to negotiate differences in theoretical, ideological, and methodological
perspectives.
l
· Zi
Notes ll
ri
1, Silva (1990) is an exception in that he begins his history from the 1940s.
2. For a personal perspective on the influence of the “Michigan approach" as lil
it related to the teaching of writing in the 1960s, see Blanton (2002).
3. For a detailed discussion of ESL issues at CCCC and the creation of the dis—
ciplinary division of labor between L1 and L2 writing, see Matsuda (1999). s
4. The interest in the teaching of ESL writing was not limited to the United
States. While no other institutions placed so much emphasis on first—year
composition courses as was found in U.S. higher education, growing slepti—
cism about theaudiolingual approach in the professional literature prompted
I second language teachers in other countries to explore different approaches - -
to the teaching of writing.
5. For different perspectives on the development of pedagogical approaches or
emphases, see Blanton (1995), Ferris and Hedgcock (1998), Leki (1992),
Raimes (1991), Reid (1993), and Silva (1990).
_ 6. For a succinct overview of L1 process pedagogy, see Tobin (2001). -
7. The term `“basic writing" first became popularized in the 1970s as an alter- ’
nate for the term "remedial writing." Courses for L1 students with weak
writing skills are also sometimes labeled "developmentai writing.” Such
courses are considered below the level of freshman composition.
8. For an overview of placement options for ESL writers, see Silva (1994).
9. Kaplan (2000) contends that studies of issues related to L2 writing outside
the United States have existed since the early part of the twentieth century,
although, as Atkinson (2000) points out, they have not had a signihcant
impact on the formation of the field of second language writing as ‘°an
organized academic lield" (p. 318).
References
it
Allen, H. B. (1973). English as a second language. In TZ A. Sebeolc (Ed.), Current
trends in linguistics: Linguistics in North America (Vol. 10, pp. 295—320). (
The Hague: Mouton.
Arapoff, N. (1967). Writing: A thinking process. TESOL Quarterly; 1(2), 33—39.
Archibald, A., SC jeffrey, G. (Eds.), (1997). Second language acquisition and _
writing: A multidisciplinary approach. Southampton, UK: The University .
of Southampton. C `
Atkinson, D. (2000). On Robert B. Kaplan’s response to Terry Santos et al.’s
“On the future of second language writing." journal of Second Language
Writing, 9, 317-320.
Atkinson, D., Sc Ramanathan, V (1995). Cultures of writing: An ethnographic if
comparison of L1 and L2 university writing/language programs. TESOL
Quarterly, 29, 539-568. Q

30 Paul Kei Matsuda I
Belcher, D., Bc Braine, G. (Eds.). (1995). Academic writing in a second language:
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34 Paul Kei Matsuda
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Erlbaum. l 1 §S
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l Charlene Polio
The main job for teachers of writing, whether their students be native _
speakers of the target language or second language learners, is to work
with their students to help them achieve improved writing proficiency
in accordance with student needs and course goals, £iClV311Ci11g beyond _
their current skill level. How best to do this is, understandably, a concern
that sits at the heart of the teaching enterprise. Many teachers are thus
drawn into becoming researchers, wanting to investigate one or more of
the many components that contribute to understanding writers and what- iii;
is involved in promoting proficiency in writing.
Teachers who do not personally carry on their own research studies
might additionally be drawn to research findings through interest in read~
ing about the work of others whose questions under investigation help
them better understand their own work as writing teachers. Even teachers Qi
who might claim that they are not researchers and are not research ori- lf
ented nevertheless directly or 'indirectly tap into research findings as they §,
choose textbooks, plan curricula and syllabi, work with student writers,
and otherwise carry out their teaching lives. Thus, all writing teachers ji
need to have a solid grounding in knowing what research investigations ig
have already illuminated for us about the nature of writing, learning
to write, and being a writer. Further, when they become knowledgeable
enough about aspects of research design to be able to keep abreast of
new developments, they are also able to reject claims that lack credibility, -
often as a direct result of flawed research design. This chapter should help t
novice teachers to become familiar with a range of research in second
language (L2) writing and to consider some distinctions in different re-
search designs - perhaps providing a foundation to help them become
researchers as well. _
As recently as twenty—five years ago, there was little published research _
on L2 writing. However, during the past twenty to twenty—five years, the
amount of empirical research} on L2 writing has been increasing expos
· nentially and shows no signs of diminishing. We only have to look at
journals related to teaching English as a second language (ESL), most
notably TESOL Quarterly, and foreign language teaching, most no-
tably Modern Language joumal, to see a large increase in the number
35
·!

36 Charlene Polio I
of research articles on writing. In addition, in 1992, a journal devoted ‘th_
solely to L2 writing, the journal of Second Language Writing, began I fa-
publication. Other journals once exclusively devoted to issues in first
language composition, such as Written Communication and Research in I 1.
the Teaching of English, have also relatively recently begun to publish ·
research articles dealing with L2 writers and L2 writing. I
Because L2 writing is a relatively new area of inquiry, an overview of
the research should, on one hand, not be a daunting task. On the other I 2_
hand, approaches to research on L2 writing are varied, thus making `
studies somewhat difhcult to categorize and compare. One reason for I
this variation is the range of backgrounds of the researchers and the in- I 3
terdisciplinary nature of the field, as pointed out by Matsuda in Chapter 1 l
in this volume. Furthermore, the objects of inquiry are varied and may I
include writers’ texts, writing processes, backgrounds, and attitudes, as 4
well as their teachers, and the social context, both within and outside the I `
writing classroom. These are exactly the sorts of topics that are addressed
in most of the subsequent chapters in this volume. I
This chapter is an overview of empirical research studies in second
language writing, demonstrating that claims made about teaching and `
learning writing derive from the accumulated findings of numerous inves- - th
tigations in the field. The emphasis of this review is on the methodology Tl
and techniques used in the research as opposed to a summary of findings, Su
and the chapter is organized according to the main object of inquiry, or PY
the focus of the research. With such an overview, those new to the field Of
will obtain an understanding of what L2 writing researchers study, what Y€*
kinds of questions they ask, and how they go about finding the answers. bc
For teachers, learning about the types of questions researchers ask will SH
give them a better understanding of the complexity of L2 writing and th
identify for them the range of factors related to teaching L2 writers, is- ta
sues that underpin the discussions presented on a topic-by—topic basis in
later chapters of this volume. Furthermore, by reading about the research C3
on areas of immediate concern to them in their own classrooms, teachers sh
will be better able to examine their own practices critically. A IE
{ ,
an
Organization of chapter _ pf
j to
Any discussion or review of research in the field of writing faces the chal- ‘ . tif
ienge of determining how to present the material so as to group studies in fel I
a consistent and illuminating way without distorting the original goals of ‘ of I
the researchers. The approach that has been selected for the discussion in ih- I
this chapter is to focus on what the researchers were investigating, that joi I
is, to classify the studies under review according to the main focus of the tht
research. The method for doing this, and a key organizational feature of en I
I E


I Research on second language writing 37
.
I this chapter, is the presentation of four tables, each listing studies that
I fall under the following categories:

I 1. Studies that focus on writers’ texts, that is, the written products they
compose (this focus relates to the discussion in Chapter 5 by Ferris,
I Chapter 6 by Frodesen and Holten, and Chapter 7 by Hamp—Lyons
later in this volume)
I 2. Studies that focus on writers’ processes, that is, how writers produce
I their texts (this is discussed by some second language writers in
Chapter 4 by Silva et al. in this volume)
I 3. Studies that focus on participants in the learning and teaching process
(this is the focus of Chapter 4 by Silva et al. and Chapter 3 by Cumming
I - in the next section of this volume)
4. Studies that focus on the context of L2 writing both inside and outside
I the classroom (the focus of Chapter 8 by johns, Chapter 9 by Connor,
I Chapter 10 by Grabe, and Chapter 13 by Leki in this volume)
Clearly, there is some overlap among categories. For example, studies
that focus on the participants certainly do so within a social context. I
Thus, we can in some ways consider research on the participants as a
subset of research on the social context, just as research on the writing
process is a subset of research on the participants. Furthermore, much
of the research cited here has more than one focus or more than one
research question.2 For example, some studies may ask questions about
both the nature of teacher feedback and the writers’ text, as opposed to
simply being concerned with the effect of feedback on the text (issues {I
that Ferris in Chapter S as well as Frodesen and Holten in Chapter 6
take up in greater detail in this volume).
In the discussions of specihc. research investigations into L2 writing, I
categorized according to the four areas or categories identified above, I §·‘
shall review the foci, techniques, and methodological approaches used
` in the studies under review, tty to provide a closer analysis of some of _
the key research questions that motivated the studies under discussion,
and include some interpretive comments related to key aspects of the ap- - _ ii
proaches and issues raised in the studies themselves, particularly pointing
to potential methodological concerns. What unites all the studies iden~ ‘
tified in the tables are that they are undeniably examples of empirical
research; they have been selected not only as examples of one (or more)
of the four categories above, but also on the basis of their accessibility, `
that is, most of the works to be referred to are in print and in refereed
journals. The tables include some works not discussed in the text and -
thus provide additional resources to direct readers to a wider range of
empirical studies on the categories under focus. _ c . ‘

38 Claarlene Polio I
Understanding empirical approaches s
A key aspect in any research study is the approach that was used to set up I
the study and/or collect the data under investigation. For the purposes of ' I
this chapter, I have selected a set of five categories that have been used in I
a variety of educational research settings and are typical of approaches " i 1
used in research on writing. A brief explanation of each of the categories I 2
follows.3 I l
i T
1. Experimerztal: In experimental (and quasrexperimental) research, the I
researcher actually manipulates an independent variable (which is Str;
some kind of treatment created for the purpose of the experiment) I EBC
to study its effect. A key test for the rigor of experimental research is r wif
to provide results that can be replicated by other researchers conduct= I kc),
ing similar experiments at a later time (referred to as replicability). fm,
An example of experimental research in writing would be a study that I typ,
has one group of students receive explicit instruction in certain gram- thk
matical features of English while another group (the control group) I EXC
receives no explicit instruction. After the instruction (i.e., the treat- I [635
ment) is over, both groups are asked to write on the same topic and ide;
their level of grammatical accuracy is compared. - I to a
2. Correlatiorial: In correlational research, the relationship between two fma
or more variables (that is, the components of interest) is described I by:
with no causal relationship implied. An example would be a study pre
that examines the relationship between reading scores on a multiple- I Fl
choice comprehension test and writing scores on an essay test. hel}
3. Causal-comparative: Causabcomparative research is somewhat simi— I Thf
lar to correlational research in that it also explores a relationship be- late
tween variables; the difference is that subjects are divided into groups I thi:
according to some categorical variable (e. g., gender, native language). I mrs
An example would be a study that compares the nature of written 3 H
peer feedback provided by male versus female students. the
4. Survey: Survey research obtains answers from a large sample of the
population in order to describe some characteristic of the population. R6
An example would be a study of ESL students who frequent their
campus learning resource center or writing lab to 1'ind out what aspects 130*
of writing they most frequently requested help with. ’ Th(
5." Qualitative. Generally, qualitative research attempts to explore indi- Hrs,
viduals in their natural setting by using several different sources-of data Alt;
or methods of data collection. Qualitative research, perhaps because it I cha
does not begin from a predetermined set of questions for investigation, aye I
is the most problematic to dehne.4 In general, the findings of qualita— be i i
tive research provide a more holistic picture of the phenomenon being stue I
I l
IQ-.. `

, I `
Research on second language writing 39
l il
ll
l studied than the quantitative methods described previously. Within
U qualitative research, one may use a wide variety of techniques, includ-
. ing interviews, observation, or document analysis. An example of a
i qualitative study would be one in which a single novice writing teacher
is observed and interviewed periodically for an entire term of teaching
l and various class documents are collected and analyzed. The research
write—up then attempts to provide a rich portrait of the novice writing ‘
I teacher’s decision—making processes. - -.
l Structure of the tables Q
l Each of the four tables classifying the studies under review offers a grid
with six key pieces of information. First, the main focus of one or more
key studies is identified, followed by a listing of the more specific focus Q
found in each of the studies cited. These labels help to single out the
types of concerns that published writing research has investigated. The i
third column in each table gives the authors and dates of studies that ··
exemplify the particular focus. This is followed by an articulation of at
least one specific research question of the given study. The next column t
identifies the specific measurement instrument or research technique used T ‘ i
to analyze or investigate the research question as posed in the study. The i
hnal column categorizes the research approach of the study as a whole {
l by assigning a label naming which of the five approaches identified in the T
previous section has been used.
The purpose of the discussions that follow is to use broad strokes to
help teachers see what has been studied and how it has been researched.
These discussions should help teachers identify the range of factors re- ‘
lated to writing and understand why easy answers to questions regarding
l the teaching of L2 writing are not readily available. In subsequent chap- .
ters in this volume, most of the authors review empirical research within .
a more narrow perspective as they elaborate on a single component in {
the whole picture of teaching L2 writing.
Research on L2 writers’ texts
Foci and techniques
The greatest number of studies described in this chapter fall under the · l
first of the four categories identified, namely, research on L2 writers’ text. g
Although the published studies presented here in Table 2. 1 often examine ;
. characteristics of the writers, instruction, and the writing process, they T
are ultimately concerned with features of the text. This is arguably to
be expected given that the majority of research has the goal of helping
students produce better texts, definitions of quality aside. . .




l
42 Cbczrlene Polio l
A variety of techniques or measures can be used to study either the Re
overall quality of a text or a specific feature or construct within a text, I
such as linguistic accuracy or syntactic complexity. Some researchers Rs
look at an aspect of the lexicon, content, mechanics, or coherence and I Hlc
discourse features. Choosing the best measure is usually not straightfor— km
ward. Researchers who want to quantify the quality of a complete text I UO
can choose from a range of holistic measures, which assign one overall ccf
score to an essay, such as the Test of Written English scale, used, for am
example, in the study by Engber (1995) on lexical proficiency. Another arf
option is a composite score that is derived from the sum of scores assigned gm
to various aspects of a text. This type of scale is called an analytic scale. Sm
One commonly used analytic scale, taken from ]acohs et al. (1981), gives . H3
scores in six areas resulting in a final score of up to 100. This scale is used, dei
for example, by Tsang (1996) in a study involving reading and writing.
Studies that attempt to quantify linguistic accuracy or syntactic com- I A
plexity have a range of measures as well. Measures of linguistic accuracy f
are reviewed in both Polio (1997) and YX/olfe—Quintero, Inagaki, and Mi
Kim (1998). Constructs like lexical sophistication or lexical variation me
can pose identification and measurement challenges to researchers trying . vei
to select which of the potential measures best capture quality or devel- its
opment. Measures for these constructs are discussed by Engber (1995) the
and Laufer and Nation (l995). wr
Content, coherence, and discourse features are more difficult to oper- lin
ationalize. Content is generally a matter of quality, and thus researchers m
will often use a holistic scale that is part of an analytic scale assessing I Cc
the entire piece of writing (e.g., Hedgcock Sc Lefkowitz, 1992). Other lat
· attempts to quantify content are infrequent, but one such example is the sin
. study by Kepner (1991), which tabulated the presence of higher—level ex;
propositions in her study on the effect of various types of feedback. rel
Valdes, Haro, and Echevarriarza (1992) took another approach by look- an
ing qualitatively at the topics written hy students at various levels of low
proficiency, thus making no attempt to assess or measure content but or;
rather to describe it. the
And finally, some researchers have examined writers’ texts to look ers
at coherence or discourse features not included in the categories dis- Ec
cussed above. Although a few using holistic scales (e.g., Devine, Railey, ch
Sc Boshoff, 1993) attempted to assess quality, most of_ the studies were tht
. really concerned with describing a range of discourse elements, such as pi-.
metadiscourse features (Allison, 1995) or cohesion`(Reynolds, 1995). tic
The studies in this category vary more than those in other groupings as sh; I
there is no common construct, such as grammatical accuracy or lexical hy I
sophistication, being measured. Hence the techniques used are not com- _
parable, meaning we cannot say that any one is preferable to any other; im I
they are examining different text features. rh; I
I
n
F l

I Research on second language writing 43
Research questions -
Researchers examine writers’ texts for a variety of reasons. One of the
most common reasons is to study the effect of some intervention, such as
kind of feedback (Hedgcock Sc Lefkovvitz, 1992) or program of instruc-
I tion (Tsang, 1996), on writing. Hence, these studies are ultimately con-
cerned with a change in text quality. Some researchers, such as Kobayashi
and Rinnert (1992), ask about writers’ writing on different tasks. They
are concerned with the cognitive processes involved in producing differ-
ent kinds of writing or writing under different circumstances. And finally,
some of the studies focus on development or change over time (Valdes,
Haro, Sc Echevarriarza, 1992), including which measures best capture
development (Ishikawa, 1995; Laufer Sc Nation, 1995).
I Approaches and issues ‘
I Much of the research in the approaches and issues category is experi-
mental; the researcher manipulates the independent variable (the inter-
vention, as in Tsang, or the task, as in Kobayashi Sc Rinnert) to study
its effect on the dependent variable (some feature of the text). Much of
the research is also causal-comparative. Researchers compare groups of
Writers based on some characteristic such as their cognitive model (de-
fined by Devine, Railey, Sc Boshoff, 1993, as what writers pay attention
to when they write) or how high their essay was rated (Schneider Sc
I Connor, 1990). They study how the characteristics of the groups are re-
lated to some feature of the learners’ writing. Correlational research is
similar, but instead, two variables are correlated, as in Engber’s study: she
examined the relationship between overall quality and different measures
related to the lexicon. This is different from a study such as Schneider
. and Connor’s, which separated the essays into two groups (high and
low rated), creating an additional variable, and then examined the texts’
organization. And finally, a small set of studies in this category fall under
the qualitative approach. Coombs (1986) examined the texts of L2 learn-
ers of German with regard to syntactic complexity, and Valdes, Haro, and
Echevarriarza (1992) looked at how the topicsof L2 learners of Spanish
changed over time. Both these studies used `document analysis, that is,
they simply compared the features of essays from students at different
_ proficiency levels. Neither, like much of the qualitative research men-
tioned in this chapter, drew from multiple sources of data, but they do
share the characteristic of examining the data without predetermined
hypotheses. `
_ Because most of the research that focuses on writers° texts is exper-
imental, correlational, or causal-comparative, the most important issue
that researchers need to deal with is the reliability and validity of their

. is 4``E i
l
44 Charlene Polio
measures. Hamp—Lyons (Chapter 7 this volume) also addresses the de- i
gi termination of reliability and validity, and I have discussed these issues
more extensively in Polio (2001). To summarize, much research does not
*=l report interrater reliability, and this is problematic because a lack of re—
liability in the measure can mask significant findings. In addition, we do
? not know the extent to which the various measures that claim to measure
the same characteristic really are doing so. ln other words, are the vari-
ous measures valid?5 Furthermore, because much of the research in this
area is experimental, researchers need to be concerned with replication.
E Much of the research is not fully or adequately reported, thus making it
difficult for others to replicate the results in full or to use the measures
in other studies.6
Research on the writing process {
Foci and techniques I
The studies included in this category are those that examine some part of .
the writing process, broadly defined, as opposed to the actual outcome I
(i.e., the text that the writer produces). Some of the studies described
below do consider the writers? texts (e.g., McGroarty Sc Zhu, 1997), but
at least one research question in the studies focuses on some point in the
writing process. Some of the studies focus on what the writer does as
he or she writes, and others examine how various kinds of feed-back are ·
given and/or used during the process. I
The first set of studies in Table 2.2 examines the entire process. Other ‘
studies focus on some specific aspect of the process — for example,
revisions (i.e., how writers change what they have written), fluency (i.e.,
how quickly one writes), the prewriting process, or even how students
use. dictionaries while writing. In addition, some researchers look at a .
specific intervention within the writing process. For example, a study
may examine how a student interprets and uses teacher feedback while
revising. A study may also focus on what happens during a peer review -
or a conferencing session as part of the writing process.
The techniques for examining the writing process differ depending on
what the main focus of the research is. For those who want a picture of
the entire writing process, as much as one can attain this, five different
techniques have been used: stimulated recall, interviews, text analysis,
observation, and talk aloud protocols. In stimulated recall,·the writer is -
videotaped while writing, as in Bosher (1998). Immediately after writing, (
the researcher sits down with the writer to discuss the writer’s thought (
processes while they view the videotape together. One of the first to _ (
use this technique was Rose (1984) in a study of native language (Li) 5
writing. (More about this technique can be found in Gass and Mackey, iJ




Research on second language writing 47
2000.) Talk aloud protocols, used by Whalen and Menard (1995), are
perhaps a more controversial technique. Talk alouds were used earlier
by psychologists in studies of problem solving (e.g., Newell 86 Simon,
R 1972) and in studies of L1 writing (e.g., Emig, 1971). This technique has
the writer verbalize what he or she is doing while writing. This method
has been criticized, in part, for the effect it may have on the writing
· process; that is, it may change how the writer writes.? Furthermore, using ”
the talk aloud process may be more problematic with L2 writers whose
L2 oral proficiency may be insufficient to verbalize complex thought
processes. On the other hand, using the L1 to describe what one is doing
in the L2 may be extremely difficult as well. Observations can also be
used. Pennington and So (1993) developed an on—line coding scheme
in which the observer can code a writer’s behavior while the writer is
writing. Interviews, such as those used by Zamel (1983), have also been
used and can be supplemented by document analysis —· that is, looking
at the writers’ notes and drafts. The benefit of such a technique is that
the researchers look outside of a controlled setting and study the writer
in real life.
For researchers who want to study a more specific point in the process,
the technique will vary with what is being _studied. To measure fluency,
generally the number of words written in a given time is counted. (But
see Wolfe—Quintero et al., 1998, for a discussion of other measures.) The
studies listed in Table 2.2 that examine choosing a topic on a writing
exam (Polio Sc Glew, 1996) and dictionary use (Christianson, 1997) both
used interviews, supplemented by observation and analysis of students’
texts, respectively. Revision can be studied with a variety of techniques,
such as comparing a draft and revision, using talk aloud protocols while -1
a writer revises, or interviewing writers about what they do.
Describing what takes place in peer review or conferencing sessions _
. is generally done through observation and coding of the oral data. The
studies that examined how students use written feedback are multiple
case studies that used verbal reports, questionnaires, draft and revisions
of assignments, and classroom observations. (Ferris, Chapter 5 this vol—
ume, discusses the contributions of feedback in greater detail.)
Research questions
Why do researchers want to know about the writing process? if we look
at the various research questions, we can see three kinds of questions
being asked. The lirst is a very general question, such as in Zamel (1983)
or Roca de Larios, Murphy, and Manchon (1999) simply asking what
_ the process is like. The question can be asked of a specific group, such
as in Porte (1997), or about two different groups, such as in Bosher
(1998) or Phinney and Khouri (1993.). In addition, several studies have

48 Charlene Polio l
attempted to compare the writing process in students’ L1 and L2 (Hall, l Of
1990; Pennington Sc So, 1993; Whalen ESC Menard, 1995). pf
A second set of questions addresses interventions and may result in an
answer that is descriptive, such as Villamil and deGuerrero (1996), who py
asked what takes place during peer review, or Hyland (1998), who stud- Stj
ied how students use and interpret written feedback. Some of the ques- tl-;
tions regarding interventions seek to determine the effect of some Of
treatment on the intervention itself, as opposed to on the final outcome, W]
the written text. For example, McGroarty and Zhu (1997) looked at the SK
effect of peer training on stuclents’ ability to comment on their classmates’ Sa;
writing. Cumming and So (1996) studied the effect of the kind of tutoring to
and the choice of language on the discourse used in the session. CO
And finally, a very limited number of studies have looked at change Of
in writers over time. One cross—sectional study by Henry (1996) studied an
change in terms of how fluent the writers became — that is, whether they jar
wrote any faster over time. Sasaki (2000) studied the writing process fc,
using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data to examine the_differ— Of
ences in the writing process of novices and experts, and before and after CO;
instruction. c is
_ sin
Approaches cmd issues
ces
A few experimental studies (Cumming SL So, 1996; McGroarty SC Zhu, an
1997) manipulate variables and measure the outcome of some interven— P1-,
tion on the writing process. Unlike research that focuses ultimately on my
the product, however, most of the research that focuses on the process is ccs
qualitative. These studies seek to describe a particular phenomenon, such css
as the interpretation of feedback (Hyland, 1998) or restructuring within WI
revision (Roca de Larios, Murphy, Sc Manchon, 1999). Some of the stud- dg,
ies are causal—comparative in that they examined _how some aspect of the _
writing process differs for two different groups of writers (Phinney Sc CO.
Khouri, 1993) or writers writing in their L1 rather than their L2 (Hall, pet
1990). Some of the researchers, such as Pennington and So (1993) and for
Bosher (1998), asked causal—comparative—type questions using a design the
appropriate for answering such questions. Because of the small sample as -
sizes, however, they did not report statistics and simply described the qu;
data. · _ tic,]
The most difficult problem regarding studies of the writing process intl
itself is how to study something for which there is normally no tangible mu
product (given that the process implies internal behaviors that may or WI;
may not coincide precisely with such external documents as notes or ,
drafts). Specifically, how can researchers describe what L2 learners are P,-C
doing and thinking as they write? Some of the difficulties involved are suc
mentioned above, and Smagorinsky (1994) provides a coherent overview . fm-,
iiii 1 is - .....
-.·-.‘-. . ... ‘-r l

} Research on second language writing 49
ls of the problems in his book on research methods used to study the writing
l process.
H ‘ A logistic difficulty is the time—consuming nature of the data collection
0 process in some of these studies. One session with one student doing a
lr stimulated recall can take several hours, followed by the time it takes to
it transcribe the recall. Compare this to having 100 students produce a piece
-6 of writing in one sitting. Because collecting and analyzing data on the
is writing process take so much time, studies in this category often use very
.€ small sample sizes. Although qualitative research generally uses small
9, sample sizes, it often produces several different data for the researcher
B to draw on; this allows for a process of triangulation, used to draw
conclusions based on coming at the data from a variety of angles. Most
L6 of the research reviewed here, however, does not triangulate the data,
d an exception being Sasaki (2000) in his study of English as a foreign
Y | language (EFL) writing processes. Furthermore, although some of the
*8 research asks causal—comparative questions posed as hypotheses, because
F" 1 of low sample sizes, the researchers simply describe the data. Formulating
ff conclusions about hypotheses without testing for statistical significance
is problematic because one cannot know if the results obtained were
( simply due to chance. if
‘ Because of the time—consuming nature of research on the writing pro~
cess, most of this research actually studies the writing process within an
L ' artificial setting so as to limit the time and location of the data collection .
*· procedure. Capturing the on-line process as writers write in real life is
H l nearly impossible. Therefore, most of the research on the writing pro-
is cess, simply for logistical reasons, captures students writing short, timed
h essays. The results of these studies _may not be generalizable to other -
H writing tasks. Also, these studies do not, as qualitative research generally `
I- demands, capture participants in their natural setting.
*6 - a Much of the research on the writing process includes some kind of
Sc coding of data — for example, type of revision, student comments during
ls peer review, or what they focus on in talk aloud protocols. Categories
d for coding any of these data are not straightforward. The explicitness of `
H the coding schemes vary; intercoder reliability is sporadically reported
is as well. Research that does not report reliability, as is often the case in
lf? qualitative research, should provide other sources of data for triangula-
tion, such as Sasaki (2000), who in addition to triangulating data reports
*5 intercoder reliability. Both Sasaki and McGroarty and Zhu (1997) use
I6 multiple data sources and should be held up as examples for other L2
W ' writing researchers. ’ . A
FF A final issue related to studies of the writing process is whether they
79 . I provide useful information. Those studies that focus on a specific issue,
76 such as how students handle feedback or teachers’ comments in a con-
W a ference, are no doubt helpful to teachers who may want to improve their

50 Charlene Polio
I feedback techniques. Those studies that describe the writing process are
quite different in that the results must be applied more cautiously. On
· one hand, finding out what good writers do and telling weak writers to
do the same may not be appropriate; the same strategies may not work
for two different individuals, let alone groups. On the other hand, if we
see the process approach as an intervention (e.g., Susser, 1994), discov-
ering problem points within the process and providing options to help
students solve those problems should be useful and valuable for teachers.
Research on the participants I
The next set of research focuses on the various participants involved in the
teaching and learning of L2 writing. In this category I have included stud-
ies whose main research question addresses the attitudes, backgrounds,
or behaviors of a specific group of people. The groups studied are divided
into four categories, as shown in Table 2.3, including teachers, students,
raters of exams, and content teachers (i.e., professors) in tandem with
writing teachers of native English speakers. Because the majority of stud-
ies on the participants in this and the following section of this chapter
on the social context are qualitative and seek to describe various phe-
nomena, I discuss the specihc focus, research questions, and techniques
for each group in relation to the main focus of the study, as opposed to
dealing with the research questions separately as was done in reviewing
the two previous tables. ·
Teac/vers ELS
The first set of studies, all done within a qualitative framework, focuses E
on the teachers. Some studies examine their views and practices regarding ( E
the teaching of writing, a key focus for the study reported on by Cumming §
(Chapter 3 this volume). Pennington et al. (1997) used questionnaires E
and interviews to find out how the views and practices of ESL and EFL E ‘
teachers in the Pacific Rim were similar and different. Shi and Cumming’s lg
(1995) study is more specific and not only asked about teachers’ views Q
but also examined how they responded to a pedagogical innovation. §
This research used a multiple case study approach following five teachers 8
through observations and interviews. Cumming (1992) also used multi- iii
ple case studies to look at teachers’ instructional routines. Winer (1992) E
sampled preservice teachers’ attitudes toward teaching writing and asked Q
how they changed over time. She did so by analyzing teaching jour- f;
nals and questionnaires. Rather than a multiple case study approach, in _ ri
which a few participants are studied using more than one source of data, E
Winer looked at about 100 preservice teachers by analyzing only written iii (
l

Research on second language writing 53
comments. Two of the studies in this category focus on a specific group
Q of teachers. Cumming limited his participants to experienced, skilled ESL
teachers and Pennington et ai. to teachers in various countries across the
Pacific Rim. The other two studies focus on changing attitudes: Winer’s
study on teachers over the course of a practicum and Shi and Cumming
on teachers’ response to a pedagogical innovation.
Students ·
A larger percentage of the studies represented in Table 2.3 examines the
students, and most, but not all, are qualitative. Some are general and
study various features of students’ educational experience, such as their
experience in content courses (Spack, 1997) or English for academic pur-
poses (EAP) and content courses (Leki SC Carson, 1997). Spack’s study
is a longitudinal case study of one particular student. Spack interviewed
the student, observed her, talked to her content professors, and looked
at her writing over three years. Leki and Carson interviewed thirty-six
students about their perceptions of and experiences with different types
of writing required in ESL and in content courses.
Two other studies that focus on students, Harklau (1999) and Leki ( _
(1995), examined immigrant students in ESL courses and ESL students
in content courses, respectively. Harklau documented four immigrants’ ‘-
I experiences in ESL classes over their last semester of high school and
first semester of college. She interviewed the students ten to thirteen times
throughout the study. In addition, she observed their classes, interviewed
their instructors, collected documents from the classes, and examined the
students’ written work. Leki wanted to understand how ESL students I
dealt with the writing demands in their content classes. She interviewed
five students once a week for a semester. Like Harklau, she also observed
classes, interviewed professors, and collected written documents. Leki
also had the students keep a journal about their academic experiences.
These last two studies I have assigned to the category of ethnography, _
and this is discussed further below. _
Some studies have tried to describe students’ attitudes or experiences I
through the use of surveys. Deckert (1993) asked what Hong Kong stu-
- dents’ perspectives on plagiarism were. Liebman (1992) studied Arab and
japanese students’ previous writing instruction in their native countries.
Another approach is to study L1 texts in various languages to help
understand what the students may bring to the process of L2 writing.
These studies fall under the area of contrastive rhetoric and assume that,
or question whether, such texts will influence a writer’s L2 texts (a topic
discussed in greater detail in the chapter by Connor, Chapter 9 this
volume). One such study, listed in Table 2.3, is Kubota (1997). She
· reviewed several studies as well as historical documents to argue that `

54 Charlene Polio l
japanese expository prose should not necessarily be characterized as in- l 0
ductive or readeeresponsible. There are many other techniques that can I tl
be used in describing texts in a writer’s L1 and these are reviewed in n
Connor’s (1996) survey of contrastive rhetoric. (Note that studies falling l
under the area of contrastive rhetoric may also examine native language fi
texts that the L2 writers have as their goal. These studies are mentioned a
in the next section of this chapter.) And finally, one study of students is
(McGroarty Sc Zhu, 1997) was done in an experimental paradigm. The o
effect of an intervention, peer response training, was studied to discover ` It
how it affected students’ attitude toward peer response. rt
ir
Raters · g
The studiesthat examine raters are among those in this group that do ff
not take a qualitative approach. Kobayashi’s (1992) study asked whether ‘ it
native and nonnative speakers evaluated EFL essays and corrected _ 3}
their errors differently. His study took a causal-comparative approach
and compared raters’ scores and their corrections. Hamp—Lyons and . I ul
Mathias (1994) asked a different question: did raters agree with one at
another on prompt difficulty and what was the correlation between their K
scores and prompt difficulty? Weigle (1994) took yet another approach _ sj;
and studied not only the differences between experienced and inexpe— th
rienced raters but also how training affected both groups’ scores and P1
thoughts. In addition to using the raters’ scores in her study, she sup- in
plemented her findings with qualitative data taken from the raters’ talk Sp
aloud protocols. i
et
Professors and NES teachers _ SU
The_last set of studies focuses on professors and teachers of native English QQ
speakers. janopoulos (1992) examined thetolerance of university fac- PL
ulty for different error types by conducting a survey asking for reactions
to ungrammatical sentences taken from ESL students’ essays. Song and te,
Caruso (1996) had ESL and native English speakers (NES) teachers rate GX
essays and looked at the difference between the two groups. Vc ‘
sci
Approaches and issues s tai
Most of the studies examining the participants are qualitative studies
in that they describe a phenomenon without attempting to manipulate
variables. A few studies, however, actually study how a particular treat-
ment affects participants’ attitudes or practice through an experimental Ri
study. For example, McGroarty and Zhu (1997) studied how peer train-
ing affected participantsi attitudes toward peer response. Weigle (1994) Str
looked at experienced and inexperienced raters and the effect of training L2 (

Research on second language writing 5 5
on them. Her study was both experimental and causal—comparative in
that she looked at a preexisting variable (experience) and one that she
manipulated (training).
To describe participants’ views or practices, researchers have used dif-
ferent methods. The method used by Liebman (1992), Deckert (1993),
and janopoulos ( 1992) was surveys. The obvious benefit of using a survey
is that a large number of participants can be studied. But even with
open—ended questions, surveys can lack the depth of interviews. Other
researchers (Pennington et al., E997) have supplemented written survey
research with interviews, allowing the researcher to probe more deeply
into certain areas. just as with other types of research, surveys involve
many decisions to be made by the researcher, such as how to adminis-
ter the survey, whether to use open—ended questions, and for L2 writing
researchers, which language to conduct the survey in.8 When writing up
the research, the study should provide a full copy of the survey in the
appendix.
_ Qualitative research in this category can involve analyzing certain doc-
uments. In Winer’s (1992) study that used questionnaires, she also looked
at preservice teachers’ journals to find out more about their attitudes.
Kubota (1997), who wanted to study texts in students’ first language,
simply analyzed japanese writing without ever studying the students ·
themselves. Researchers who use a case study or multiple case study ap- `
proach within a qualitative framework often analyze certain documents
in addition to interviewing and observing participants. (For more on case
study research, see Yin, 199*4.)
I have listed two of the studies in this category as examples of .
ethnography,9 not because the authors use the term etbnograp/ay in their
studiesw but because they are holistic, trying to provide the reader with a
wide—angle view of an issue; are longitudinal; use multiple data sources;
and most important, provide an emic perspective — that is, they provide a
picture of the phenomenon from the perspective of those being studied.
One last point is that quantitative and qualitative approaches can of-
ten be successfully combined. In Weigle’s (1994) experimental study, she
examined raters’ scores before and after training, in addition to collecting
verbal talk aloud data from the raters to find out the reasons behind their
scores, something that she could not have discovered from the quanti-
tative data alone. This combination of approaches was appropriate in
Weigle’s studyg but sometimes there can be problems in combining the
two approaches; these are discussed in the conclusion section.
Research on the social context
Studies that examine the social context of the learning and teaching of
L2 writing are listed in Table 2.4. Of course, anyone learning how to



Research on second language writing 5 7 I
write learns in some social context and all education takes place in some
context as well. The studies discussed here are those that do not attempt
to isolate factors related only to the written text, the writing process, or
the attitudes and behaviors of the participants. One set of studies focuses
specifically on the students’ goals outside the L2 writing class. The other
studies focus on writing instruction at either the classroom or program
level, without singling out one particular set of participants.
Goals outside the classroom
With regard to goals outside the classroom, one can focus on several
factors. All the studies fall within the qualitative framework; they seek
to describe a phenomenon, the goals.
The first set of studies simply describes the target texts — that is, texts
in the second language that are similar to those the learner will have to
write. One approach to this kind of research falls under what is often
called genre analysis, an approach associated with john Swales, among
others, and further discussed by johns (Chapter 8 this volume). Swales
and his colleagues have provided thorough descriptions of English aca-
demic research articlesi(Swales, 1990). An example of a specific areahe
has focused on is the structure of introductions in those academic arti-
cles. Another example of this type of study is Posteguillo (1999), who
looked at the structure of research articles in the Held er computer
science. Another approach! was taken in earlier studies in the area of
English for specific_ purposes. These studies (e.g., Osteg 1981) described
specihc linguistic features of target texts. A more recent example of this
type of study is Williams (1996), who examined lexical verbs in medical
reports. The preliminary goal of these studies is to describe texts similar
to those students may have to write, but they may be useful for those
involved in writing (and reading) instruction in the held of language for
specific purposes,
Other studies have looked at what students need to accomplish in con-
tent classes outside the language classroom. One approach is to analyze
a large number of writing tasks given in a range of university courses, as
exemplified in work by Horowitz (1986a, 1986b). Another approach is
to do a caseistudy of a particular content class, as in Currie (1993), who
examined the assignments and writing tasks more closely and included
observations and/or interviews with faculty and students.
In this section lhave included also Benesch (1996), which although a
qualitative case study, tooka very different approach to needs analysis.
She examined the needs of students in an EAP writing class paired with
a large introductory psychology class. Benesch’s study is an example of
a critical needs analysis falling within the paradigm of critical pedagogy.
This approach targets problem areas that may represent contradictions

5 8 Charlene Polio (
for the students and suggests possible actions for change. For example, ( ]
students had to pass a university—wide argumentative essay exam yet 1
took multiple—choice tests for course assessment. Her study, in fact, goes I
beyond looking at writing assignments, but I have given it as an example
to portray the wide range of approaches used by researchers. l G
What happens irz the classroom ¥ I
Another focus of study is what actually transpires in L2 writing class— (
rooms. Surprisingly little has been written on this topic; most of the (
classroom research focuses on the teachers themselves. One study that l
does focus on the L2 writing classroom context is Weissberg’s (1994) ( l
study of speech moves in an ESL composition class. His study is an anal-
ysis of classroom discourse and examines both teachers’ and students’ i
speech without focusing on one group. 5
I
Composition programs ` I
And finally, a few studies have looked at L2 composition programs. 2
Williams (1995) surveyed several programs to study the structure of the Z
programs and who the teachers were. Taking a very different approach,
Atkinson and Ramanathan (1995) conducted an ethnography of an Ll 5
and an L2 Writing program and focused on the attitudes of those in- 1
volved toward teaching writing and how those attitudes were reflected (
at the program level. They conducted interviews and observations and l
studied documents from the programs.
c
Approaches arial zssues S
As would be expected, virtually all the research in this category is qualita—
tive. Even the study classified as survey research (Williams, 1995) sought 1
to describe something: writing programs. Studies such as the one by (
Williams (1996), which reported the results using numbers, still fall · 2
within the range of qualitative research in that it described a particular i
phenomenon. 2 _
What is most interesting in this category of research is the wide varia- E
tion of techniques used to study similar things. For example, comparing
I·Iorowitz’s (1986a) study of content class tasks with Currie’s and I
Benesch’s, we see three very different studies. Horowitz is able to pro— [
vide data from several different content courses whereas Currie’s study I
probes more deeply into one course. Benesch takes a different approach, Y
putting the researcher in a very different role. \
Similarly, Williams (1995) and Atkinson and Ramanathan (1995) also {
nicely complement one another in that Williams provides an overall _ 6
`.:‘`` (

ll Research on second language writing 59
l picture that can be done only through surveys and Ramanathan and
Atkinson provide an in—depth picture that only an ethnography can
produce.
Weissberg’s study examined what takes place in the classroom through
an analysis of classroom discourse. It is surprising is that so little research
actually studies what goes on in the classroom because this is where
writing instruction takes place. Other studies mentioned in this chapter
l do classroom ob_servations but more to focus on one set of participants
I (e.g., Cumming, 1992; Harklau, 1999).
l Summary and conclusions ‘
The most important point to be taken from this overview is the wide
scope of L2 writing research. It has been my goal to at least touch on all
the factors that go into writing instruction as well as the various ways
to look at students’ texts and what students go through as they produce
their texts. For future researchers, I hope that this overview has provided
a range of approaches and techniques as well as a picture of what has
and has not been studied. For example, little research has been conducted _
on what actually happens in writing classes. Although many people have
studied teachers’ views about teaching writing and students’ views about
what they need, not much has been done regarding how they converge
(or diverge) in the writing classroom. What techniques and materials are
used? What do syllabi for these courses look like?
Another point to consider is the dearth of research on- writing in a for—
eign language context, both on teaching English outside North America
and on teaching languages other than English in North America. Several
studies do exist that have not been discussed here, and for more on for-
eign language writing in the United States, see Reichelt (1999), and for
references to L2 writing research on languages other than English, see an
on—line bibliography established by the Center for Language Education
and Research (CLEAR, 1980-1996). Nevertheless, such studies are few
in number. This is not particularly surprising in that writing may not be
an important goal, at least for foreign language students in the United
States, and thus the needs are not so easily identified.
just as multiple foci of L2 writing research are necessary, so are
( multiple approaches and techniques. We simply cannot study the same
phenomena using_ exclusively experimental or exclusively qualitative
methods. Although certainly not everyone would agree, what is impor-
tant is not to privilege one approach over the other but to work carefully
within the guidelines of that approachdl Similarly, different techniques —
for example, the variety of those that probe the writing process — can
each tell us different things, each provide a piece of the puzzle. What is

60 Charlezie Polio l
important is that one understands and acknowledges the limitations of l E
a technique.
Regardless of the approach or technique, careful reporting of method-
ology is essential. For quantitative research, others should be able to look
at the methods section and replicate the study (Polio Sc Gass, 1998). J
For qualitative research, the guidelines are not necessarily as clear. For l ,
research involving interviews, for example, one can provide questions `
used at the starting point. Space, however, would prohibit providing l
transcripts, nor could they be provided on request because it could com- ‘ ‘
promise the anonymity of the subjects. For ethnographic research, the | 6
problems are far more complex. (See Ramanathan Sc Atkinson, 1999,
for further discussion of the specific concerns.) I
And finally, whether one is reading empirical research or doing it, re- .
sults need to be interpreted cautiously in several respects. For example, i
many of the quantitative studies use timed essays so that certain vari- {
ables can be controlled. Generalizing results to non-timed essays can
be problematic. Furthermore, nonsignificant results should also be in— _ E
terpreted cautiously. A wide range of factors can hide significant effects, l
including poor interrater reliability. Many studies, for example, have not
shown significant long—term effects for various types of error correction 1(
in L2 writing. (See Truscott, 1996, for a review.) A poorly done ex-
perimental study can result in no significant findings but fail to prove
that no effect exists. With regard to pedagogy, practitioners need to in-
terpret results cautiously. For example, simply Ending out what good
writers do and teaching those strategies to weak writers may not be
appropriate. An intervention that has been shown to result in more gram- ll
matically accurate writing may have negative effects not addressed in the
research.
In conclusion, keeping abreast of the latest research can guide teachers
in making curricular and pedagogical decisions. The literature, however, ‘ R
must be critically examined so that claims can be fully evaluated; the .
conclusions from empirical research do not always have directly applica- Al
ble pedagogical implications. Nevertheless,} believe that learning about i
the many areas encompassed by L2 writing research leads to a fuller A,
picture of L2 writing.
B:
Notes - . ·
1. Empirical research refers to any type of research in which data are system- B,
atically collected and analyzed for the purpose of understanding or making _
claims about a specific phenomenon capable of being observed and/or mea- B(
sured in some way.
2. At times only part of Za study will be discussed as an example of a particular I
kind of research. I will not discuss every research question or focus of every C;
single study cited for discussion. - A

I Resenrc/0 on second language writing 61
I 3. Categorization schemes are not without their controversies, but for the pur-
poses of this chapter, I have relied primarily on categories that are frequently
cited in the literature as common to educational research. The labels I have
selected are specifically from Fraenkel and Wallen (1996).
4. Two useful books for those interested in reading more about qualitative
research are Denzin and Lincoln (1994) and Patton (1990).
I 5. For readers wanting to learn more about validity, a useful book is Cumming
and Berwick (1995). Although the book focuses more on testing than
I research, the introduction provides a thorough description of the various
- types of validity with specific reference to L2 learning.
I 6. This problem is discussed more thoroughly in Polio (2001), where a more
detailed discussion of the various measures and analyses of L2 writers’
texts is given as well as the various problems involved in using some of the V
measures.
7. See Stratman and Hamp-Lyons (1994) for a discussion of the so—called ‘
g reactivity problem.
8. One reference for anyone planning to do survey research includes Fowler
(1995).
9. Defining ethnography is far from straightforward, and thus I refer readers
to a lucid article on ethnographic approaches in L2 writing research by
Rarnanathan and Atkinson (1999).
10. Leki (1995) never called her own study an ethnography. Rather, she said,
l “The extensive amount and the variety of data sources were intended to
ensure triangulation of the information gathered to contribute to a more
complex, richer, and thicker, as Geertz (1983) describes it, ethnographic
description than might be possible through the examination of single data
sources” (p. 239). Harklau (1999) said that she used " an ethnographic case
study methodology" (p. 11 1).
11. TESOL Qnnrterlfs research guidelines, which provide guidance for both
quantitative and qualitative researchers, is a particularly useful resource
for novice researchers. ~· to
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I EXPLORING THE VOICES OE KEY
I STAKEHOLDERS: TEACHERS AND iii
{iii
I STUDENTS
I
I The desire tomake sense of language teaching and language learning
requires close study of both learners and teachers as well as the learning!
I teaching situation itself. In a recent study of highly experienced English {
as a second language (ESL) teachers in Australia, for example, Breen
I et al. (2001) report on the relationships between teachers’ actual class-
room practices and the principles that they felt guided those practices.
I In a different type of study, Bailey et al. (1996) discuss how creating
and reviewing the language learning autobiographies of future teachers T§_
provides positive outcomes toward teacher development. i
These methodologies are particularly applicable to studying teachers
and learners in the second language (L2) writing environment. After all,
I writing instruction takes place only as some kind of interaction involving I
students and a teacher, even though researchers can and do study learning - I
and writing as abstract constructs. Teachers and students are definitively
the key stakeholders in the Held of second language writing. Settings
clearly vary and individuals clearly vary, but it is important to try to I
learn whether there is a common core of beliefs, practices, and behaviors I
among members of the teacher class and members of the learner (student E
writer) class. These are the topics addressed in this section.
Do ESL[EFL writing courses as delivered in different
locations and settings around the world share
similarities or differ in their instructional approaches?
( With the teaching of ESL and EFL (English as a foreign language) writ-
ing occurring in so many different geographic locations and situations,
it is important for the profession to be able to determine the extent to I
which such courses derive from a common core of principles and prac- I
tices or vary widely because of divergent situations. Chapter 3, by Alister
Cumming, provides a broad—based study to address just such concerns.
He reports on how experienced ESL/EFL writing instructors working in
‘ 67

6 8 Part H Ir
six different countries conceptualize their teaching. His research find- I C
ings indicate a great deal of commonality in how writing is presented O
in several different settings, leading him to conclude that there appears
to be a common body of pedagogical knowledge worthy of being ac- I
quired by any future teacher of writing. Although one can take many Il
different approaches to provide writing instruction for students (and for I
more on this, see particularly Chapter 8 by Ann johns and Chapter 11 B
by Stephanie Vandrick in this volume), certain components are common I
to all writing curricula. As l have suggested elsewhere, “the constants
of any writing course [include] teacher-planned lessons, presentation of
writing assignments, student-written texts, and feedback on writing,” B
(Kroll, 2001, p. 219). Cumming’s chapter identifies both these common-
alities and indicates where the differences lie by using the actual voices B
of a number of teachers to provide insights into their thinking.
(
In what ways do second language writers themselves see
their writing as uniquely different from the writing they F
do in their native languages?
In the past few years, writing teachers and language professionals who K
have achieved high levels of fluency in a second language have begun to
share their personal stories by publishing reflective narratives describing ]_
their own journeys to finding a voice in a second language and coming
to grips with cross—cultural communication in writing (e.g., Belcher Sc
Connor, 2001; Chiang, 1998; Fox, 1998; Lvovich, 1997).
Following in this tradition, in Chapter 4, Tony Silva and Melinda
Reichelt have turned to students themselves to provide the narratives that
allow them to offer an insightful summary of the similarities and differ- _
ences between native and second language writers — both their writing
processes and their written products. They have invited five L2 writers
to co-author this chapter by crafting narratives of their own individual .
writing autobiographies to give readers of this volume direct access to l
the voices of a highly articulate sample of the population whom teachers
serve. The first languages of these authors are Chinese, japanese, Spanish,
and American Sign Language; their narratives describe their learning to
write English as a second language. Also represented is a native speaker of
English discussing her experiences in learning to write French._Silva and
Reichelt are committed to allowing L2 writers to tell their own stories
from their own perspectives. They follow the narratives with their own
discussion, synthesis, and interpretation of the key ideas about learning
and writing raised by the five L2 writers. This chapter will also be par- i
ticularly informative for L1 teachers who often have L2 students in their

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l 3 Experienced ESL/EFL wrztmgi.
l mstructorf conceptuczlzzatzons of
if/aezr teezchmg: Curriculum options
6ZHd l7’}”lplZC6ZlfZO7’lS
Alister Cumming
Education for future language teachers, like the training to become any
kind of teacher, involves a process in which novices must acquire both
relevant content knowledge and training in pedagogical strategies to be
l able to create successful classroom experiences for their future students.
This is undoubtedly true for English as a second or foreign language
l I (ESL/EFL) writing instructors, who must develop the relevant profes-
sional expertise required for this field. Conceptualizing, planning, and
I delivering courses is the primary focus of the work that such instruc-
tors engage in. To help clarify some of the complexities of this practi-
cal, professional knowledge, the present chapterl identifies and analyzes
the usual_ practices that a variety of experienced ESUEFL writing
instructors use to organize their courses. The descriptions of individual
and general practices are based on data collected from personal inter-
views conducted in several different countries; a primary goal of these
in—depth interviews was to gather specific information regarding the
curriculum practices of highly experienced instructors offering classes
_in a range of settings.
One might expect that the scope of the variables that ESL/EFL writ-
ing instructors typically face when they plan and conduct their courses
_contributes to arrange of curriculum practices. One can also anticipate
that experienced instructors would be able to draw from a common i
- pool of practices that reveal some commonality in their courses as well. y
Thus, identifying areas of commonality and difference in their stated
curriculum practices should be of particular value in helping novice
instructors to focus their thinking on key aspects of their courses, to
reflect on their ongoing teaching experiences from a global perspective,
and to anticipate curriculum alternatives that they may wish or be obliged
to pursue. It should be noted that the close investigation of teaching
practices follows from much recent inquiry into teachers’ professional,
practical knowledge, building on theories elaborated in educational
_ research (e.g., Clark Sc Peterson, 1986; Connelly 86 Clandinin, 1988),
including second—language education specifically (e.g., Freeman Sc
, johnson, 1998; Freeman Sc Richards, 1996; Gebhard Bc Oprandy, 1999; '
johnson, 1999; Woods, 1996).
. 71

72 Alister Cumming
` In fairness, while this chapter is based on empirical evidence from 1
practicing teachers, there are various other possible sources of informa— I
tion that exist to describe how experienced instructors organize their I 1
courses for ESIJEFL writing instruction, and these sources may also be l
valuable for informing novice instructors’ professional knowledge. Still, (
these sources of information are limited in scope. For instance, numer— a
ous outlines of principles or general schemes exist that could usefully e
guide instructors to organize ESL/EFL writing courses (e.g., Feez, 1998; c
Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998, pp. 51r122; Reid, 1993, pp. 73-145; Shih, v
1986). But these take the form of intuitive pedagogical advice rather than cl
deriving from empirical analyses of what experienced writing instructors s.
actually do. So we cannot be certain how closely their suggestions for
curriculum organization correspond to what ESL/EFL writing instruc— sa
tors really have to do or what conditions may exist for teaching a par— a.
ticular course. At the other extreme, there are diverse case studies that tt
detail the practices of ESL/EFL writing instructors engaged in curriculum he
planning and organization (e.g., Burns 8c Hood, 1995; Cumming, 1993; o‘
- Franco, 1996; Frodesen, 1995; jacoby, Leech, 8c Holten, 1995; Shi Sc l tc
Cumming, 1995; Trueba, 1987) or studies documenting, through direct
observation, the researcher’s own classroom teaching (Cumming, 1992;
Riazi, Lessard—Clouston, Sc Cumming, 1996; Weissberg, 1994). But these A
studies are so few in number and so restricted to unique contexts that it
is difficult to know whether the individual instructors studied could be tp
representative of pedagogical practices more extensively or in locations SE
other than where the case studies were done. Likewise, comparative re- th
views of policies for ESL/EFL education internationally (e. g., Dickson 8c in
Cumming, 1996; Eggington 86 Wren, 1997; Herriman Sc Burnaby, 1996 Er _
have taken such a broad, macro—perspective on educational programs 19
that they convey little about what happens from the micro—perspective · in
of actually teaching ESL/EFL, let alone of teaching writing in particular.2 _ O,.
Recognizing this lack of systematic information about ESL/EFL writ- big
ing instruction as viewed by its practitioners, I undertook a study to gl.;
document in detail how highly experienced instructors of ESL/EFL writ— bo
ing in six different countries conceptualized their teaching. I aimed for 1.8;
a small, purposive sample of instructors in each country, seeking people gu
who were acknowledged by their peers for their expertise and knowledge Of
about teaching writing to adults learning ESLIEFL. The six countries cm
selected included three countries where English was the dominant lan- j
guage (Australia, New Zealand, and the province of Ontario in Canada)
and where English was taught for both academic purposes (tovisiting 1- Q
or immigrant students in universities) and settlement purposes (in fed- J
erally sponsored programs for recent immigrants). Further, these three 2.. ·
countries were chosen because their national ESL programs for adults are :
fundamentally similar (see Cumming, 1998a), making a comparison of 3. l
. [ _

· I · Writing Ii1SZ7’ZiCfO7’S, conceptualizations on teaching 73
i teachers’ classroom organizational strategies appropriate. For contrast,
I selected four other countries or regions where English was taught at
I- y universities as an international or foreign language (i.e., not widely spo-
:'‘' - ken in local communities but used in some institutions; cf. Dickson 8c
“ Cumming, 1996; Stern, 1983, pp. 9-18): Hong Kong, japan, Thailand,
and the province of Quebec in Canada. In addition to surveying differ—
ent sociocultural contexts, my intention was to see what commonalities
or differences might emerge between situations where English writing
was taught as either a foreign or second language, and either for aca-
demic purposes in universities or for settlement purposes in immigrant
settlement programs. .
In the analysis that follows, I focus primarily on what the instructors
said about their curricula, since the specilic ways in which their courses
are organized and presented indicate which particular approaches to
teaching writing and/or philosophies of teaching are favored by these
highly experienced teachers. Throughout this chapter; there are numer-
ous direct quotes where I share exactly what the teachers themselves had
to say.
Approach to the study y
To gather information about teaching practices in the six countries
selected, I interviewed a total of 48 instructors; the breakdown of
their teaching situations is shown in Table 3.1. I conducted 31 of the
interviews in English—dominant countries; 17 were in contexts where
English is an international language. In the English—dominant countries,
19 interviews were in academic programs at universities and 12 were
in immigrant settlement programs (i.e., governmennsponsored agencies
or adult education programs at school boards). All the instructors were
highly experienced at teaching ESL/EFL writing, all had relevant post-
graduate degrees (most with doctorates), most had published articles or
books on ESL writing, and about a third had distinctive international
reputations for their research in this domain. They were a selective
group of practicing experts in this field, rather than being representative i
of the general population of ESL/EFL writing instructors in these
countries.
For the interviews I asked each person three open—ended questions:
1. How is the curriculum for ESL or EFL writing organized in your
institution?
2.. Could you describe a typical syllabus for an ESL or EFL writing course
at your institution? Please select one course that you usually teach.
3. How are students typicallyassessed in their ESL or EFL writing?
I .

74 Alister Cumming I
TABLE 3,.1. contraxrs or THE 48 inrnavinxvs I 3‘
English Is the English Is an I 4·
Majority Language International Language 5 .
Settlement Academic I A
Programs Programs I Og
New Zealand (6) New Zealand (6) I-long Kong (4) al
Australia (3) Australia (7) Thailand (5) fe
Canada (Ont.) (3) · Canada (Ont.) (6) japan (6) iii
Canada (Que.) (2) tit
Totals: 12 Interviews 19 Interviews 17 Interviews C(
_ G
. . . . . . A
I aud1o—recorded the interviews, took detailed notes during the inter- in
views, and collected any course outlines and samples of instructional I 1
materials that the instructors provided.3 In the interviews and analyses I
below, I have used the term syllabus to refer narrowly to a fixed plan I dl
for instruction (e.g., a course outline or program policy representing the OI
basic elements of what is intended to be taught) and the term curriculum
more broadly and comprehensively to describe the enactment of teach- Tl
ing, learning, and content that people performed and experienced in the lh
context of a particular course (see Stern, Allen, Sc Harley, 1992, p, 20). gl
ju
. . · . . ar
OPYIOHS fO1` Cl1I°I1CI1l111I`1 ()IYg3IllZ2llQ1()11 F
c
Concepts cleyining curricula ` I I if
Five guiding concepts defined the instructors’ conceptualizations of their E5
curricula for ESUEFL writing, though there was considerable overlap m
among these concepts for most of the courses described`(so the percent- Ie
ages below for each of these concepts merely represent the one concept la:
that individuals emphasized most). That is to say, any given instructor of
did not necessarily structure a course around a single one of the five -
concepts presented below, but one of these five concepts-seemed to take G
preeminence in the description of practices as provided by each instruc~
tor. For this reason, one should consider these concepts as curriculum O
"options" in the manner described by Stern, Allen, and Harley (1992, gl
pp. 103——273) - that is, as alternative means of defining multidimensional W
aspects of content possiblefor language study. These concepts of ESL/EFL Ol
writing curricula focused on the following: ` Fh
in
1. Cornposing processes , I
2. Genres or text types
:‘.. -· i ii} ` I
‘`‘-‘ E -`‘‘ i I

I
I Writing irzstructors’ conceptualizations on teaching 75
I 3. Text functions or structures
I 4. Topical themes
5. Personal, creative expression
I Although each concept places a unique emphasis on a different aspect
of writing (see Cumming, 1998b), these concepts are complementary
I and potentially compatible with one another; indeed, most instructors
referred to several of them in conjunction while describing their courses.
Taken as a whole, these concepts provide novice instructors an indica-
tion of the key options available to them to structure ESI./EFL writing
courses.4
COMPOSING PROCESSES i
A significant number of instructors (33%) described their courses as hav~
ing the primary goal of prompting students to practice and develop their
processes for composing in English. Many instructors described elabo-
rate tasks for information gathering, writing and group cooperation in
I drafting or editing, and instructional feedback as the principal means of
organizing their courses to achieve this end:
I They do a single project, which they first design working in groups of about 4, I
they make a questionnaire, they collect and share data, make an oral
presentation, then submit the written report. They divide the report into
3 sections and each person writes individually then shares it. I do
I just—in—time—tasks related to the needs of this project, for example, while they
are proofreading. (Hong Kong)
For the first task, they have to write an essay from 3 library sources. We
I - approach this as a process. We do workshops in groups, using checklists. Then
I present referencing guidelines and how to do this. They write their first drafts
along with a cover sheet that asks them to form goals. Peers respond to this.
Then they hand in a self-assessment on the essay, aimed to develop their
meta-cognitive awareness. They get feedback from the tutor and have to A
rewrite the first draft substantially in terms of content, organization, and
I language. After that, I provide feedback on the next draft and mark the quality
of their revisions. (New Zealand)
GENRES OR TEXT TYPES
Other instructors (21 % of the total) described particular types of texts or
genres of writing as the principal concept guiding the organization of their
writing courses (see Chapter 8 by johns, this volume, for a full discussion
of genre). Prom this orientation, selecting, designing, and sequencing
the writing tasks that students were to complete formed the principal
instructional decisions these instructors recounted:
I In this course the writing is functionally oriented toward future employment.
- First, they fill in forms, second job applications, third resumes, fourth

76 Alister Cumming I
interviews, where they practice interviewing techniques, preparing scripts in I of 0
groups of 3 to 5. They really enjoy the play aspect of this. Then they take notes thes
from phone conversations, which involves listening and note—
It is a text—based syllabus. The outcomes are generalized, using genre theory, in @1;
terms of whole texts and picking up salient language components. We use a Cum
scaffolded approach, based on cycles of learning, where the teacher gradually Hm
stands back as students begin to take control. Teachers design courses, based Thi,
on assessments of students’ needs and working toward particular outcomes. if th
Specihc genres are set out already, and the teacher customizes them to learners’ pow
needs. The teacl1er’s job is to specify the register, usually with prototypical med
examples of text types. (Australia) I W
e ¤
or —l
TEXT FUNCTIONS OR STRUCTURES Stud
Other instructors (23% of the total) conceptualized their curricula for I thm
ESL/EFL instruction principally in terms of smaller, functional units of · tlgen
writing, such as formal text units, stylistic devices, or lexico—grarnmatical I 3 tm
features of academic prose: `
PEB
In the English for Academic Purposes course, students start with paragraphs A di
then go through to a full essay. We are mainly concerned with academic (6*%
r conventions, such as quotations, bibliographies, not plagiarizing, etc. I have . I Wm
developed a manualthat covers topic sentences, paragraph completion, I bas,
proofreading, organizing ideas, and all the usual things. We stress the structure
and content, assuming they have the basics of grammar. (New Zealand) All i
I present samples of writing, and we explore the internal structure of writing, I&_t€
functionally relating words to sentences to genres. In the first task, we look at . With
technical, complex texts, particularly in their vocabulary and syntax, and _ VS- 3
contrast this with Gertrude Stein’s texts. We critique these using Ia] readability Stud
scale and the role of audience — if they share a common background or not. I my
Then we do differences in spoken and written language, and I get them to ical.,
notice what distinguishes them. Then we do micro—stuff: words, vocabulary they
choice, lexical cohesion, grammatical cohesion and function words. Then Stud
sentence grammar communicatively: SV, SVO, SVC, SVA patterns, basic Shm
clauses, subordination and coordination. Then nominal versus verbal style, its
history in English, favoring certain styles, and what happens in the hands of -
bureaucrats. Students find especially valuable the discussion of thematic Ind
progression, given and new information. They say, "You’ve just turned the
lights on. I understand what to do." (Australia) Qyg
. guis
TOPICAL THEMES - l HS
A fourth way of conceptualizing ESL/EFL writing courses (emphasized nw
by 17% of the instructors) was in reference to substantive content. This I mm? I
was defined either in terms of themes that set a purpose and logical Om? I
coherence for the course, as units of key ideas that students were to limi I
address in sequence, or as topics of interest selected by members of the {me
classes themselves. This orientation also involved attention to processes mdl I
I
I i

I Writing instriictors’ conceptzralizations on teaching 77
I of composing and cooperative exchanges of information, as indicated in
I these quotations from interviews:
This course is based on themes and issues. There are 4 units. First,
relationships: Are they comfortable or not comfortable with them? Second,
I culture and change: This examines social life, comparing past and present.
Here I introduce paragraph writing in academic style with specific topics.
Third, social problems, for example, teenagers in the U.S. and Thailand to see
I if there are similarities and differences. They write a problem—solution essay.
Fourth, media and images, for example how women are exploited in the mass
I media. We explore their likes and dislikes. (Thailand)
We don’t really use the concept of syllabus here, as things are content—oriented
or —based. The content defines the task. We emphasize the idea of autonomy.
I Students should become better language learners, identify problems and solve
them. So we emphasize process—writing in writing workshops. These have
. theme or content units, which students work at on their own pace in the
I afternoons in an exploratory, discovery learning way. (New Zealand)
PERSONAL, CREATIVE EXPRESSION
A distinctly different conceptualization appeared among a few instructors a
(6% of the total, or just 3 instructors) who saw the primary goal of their
writing courses to be the development of students’ expressive capacities,
I based on their personal experiences and opinions:
I All is based on the students’ own experiences. We’re sick of the Norton Reeder
[a text of canonical “great" essays]. Students write every week and do exercises
_ I within this context, paying attention to wordiness, cliches, pronouns, passive
‘ vs. active voice, parallelisms, and so forth. The textbook is a collection of past
students’ writing, and they can see models there. (Canada)
I try to challenge the students to be creative in expressing themselves. Students
learn to express their feelings and opinions so that others can understand what
they think and like to do. I’ve heard that prospective employers sometimes ask
students what they have learned at the university, and that some students have
showed them their poems. (japan)
Independent courses versus integrated curricula
Organizationally, many instructors emphasized the importance of distin5
guishing whether the ESL/EFL writing courses they taught were delivered
as independent, stand—alone courses or as integrated syllabus compo—
nents combined with other aspects of ESL/EFL curricula. This would
I rarely be a curriculum option that an individual teacher could alter, but
one must remember that a writing course may or may not be the only
language course in which a given student is enrolled. Of the 48 instructors
I interviewed, 17 (or 35%) described courses in which they taught writing
independently, whereas the other 31 (or 65%) taught writing in an

78 Alister Cumming I
integrated mode, either wholly or partially integrated with other I PA
curriculum components. I A
INDEPENDENT counses I mi
The justification for ESL/EFL writing courses to be delivered indepen— gl),
dently (usually as a particular course for academic credit) was that writ- th‘
ing represented a substantive area of need for students (see Chapter 13 di,
by Leki, this volume). At one extreme (of students highly proficient in `
English), this perceived need was said to arise because student popula- wt
tions had mastered other, basic aspects of communication in English and I rea
now needed to hone their skills in the complexities and intricacies of HPF
writing: ` SU
an·
This course focuses on writing because the advanced students can already read WI
and communicate fluently. It gives students a variety of styles of writing as well {ht
as training in voice and audience. (Canada) I aq
At the other extreme (of students with limited literacy in English), stu— i bl?
dent populations (particularly those just starting university in certain I ih:
countries) were perceived to need to study writing because they had not I me
previously done so, either in English or (in some instances) in their mother I dif
tongues; therefore, they needed to acquire basic literacy skills:
Most students have not taken any writing classes previously in high schools, Sp
either in japanese or English, In their freshman classes they don’t in fact do AI
much writing. So I want to do this.l(]apan) CE
I as
INTEGRATED COMPONENTS OF CURRICULA an
Several rationales were given for writing to be integrated with other pf
components in ESL/EFL curricula. Some instructors noted the holistic sti
interdependence of writing and other modes of communication (such as · 31}
reading, speaking, and listening); some stressed the potential for learning I de
through writing to integrate knowledge gleaned from reading or talking; C0
others saw_the inherent utility of writing as a means of reporting on I ha
group tasks and expressing ideas from learning activities: I gil
Writing is highly interactive here. It is really intertwined with their development - E;
of language, interacting with the 4 skills in thematic units. Writing out I
information aids their speaking. They understand more when they read. Their pr
final products draw on their cultural and personal experiences. They use
information from various sources that enriches their understanding. (Canada) S l
Writing grows out of topics in the class. Each week we look at newspapers. We I Al
select a topic. They work out the main ideas related to it, we discuss it, then W5
they do some summary writing or note-taking, then they do report writing, th
finding out more information about it. We do close analytical reading to see the in
ways in which ideas are linked to grammar. (New Zealand) I Sc.

il
I Writing instructor! conceptualizations on teaching 79
I PARTLY INTEGRATED COMPONENTS OF COURSES
I A few instructors described intermediary situations between these ex-
· tremes, wherein writing was combined, for example, with reading tasks
I to form a literate focus of instruction or with speaking tasks as alternative
modes by which students could express their ideas or relay information
they had researched. (See Chapter 10 by Grabe, this volume, for a fuller
discussion of the value of connecting reading and writing tasks.)
We closely link reading and writing. You can’t separate the two. People who
I read the most are invariably the best writers. But wide reading is not common
among these students, even in their Hrst languages. So we critically look at the
I structure of good writing, how it’s done well, taking into account the structure
and the content. (Australia)
I Writing is not separate. The curriculum is designed for students’ needs, and
their faculty determine the content. For example, the Arts students do
I argumentative essays, emphasizing supporting details and conclusions. This is
· based on what the faculty say their needs are. The Nursing students write
I therapeutic reports on health-related survey projects. In the Social Sciences,
they write research reports, for example, with literature reviews, explanation of
I methods, Endings and conclusions. They do research. Each curriculum is very
different for each faculty. (Hong Kong)
Specipc versus general purposes
Another consistent difference that emerged among the instructors’ con-
ceptualizations of their curricula was whether they viewed their courses
. as serving specific purposes (as in the quotation immediately above from
an instructor in Hong Kong) or general purposes (as in the quotation
preceding that, from an instructor in Australia, who teaches courses to
students from all faculties in the university together). As Swales (2000),
A among others, has explained, the logic of speci)‘ic—purposes curriculum
design is that language curricula are modeled on analyses (e.g., of dis-
course, vocabulary, speech functions) of situations in which students will
have future needs for using the target language (e.g., ]apanese for tour
guides, English for waiters). This approach contrasts with more general
I purposes for language learning, as in courses that aim to develop stu—
‘ dents’ communicative capacities in more broadly educational but less
predictable terms (see Widdowson, 1983).
A SPECIFIC PURPOSES
Among the 48 interviewees, 11 (or 23%) of the instructors described
writing courses that distinctly had a specific-purpose orientation. For
these ESL/EFL instructors, specific—purpose writing courses were defined
in reference to students’ current or future language needs. In academic -
I settings, this usually meant the future writing needs — and associated

80 Alister Cumming I
. . . . . . J
genres or vocabulary — of professional faculties or academic disciplines, dm
For example: I tlhej
The courses are tailored t0 needs. They are mostly aimed at a particular faculty, I Wil
for example, Engineering, Dentistry, or Law. The needs are assessed The
systematically through surveys and updated. (Hong Kong) hav.
Specific purposes for ESL/EFL writing instruction were also defined in gg;
respect to features of academic texts that students were perceived to need HDI
to learn: ` PCO]
. . . . . l limi
I teach a course that is just in 1tS second year now, called New Academic uni,
Writing. It is based on a needs analysis for 3rd and 4th year university students, I bas,
particularly to do research, cite sources, and so on, especially for thesis mm
students, which is like an honors paper in a Canadian university at the end of I Hem
their B.A. (japan) . .
P
In immigrant settlement contexts, specific purposes tended to focus on l inst
writing for vocational purposes - for instance: I OI {
. . . curi
We are contracted by an employment center to train new migrants with good S O
tertiary qualifications and_ professional experience but who lack English 3
prohciency, are unfamiliar with the context, and don’t know about the ‘ Wm
employment situation here. Writing is only part of the curriculum. It is largely fm. j
workplace texts, such as recounts of an accident, workplace memos, letters of Vain
applications, or written reports, (New Zealand) · Writ
GENERAL PURPOSES Im]
The 37 instructors (77% of the interviewees) who described ESL/EFL
writing courses that had more~general purposes for learning mostly AS I
claimed they simply were teaching "academic writing” (meaning a kind gmc
of hybrid between specific and general purposes, suited to literate, uni- and
versity contexts; see Chapter 13 by Leki, this volume). But three addi- cho,
tional rationales for general—purpose orientations to writing instruction is W
appeared. One rationale was akin to the logic of independent writing ` (6 g _
courses described above: Students were perceived to have dehcits or needs lang
for learning to write that had not previously been addressed in their ed- data
ucation. For instance: Of E
English is not compulsory in school, but it is often required. Writing is not I impl
I emphasized, or even taught at all. So some students at university have not lean
written at all. So this is a major problem at the university level. And the S €l3$5
entrance examination is reading, vocabulary and grammar — no writing, Worl
speaking or listening. So the universities have to do most of the work in $(
teaching writing, A major difficulty is that no essay writing techniques are I achi,
taught in Thai, so we have to teach these techniques and the language. SCSSI
(Thailand) I
I

Z; ` Writing instructorf concepttializntions on teaching 81
A A second rationale for general—purpose orientations emphasized the
· diversity of students: Because student populations were so different in
i . their abilities, backgrounds, and needs, only a very general approach to
` writing instruction appeared feasible to address all:
I There is a huge spectrum of students. In the most basic courses, some students.
have been in Canada for a long time but have been laid off jobs, and who can’t
fill in job applications. There are discrepancies in their abilities too: for
example, some Middle Eastern students speak better than they write, and some
Hong Kong students write better than they speak. At the intermediate level, _
people are fairly well educated, but there are a number of Arabic speakers with
l limited literacy. In the advanced courses, people are hoping to go on to .
university or college, so they are already fairly well educated. We did have a
l basic literacy class until last year, but it was funded per student, and the
numbers were low, so we canceled the class. But those were the people who
I needed it most. (Canada)
( A third rationale for general-purpose orientations appeared among
instructors who — either organizing their courses around topical themes
( or to promote individual students’ expressive abilities — defined their
curricula on the basis of interests voiced by their students. In these cases,
as one instructor put it:
Writing emerges from topics of interest in class. The students are not looking
for jobs or university entrance. They want to know about Canadian society,
values, and current events. So the writing is organized around these interests.
Writing is an extension of topics of relevance to students. (Canada)
Implications for achievement and assessment
As I suggested earlier, one can consider these pedagogical distinctions
among curriculum conceptualizations, integrated/independent courses,
and specific/general purposes as options that individual instructors may
choose or interrelate according to their preferences or situations That
is what Stern, Allen, and Harley (1992) proposed for content elements
(e. g., grammar, pronunciation, communication functions, culture) for
language teaching in general. But a closer inspection of the interview
data suggests that opting for one or another of these conceptualizations
of ESL/EFL writing may not simply be a neutral decision: It may have A
important implications for instruction and consequences for students’ _
learning. As Kroll (2002) claims, "Each choice made in the [writing]
classroom speaks [not only] to a particular philosophy of teaching [but]
works to shape the course as a whole” (p. 24). a
Some potential implications appear in the indicators of student
achievement that the instructors mentioned aswell as the types of as-
I sessment they said they used. for their courses.That is, each of these

82 Alister Cumming I
curriculum options implies a somewhat unique emphasis in teaching and I Of 3
in learning; these emphases in turn affect the kinds of achievements that Of C,
instructors expect to see in their students and the types of assessment I achi
they use to evaluate what students have learned or can do in English The
writing. (But I must caution that the delicate and vital links among cur- I The
ricula, teaching, learning, and achievement could only be hinted at in msu
the context of these interview data as opposed to more extensive meth- I com
ods of research, such as observation, achievement testing, and empirical I
modeling — see Cumming Sc Riazi, 2000). Ge
Specipiopiirpose orientations I In (
I eral
Conceptualizing ESL/EFL writing instruction as being for either specific _ and
or general purposes may be the most consequential of these options, mei
as I have shown in a separate analysis of the present data (Cumming, (2G'
2001b). Choosing one or the other of these orientations seems to prompt orie
instructors to adopt either narrow (i.e., specific purposes) or broad (i.e., froi
general purposes) perspectives for organizing and assessing their stu- I ing
dents’ learning. Instructors who conceived of their writing courses as all ·
being for specific purposes typically had straightforward, clear criteria volt
and methods for establishing whether students had`- achieved the in- que
tended objectives of their syllabi. This was most obvious in competency- qua
based curricula,5 prevalent in Australia and New Zealand, in which 2lCh
core competencies were specihed in the syllabus, and instruction, learn- ities
ing tasks, assessment, and reporting of students’ achievement addressed I (e.g
these competencies directly through student writing performance. For Sc I
example: . I ESI
· mei
We do competency—based assessment. Analyses of register and appropriateness Writ
define the task and give the criteria. 'If the [students achieve] the task, then they be
are certified for having done it. if it is not achieved or only partly achieved, -
they resubmit it. The criteria for these really open up their eyes and broaden ml
their perspectives on what makes for good writing. (New Zealand) Earl
ne
Similar principles obtained for specific~purpose courses in academic wrii
contexts, providing a framework for instructors and students alike to inst
· define explicit expectations for writing performance and to establish and I
know the criteria for how it will be assessed. For instance: em]
They do a simple project, first design it, second create a questionnaire, third SW1
collect data and analyze it, fourth make an oral presentation, then produce a It is
written report. At the end of the course they present the final report, and it is the .
marked when completed, which forces them to see it as a whole. I provide a list to Y,
of criteria that are assigned holistically, not discretely. The university tcm
administration has added a level to this by asking us "to demonstrate gain.” So Img
we administer a pre-course test where they write in 1 hour the missing section Sm,

I Writing irzstrnctors’ conceptualizations on teaching 83
I of a report. Then we compare this with the final report they write, using a list
l of criteria, linked to the syllabus of the course, so we can score discrete
I achievement from 1 to 5 from start to end. (Hong Kong)
I The students in their evaluations ofthe course said they learned new things.
They find the content useful, for example, learning to fill in forms, prepare
I resumes, choose information, and make application letters. They build
confidence. (Thailand)
I Generabparpose orientations
* In contrast, the ESL/EFL writing courses that were defined more gen-
I erally had a diverse array of assessment methods associated with them,
and their instructors cited a wide variety of different types of achieve-
ment that they perceived their students making. As presented in Cumming
(2001b), the ESL/EFL writing instructors who adopted general-purpose ‘
orientations in their courses described methods of assessment that ranged
from proficiency tests, to rating scales, to university—type exams, to grad-
I ing of assignments, to portfolios, as well as various combinations of
all of these assessment methods. (See Chapter 7 by Hamp-Lyons, this
volume, for descriptions of these assessment practices.) More conse-
quentially, though, these instructors described their students as making
qualitatively different types of achievements in their courses, including
achievements in language and style, self—coniidence and expressive abil-
ities, composing processes, rhetorical abilities, and even acculturation
I (e.g., into academic or societal contexts) (cf. Katznelson, Perpignan,
Sc Rubin, 2001). Viewed positively, the general-purpose orientation to ·
I ESL/EFL writing seems to allow for a wide range of possible achieve-
ments among students, suitable to the complexity of seconddanguage
writing itself (Cumming, 1998b; Cumming &i Riazi, 2000), which might
be assessed in a variety of ways., But if viewed more critically, one
might wonder if the generabpurpose orientation encompasses such a
variety of possible learning outcomes, in ways that are diffusely de-
Hned and difficult to discern, that the opportunities to learn ESIJEFL
Writing may vary greatly from course to course and instructor to
instructor.
For example, many instructors who taught general-purpose courses ` 0
emphasized how their students learned aspects of English language and
style: ( ( _ I
It is rare in a 12 week course to see quantum leaps, but I am still surprised by
the predictable pathways in development, for example, many students are able
to write more coherent, satisfying conclusions, more aware of morphemes and
tense and appropriate use of linking words, better at controlling sentence
I length and complexity, better paragraphs, referencing ideas. There are so many
small things that go together to make good writing. (New Zealand) _ _

84 Alisfer Cumming l
Other instructors observed their students making gains in their unique U
expressive abilities and self~conf1dence: C
u
At the advanced level, they show an expanded range of writing and are able to _ V,
express themselves forcefully and coherently. They seem to be more unique in J O
the way they write. They move away from a standard way of writing, for
example, having to do an introduction and conclusion, and realize that the l
nature of the task defines this, not a pat formula. (Canada) ff
E
Other instructors observed improvements in students’ composing pro- O
cesses: I b
Last year I examined how students’ writing processes changed, based on E
interview and protocol pre—post data for 8 students. Students learnedseveral l A
good writing strategies, such as rereading and planning before writing, and `
they said they felt less anxiety and less resistance. (japan) l si
. . . . . . fc
Other instructors highlighted students’ achievements in rhetoric and log— ( if
ical ordering of ideas: if
They learn to express their thinking, lay it out, put it in logical order, and make l H
it explicit, unraveling ideas and ordering them. So I see this as a great S]
achievement. (Australia)
Still others described how their students, over the progress of ESL/EFL ’ gf
Writing courses, socialized into academic or societal contexts: Ol
People are noticeably more relaxed, they can approach people, make informal l - fi
requests. They can better cope with the everyday demands of academic life. ce
You can’t separate writing out from this. It gives them confidence and the tools, Sa
And they feel they have got a place to discuss problems openly and ty
comfortably. (New Zealand) if
Presumably any and all of such student achievements are vital to ESL/EFL ff
writing, though not all of them may be achievable or teachable in the bi
same context. 0f
a
cz
Commonalities or differences?
A larger question that arises from this analysis goes beyond the students YE
but focuses really on the writing course itself: Should, we expect unifor— i P]
., mity or diversity in ESL/EFL writing curricula? My sense is probably tl
both. The instructors I interviewed displayed a range of common prac- Ci
tices for organizing their courses. At the same time, the differences among Ci
their approaches to teaching writing did not relate in any consistent way S(
to differences between English taught as a foreign or a second language ffl
and writing instruction in the academic or the immigrant settlement pro- SY
grams. This surprised me, because I had tried to design this research to H'


’_''` i Writing instructorf corzceptualizatfons on teaching 85
€ reveal differences along these dimensions. Instead, I found the range of
._-·: Curriculum options described earlier, which seemed to be more or less
. universal in their realizations. This suggests that practices for ESL/EFL
i “ I writing instruction may be more uniform internationally (and even within
countries) than people might presume (though no previous research ap-
‘- l- pears to have really investigated this issue). At least among highly expe-
` rienced ESL/EFL writing instructors, there is considerable uniformity in
` their beliefs and claims about the teaching of writing, within the range
·— of curriculum options described here. Such real distinctions as there are
between foreign and second language contexts for learning and teaching
{-fi or between writing instruction in academic or settlement programs may
have less impact on ESUEFL writing instruction than one might expect.
Highly experienced instructors appear to do and think fundamentally
similar things in these contexts. The contexts differ, but the principles
for teaching seem consistent — for example, in respect to aspects of writ- I
i` ‘```_ ’§‘ ing that form the focus of curricula — whether writing is taught as an
-_`Eie- independent ability or integrated with other aspects of language perfor-
6 _--_ Y i mance, or whether students are expected to learn to write in English for
if- specihc or for general purposes. 3
_=`- I Indeed, many of the instructors’ accounts of their teaching ESL/EFL
L - writing were so similar that I felt any one of the instructors might have
easily relocated from one teaching context to another — as in fact many
of them had, having moved between countries either to further their ca-
reers or for post—graduate studies. Of course, some regionally oriented
_ concepts appeared in the interviews, such as references to the influence of
i. Systemic—Functional Linguistics or genre theory in Australia (schools of `
_ _ _--_- ¤ thought that focus on the interrelationship between the social contexts
-"_i in which texts are produced and the purpose and language of texts6), a
L if focus on learner autonomy in New Zealand, and concerns for functional
C , bilingualism in Hong Kong. But such issues did not span the dimensions
of secondfforeign language contexts or academic/settlement programs in
· a sufficiently extensive or consistent way in the interview data as to indi~
cate they are characteristic of differences in foreign/second sociolinguistic
if » contexts or of educational program types internationally.
As with many political and economic activities, these Endings may i
S reflect the worldwide spread of English and of associated educational
., —; - practices. As Pennington et al. (1997) concluded, "writing teachers in
Y the Asia—Pacific region may be consolidating their practices around a
,_ { i common basis of theoretical and practical
U Z consequence, opportunities for adults to learn English writing rnay, to
E some extent, be similar across these countries (though universities rep-
G resent relatively affluent, specialized contexts, and of course different
- situations may prevail in other regions and parts of the world that I did
3 not survey). _ _


I 86 Alisfer Cumming I
How might this sort of globalization have happened? One influence
E is professional networks, conferences, and publications to which the in-
structors were all readily attuned. One example is the adoption of style
guides for writing in English that set common standards, emanating from I
the United States or Britain, for written formats and classroom expecta-
tions. For instance, according to one instructor from japan: "I-use the I
MLA Style Guide, which has been adopted officially by the Department. "
Similarly, commercially produced textbooks were observed to influence
writing instruction on a regional and global scale, though focused on `
particular learners’ needs and related to authentic situations:
We use commercial textbooks that have a strong realism about business I
writing and mix of thinking skills and emphasis on accuracy. These have
changed to functional now; before it was situational. (Thailand)
We use a book [from the United States] with stories of immigrants to the- U.S. I
This keeps it interesting for them and builds on their feelings as migrants.
(New Zealand) ` .
The influence of post—graduate education was also_ evident in the in-
structors’ reflections on their teaching. For instance, while visiting a uni- I
versity in Thailand, where I was expecting to find a unique situation, I I
was surprised to encounter a native Thai instructor who explained, “I I
did my M.A. in [state in the U.S.] and got my TEFL degree in Australia?
Within universities, research by faculty members was similarly said to
exert an influence on writing instruction in ESL courses: "The research
on vocabulary in the graduate program features explicitly in the English
courses and in the tests" (New Zealand). Such influences from gradu— I
ate studies extended to immigrant settlement programs as well; several
instructors observed that books they had read as students had directly
influenced their teaching practices.
· Moreover, recent research and theory on second language writing
seems to have instilled common terms and conceptualizations in the
· instructors’ talk about their work. Some instructors observed, for in~
stance, that their colleagues were familiar with ideas about processes
of composing and communicative competence, adapting them to local
circumstances for teaching: .
The faculty are cognizant of writing theory and research, and can discuss this. r
But the university context makes it hard to implement. For example, we see -
students only infrequently, about 2 hours a week. The approach to instruction
is broadly the communicative approach and process writing, butin practice _ ` - _
this is widely interpreted, adapted to suit the circumstances, such as lots of I
students in class and a critical environment. (Canada)
In Australia, pedagogical orientations to language and literacy learning I
were observed to have considerable public currency, along with strong_ _ I

.”=._ · Writing instructorf corzceptunlizations on teaching 87
ze linkages between theory and practice:
1- . ···;.
C _ Debates about writing have been very intense here. For example, in Britain,
H l educators have been compartmentalized. But in Australia that is not the case.
[_ Theoretical developments cross fields. There are close relations between U
G `; ··_·‘- g · researchers and teachers. This has produced very positive things. (Australia)
H Similarly, instructors from Asian countries who had studied in North
*€ S America saw themselves as representing, to their students, the worldwide
H Q potential to learn English effectively:
i One of my American colleagues suggests that students should resist English
and the power of the U.S. But I have not experienced this, perhaps because I
am japanese. This is an advantage for me. Foreign teachers may bring the
impression of American imperialism with them. But I think I represent a
functional goal, that English gets you to the wider world. In fact many students_
are surprised at first that I speak japanese. (japan)
For novice instructors learning to teach in this domain, familiarity
l» with these concepts is valuable pedagogical knowledge. Regardless of
i- the situation in which one might teach ESL/EFL writing, one can expect
I to have to address issues related to composing processes, differing gen-
‘[ I Y res or text types, micro-functions or structures of written texts, topical
" themes, and personal, creative expression. Emphases on certain of these
O aspects may be prescribed in advance by a specific syllabus or institu-
h tional policy. Nonetheless, novice instructors can anticipate the value of
h honing their knowledge and expertise with these concepts — in the inter-
i- ests of becoming better able to design and provide instruction related to
il them as well as to select the orientations most appropriate for particu-
y lar curriculum contexts, student groups, and individual teaching styles
or preferences. Likewise, practicing instructors may find it valuable to
g · know about commonalities in. ESL/EFL writing instruction, as several
e participants in the research commented to me after reading a draft of
I- this chapter: Because many instructors work in relative isolation, either
is _ within their classroom contexts or geographically or institutionally, even
il I experienced instructors may not be aware of elements in their curriculum
practices they share in common. I ‘ s
9 Where diversity does appear in ESL/EFL writing instruction is in the
alternative conceptualizations of writing that instructors might empha-
I . size as curriculum options; whether writing courses are conceived to
E be for specific or for general purposes; and whether writing instruction
‘ is delivered as an independent course or as a syllabus component inte-
grated with other aspects of English study. Pursuing any one of these
I options may have implications for the achievements an instructor per-
3 ceives or prompts students to make and for the types of assessment
g i methods an instructor uses to discern what students have learned in _ _

88 Alister Cumming I
l. Conceptualizations of `Writing: Writing is defined as I CU
cri
I are
Composing Text types Text functions Topical Personal CC]
processes or genres or structures themes expression I €V‘
or;
I sir
` 2. Curriculum Format: The curricuium for ESL/EFL writing is , eX
I Op
te:
Independent . Partly integrated Integrated I
Nt
3. Purposes for Writing Improvement: Students are learning to write to 1
develop I I
Specific competencies ·
n 4. Achievements Expected: Students are expected to improve their I 2
Language Rhetoric Composing Expression Academic or cultural I
8; style & logic processes & confidence socialization I
Figure 3 .1. Curriculum options in ESL/EFL writing irzstructioiz I
their ESL/EFL writing courses. lf we consider these elements together,
construing each as a range of variable options that ESL/EFL writing in-
structors might adopt, we see the extent of realizations that ESL/EFL ·
writing instruction might take. Figure 3.1 shows a relatively complex
array of curriculum possibilities, within the relatively narrow domain
of ESL/EFL Writing instruction. But I think it is a realistic depiction of 3.
how ESL/EFL writing instruction is enacted, as indicated in the present
empirical, interview data. To understand the relations between these cur- I
riculum elements more precisely would require further concerted, ex-
tensive research into the contexts of ESL/EFL instruction. A combina—
tion of comparative, ethnographic, and longitudinal research methods
might help to illuminate these relations and their impacts on students’
learning (see Polio, Chapter 2 this volume, for a description of such
research methods).
_ _ I
ii; l

_ Writing instructors’ concepttmlizations on teaching 89
i For novice instructors, the fundamental nature of these differences in
‘ curriculum orientations is worth knowing about. These distinctions seem
_ crucial to organizing ESI./EFL writing courses. Knowing which options
are available or most suitable to certain student groups or prevalent in
certain educational settings and purposes is a key step in planning a rel-
evant, appropriate curriculum. Moreover, opting for any one of these
orientations will impact the content of ESL/EFL writing that is empha-
| sized in a course and the opportunities for learning that students may _
experience. Understanding these issues is a critical component in devel-
I oping the professional expertise that is a vital part of an ESL/EFL writing
teacher’s education and training.
_ Notes
i 1. I thank Merrill Swain and 16 of the instructors who participated in
interviews for useful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter. A ver-
sion of this chapter was presented at the American Association of Applied
Linguistics’ Annual Meeting, March 14, 2000. In separate analyses, I re-
port data selected from these same interviews that are focused on assess-
ment practices of the instructors (Cumming, .2001b), and on the situation (
_ in Australia’s Adult Migrant Education Program in particular (Cumming,
2001aL
2. The only previous, cross—national study of EFL / ESL writing that I am aware
of is Pennington, Costa, So, Shing, l-Iirose, and Niedzielski (1997), which
coincidentally involved instructors from many of the countries addressed in
the present research. Pennington et al. (1997) found dichotomies between
process versus product orientations to instruction as well as ideal versus ac-
tual situations for teaching. The present study extends these researchers’ rec-
ommendations for more in—depth, comparative studies focused on ESL/EFL ‘
writing instructors’ pedagogical practices and beliefs as well as the con-
straints they perceive in the educational circumstances of their work. The
- present analysis, however, was not designed to try to match what teachers
C, said they did with what they actually did in their teaching, as Pennington
_ et al. (1997) or Shi and Cumming (1995) had, though this would be useful to
. pursue in future research. Moreover, because I did not gather any evaluative
“ data (e.g,, on st;udents’ achievements) nor systematically observe any of the
K interviewees teaching, the present research cannot assess the effectiveness of
3 the teaching practices described. -
-f 3. I promised the instructors full confidentiality, so no names of individuals or
{ institutions are cited here. Most of the instructors were native speakers of
._ English, though I also interviewed some non-native speakers of English in
._ most of the countries. All of the instructors usually taught their courses in
English, with the exception of two instructors in japan who usually taught ·
_ EFL composition in japanese. Two of the instructors (1 in Australia and
S 1 in Canada) described English writing courses that were open to students
ii from all backgrounds (including native speakers of English), though they
li tended to attract a fair number of ESL learners to them. For the present
analyses, I selectively transcribed the 48 tape recordings of the interviews .. . .
| I

90 Alister Cuinniing I
and reviewed the transcripts, my notes, and course documents, attempting Cun
t0 identify prevalent themes that the instructors expressed about their teach-
ing practices, using a constant-comparative method of grounded interpre-
tation recommended by Miles and Huberman (1994) and other qualitative Cun
researchers. For verification, I conducted a member—chec
had interviewed by asking them to read a draft of the chapter and to eval- ‘ Curr
uate, confirm, or query my interpretations. Sixteen participants responded I
to me (all by e-mail), mostly stating that they found my analyses interesting Cun
and appropriate; most people added rehnements or, where needed, factual
corrections to quotations I had extracted from their interviews.
4. lt is not the purpose of this paper to discuss the actual teaching approaches Cun
associated with these curriculum options, For explicit discussions of class-
room pedagogy in L2 writing, see, for example, Ferris and Hedgcock (1998); Dicle
Grabe and Kaplan (1996); Leki (2001); and Tribble (1996).
5. Competency—based curricula define certain core competencies (eg., to write a
business letter seeking information) for students to attain as the explicit basis I Eggi
for their studies. Students know these in advance, so they work to achieve the
competencies stipulated for their particular level of language study. Teachers I Feez
also know these competencies and use them to organize their lessons and to
assess their students’ achievements. This is one type of outcomes—based I Ferr
curriculum, which focuses on the results that students and teachers should
work toward in language study. See Brindley (1995, 1998) and Feez (1998) I Frar
for discussion and examples. _
6. Systemic—Functional Linguistics derives from the theoretical work of
Halliday (1985) and is discussed in some detail by johns, Chapter 8 Free
this volume.
» Free
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I · am]
( ( OPP
Cot
and
_ _ ( in I
( wel
I
( ei
abc
_ on
wri
to i

gf 4 Second language writing up close
Of 6Z7’ld personal: SO77’l€ S%CC€S.S SfO7’i€S
ed r Tony Silva
yy Melinda Reichelt
HC Yoshiki Chikuma
me Nathalie Duval—Couetil
_ I Ruo-Ping ]. Mo
I Gloria Vélez—Rend6n
Sandra Wood
it-
ig, S
_d "All of us who have tried to write something in a second language . . . sense that
o ° I the process of writing in an L2 is startlingly different from writing in our L1."
(Raimes, 1985) .
gg I
`ed Different indeed, but what is important for second language (L2) writing
professionals is precisely how this difference manifests itself in second
language writing. Questions about the distinct nature of L2 writing have
ei driven a great deal of research in L2 writing studies (see Silva, 1993,-
Q1'] . , . .
gg I for an overview and synthesis of some of this research). Researchers
in second language writing have approached these questions in differ—
SL I ent (but all quite valid) ways with regard to who tells the story of this
difference: in most such studies only the researcher speaks, reporting on
wd I and interpreting observations about L2 writers and/or L2 writing (for
- example, Hyland SC Milton, 1997); others observe and interpret, too,
I"` but also use quotations from L2 Writers to a greater or lesser extent to
" illustrate their (the researchers’) points and warrant their claims (for ex-
ample, Silva, 1992). However, only recently have L2 writers been given an
opportunity to tell their own stories. (See Belcher and Connor, 2001, and
Connor, 1999, who give voice to multiliterate writers; see also Belcher
and Hirvela, 2001, who, in a related project, examine the notion of voice
in L2 writing.) Such stories are told in a variety of research designs as
well (see Polio, Chapter 2 this volume). o ·
In this chapter, we (here and throughout referring to Silva Sc
Reichelt) would like to add to the studies in the third category described
above and to push the genre envelope a bit. We present and comment
on (unfiltered and unedited) narratives solicited from five L2/bilingual _
writers addressing the development and the current state of their ability S
to write in a second language in terms of strategic, rhetorical, linguistic,
` ‘ 93

94 T Silva et al.
and any other relevant issues} We recognize that these individuals are ac- - Z. tran
complished and highly skilled L2 writers and thus not necessarily typical l0gl'
or representative of L2 student writers. We have chosen these writers, in - P&P*
part, to counterbalance accounts of L2 writers in the professional litera— H0?
ture, which tend to portray L2 writers as “problems" or as producers of P1'€$
problematic prose. T
The writers in this chapter represent native speakers of Chinese, 6110*
japanese, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL) discussing the mal?
acquisition of English writing skills, and a native speaker of English F0 V
discussing the acquisition of French writing skills. These Eve narratives PHP'
provide a firsthand longitudinal look at each writer’s experience as an t0 “
L2 writer and a look at different stages in the development of their L2 I had
writing ability. A brief biographical statement appears before each nar— I $*3
rative; our commentary follows the last narrative. We hope that these W3§
_ accounts accomplish two goals: we anticipate that these narratives will l0§1‘
prove insightful for L2 writing teachers and researchers in ways that will ml? i
promote richer understanding of the complexities of writing in a sec- End
ond language, and we hope the stories of these writers will encourage €XP‘
struggling L2 writers.2 II
I ha
- of E
L2 voice 1: Yoshiki Chikuma dem
com
,. . was horn and grew up in Tokyo, japan. He has a BA in Behavioral ordf
Science horn Green Mountain College, an MEd in Teaching English to I
Speakers of Other Languages frorn Temple Universit); and a PhD in prog
Foreign Language Education from Purdue University He is currently an nati
Assistant Professor of fapanese at the College of Charleston. whil
I started to write in English when I came to the States. When I came keet
_ to the States, I didn’t know anything about writing, period. In japan, pf0l
they don’t teach you how to write, and although they give you essay com
assignments, students are left alone to come up with some kind of writing they
strategies. I did not like homework assignments for summer vacations class
where- you had to write your impressions about books that you were C
assigned to read. These books were usually boring and even if they had excl
been interesting, I would not have known how to present my thoughts in a
in writing. _ lhai
My English ability upon _the arrival to the States was not so good. My i last
TOEFL score was about 420-430 at that time. I did take a six-week ESL honr
course before I entered an undergraduate college, but it didn’t help much to nt
as there were so many japanese students who were in that program and I allY
didn’t study much. So I learned to write in English in college by learning coul
to write term papers. In the beginning, I had a very difficult time making But
myself understood in writing. My sentences tended to be short and direct I dit g

Second language writing up close and personal 95
- translation of japanese sentences. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be
[ logical or linear in thinking and choose a position in writing an opinion
1 paper. So I often contradicted myself within a paragraph because I was
_ not sure myself if I would support one position or the other. I was merely
{ presenting the flow of my thoughts.
The sentences I wrote that seemed very explicit to me were not explicit
.3 enough for professors. I often got comments, "not clear" or question
B marks at various points in a paper. What bothered me most was having
fl to write conclusions. What I had thought was a beautiful ending of a
S paper was not satisfactory for professors. They often wrote that I needed
fl to write a conclusion. To me writing a conclusion was repeating what I
3, l had just written and it seemed redundant and unnecessary. But gradually,
-. I started to conform to the norm. I was a behavioral science major so I
B was exposed to the APA Style and I learnedthe basic organization and
_] logic of an academic paper from it. Spelling was never a problem for
i] me and I learned punctuation rules in a freshman English course. By the
;- end of my undergraduate years, I had begun to get the feel of what was
6 expected in a paper written in English.
In addition to academic writing, by the second or third year in college,
I I had started to keep a diary and write poems in English or a mixture
of English and japanese. These writings had nothing to do with my aca-
I demic life. I had had a habit of keeping diaries and writing poems before
coming to the States, but I gradually started to mix the two languages in
gl l order to adequately express my feelings.
Q I went back to japan~after receiving a BA and enrolled in a master’s
iq program at an American institution in japan. Professors there were all
iz native speakers of English. I think my academic writing skills got mature
while li was there. I really don’t know why, but since then, professors
E keep giving me compliments about my writing. What is intriguing is that
I, _professors in Education at [name of school] tend to give me the greatest
y compliments about my writing skills in English. I assume that it’s because
g they are not used to having second language writers of English in the
S classroom.
E Currently I write in English most for informal- e—mail and chat
d exchanges because I have always had English—speaking friends who live
;S in a long distance. I am still not confident about writing formal letters.
I had no idea what a cover letter was until I had to be on the job market
y last year. Basically what Idid was to go to the online writing lab (OWI.)3
[J homepage [on the Web] and find a sample of a cover letter and change it
h to make it suit my situations. These templates help me a lot. Ido not usu-
{ ally have a native speaker check my English for term papers, because s/he
g could make it worse (which I experienced in my undergraduate years).
g But for the cover letter; I had a friend help me revise it, which I am glad
gt I

96 T Silva et al.
When I write, I usually use words that I already know and feel com-
fortable using. I hardly look up words unless I really lack the vocabu— Gr
lary for what I want to express. Choosing right prepositions is still hard CO,
for me, so I look up dictionaries when I am not confident about it. For ju;
writing, I use Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Cambridge » 12
International Dictionary of English, Taishulearfs Genius English- I h
japanese Dictionary, and the Kenkyusha Dictionary of English SU
Collocations (it’s huge!). All of them have a lot of example sentences Sh,
and I can apply them to coming up with my own sentences. I just do not FI;
trust ]apanese—nglish dictionaries because I feel that they might give me I
wrong equivalents or make my English sound bookish. tm
When I write papers, I do not outline them. I think I have made an gl-;
outline once in my freshman English class, but since then, I have not made gm
an outline. I gradually organize my thoughts in my head and sometimes COI
iot them down, but I do not make a nice, neat outline. I guess it’s because mg
I know I will change my mind as I write so I just start writing with vague ad-
ideas. I guess this is one of the reasons my sentences tend to be long with thi
a lot of clauses. Also, I do not care much about my spelling mistakes
while I’m writing. I care more about the choice of prepositions because an
that is not so easy to correct afterwards. In addition to prepositions, I am · Th "
often not sure about whether a noun is countable or not, so I look that . thi
up while writing if I become aware of my uncertainty. And of course I CO;
will never completely understand the use of "the” and “a”! Generally, I th,
just follow my hunch for these small grammatical difficulties and do not Wi
worry about them too much. i l)_
For me writing is a process of making my ideas accessible to read—
ers. What I am concerned with most when I am writing is to be asf
readenfriendly, which I would never have thought of if I had stayed gg,
in japan. Having linking paragraphs and explaining what I would write Ch
about next and what I had just written about are a few examples of mi
this idea. I’m not always successful though because I get lazy some- _ wi
times. I have also learned to let a draft sit for a while before revising tim
it, and I believe that is part of the process of making the text reader— OI
friendly too. {js
wz
L2 voice 2: Nathalie Duval-Couetil Og
-
. . . was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts, fg
in the United States. She has a BA in French from the University of I py,
Massachusetts at Amherst, an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley. Wi
Massachusetts, and an MS in Education from Purdue University. She is W,
currently a PhD student in Education and English as a Second Language ng
at Purdue University. W,
[ f...i S S S
as ’=· ‘ I

fi'- Second language writing up close and personal 97
Q;-I I grew up in the U.S. in a home where my parents spoke mainly French. j
if Growing up I had few opportunities to write in French. Given that I ‘
f; could speak and understand the language, I chose not to take French in
Q _g junior high or high school. I opted instead for Spanish from 7th through
Y “ 12th grade and in high school, added two years each of Italian and Latin.
¤ 3 I had little formal French instruction while growing up. My formal in-
Q struction consisted of grammar lessons that my mother gave me for a
. short period of time and a course or two that I took at the Alliance
Q Francaise in Paris during summer vacations in France.
i My first real opportunity to write in French was in college, where I
f took many French classes in an effort to get my knowledge of French
I grammar and writing to the level of my comprehension. I jumped right
I into intermediate and advanced courses where it was expected that I
could write. It was in these classes that I realized how much I relied on
my ear, asiopposed to any grammatical rules that I hadlearned. One
advanced French grammar course in particular truly humbled me. It was
the first time that I had to work really hard at French.
During college and during a year abroad that I spent in Paris, I read
g an enormous amount of French literature, newspapers and magazines.
This exposed me to written French and a language that was other than
the relatively simple "household French" that I grew up hearing. The
l combination of academic courses, the reading I had done, and the fact_
J that I was using French on a daily basis allowed my writing to catch up
_ with my comprehension and speaking abilities within a relatively short
i period of time. *
Most of my writing in French during college was related to course
assignments. I enjoyed writing within an academic context very much.
Since professors didn’t expect perfection from students, I was free to take
chances and writing was a pleasure. I also felt relatively confident about
my writing in this context since my work was usually being compared
to the work of native English speakers. Other writing I did during this
time consisted of short notes to friends or cover letters for internships
or jobs. These were much less fun, I was more self—conscious, took few
risks, and always made sure I phrased things in a way that I was sure
was grammatically correct.
After graduate school in business, I chose to take a job in the Paris
office of an American company. In- this context, where we conducted man- l
agement and marketing studies, writing consisted of composing lengthy 5
reports and exhibits for clients. When I was working on a project for a
French client, these reports and all correspondence related to the project
were in French. The freedom and confidence that I had associated with _
writing in French in college waned. In the workplace, I felt that I always
needed to write "well." As a bilingual and dual—national, I felt that it
was expected that I write well. The difficulty of the work itself, plus

¢ 98 T Silva at al.
what I perceived as the extra burden of writing in French, extinguished
any pleasure that I derived from writing in this context. _
The nature of the writing was also different in a business setting. I _
I find business French much more cumbersome than business English ·
and writing business reports was quite frustrating at times. Linguistic :
I structures and conventions didn’t seem as simple and precise as they are in I
English. As a result, my French business phrases were probably a lot more ~
direct than those composed by a native French writer. They probably
closely resembled the structure of an equivalent English phrase. English 1
vocabulary also seemed better suited for business. It was often difficult I 1
to translate what are simple, commonly used business terms in English e
into French. I distinctly remember a French colleague and l struggling I i
to Hnd the French equivalent for the word “issue” which had been used
in many different ways in the training manual that we were translating. I
My use of American phrase structures or English terms wasn’t always · I
a negative. In certain European business contexts, an American style or I
use of American terms can pass quite well. Even if I made occasional _
mistakes, my American background may have given me some credibility I 1
in certain situations. l
Luckily, I was rarely solely responsible for any written communication I f
that would go to a French client. When I was working on such a project, l
there was usually a native French speaker on my team who_would also be I
involved in the final writing stages of a report. I never really like having I I
a peer read or review something that I have written. Way in the back of r_
my mind is always the strange feeling that someone may "discover" that I C
my writing doesn’t live up to my ability to understand or speak French. gf
This is not very rational. · ·- · C
I don’t seem to use English as a crutch in my personal or non—business P
writing. This is probably because I was raised hearing and speaking non- A
business French and am accustomed to expressing myself in this register. Si
I Because "personal" French is familiar, I don’t rely on English structures ii
and conventions. I feel comfortable expressing my thoughts and have iq
even been able to integrate word play and humor in my writing quite iq
easily. Business French, which I learned later in life, doesn’t come as 3
naturally. gi
Overall, my composing processes in French and English are quite dif- C.
ferent. In terms of content, I am sure that my first draft of any writing I ei
in French is better than the equivalent first draft in English. In French, vi
I choose my words more carefully and pay more attention to conveying T
a clear thought. In English, particularly since the invention of the word
processor, I too often start with a stream—of-consciousness approach and O1
edit, edit, edit until I get the concise document that I want. w
Today, I have few opportunities to write in French except short cor- C;
respondence and the occasional, short translation. As a result, I am Oi

Second language writing up close and personal 99
ig -_ - increasingly insecure about my French writing and I use English whenever
possible, even with friends and family in France. My insecurity doesn’t
really have much to do with my ability to compose a text, my ability
‘ ` to communicate my thoughts, or the ability to use proper vocabulary,
Z sentence structure or spelling. Instead, I think I am fearful of making
little, "stupid," mistakes such as adding an "s" or "t" to the end of a
I verb where it doesn’t belong.
I probably write better in French than I give myself credit for. Over
the years, I have had the opportunity to read things that I have written in
the past and have been quite surprised to find what I was once capable
of. ln order to achieve the level of writing that I would feel comfortable
with, I really would have to work at it everyday.
L2 voice 3: Ruo—ping ]. Mo
...was horn and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She has a BA in Foreign
i Languages and Literature from the National Taiwan University, two
MAs in Linguistics (one from the Fu ]en Catholic University and one -
from the Ohio State University), and a PhD in English from Purdue
University.
My first encounter with English was in junior high school. At that time,
English, Mandarin and mathematics were the three main courses, and
thus were offered daily. Because English was not regarded as a means of
communication, but rather as a subject to be tested in the entrance exam,
the content of the course was mostly exam-driven. A typical English
class would include transcribing lexical items, listing the morphological
properties of new vocabulary, and practicing various syntactic patterns.
Memorizing fixed phrases and idioms was another big task. However,
students paid more attention to the verb form after these phrases and
idioms rather than how they were used in a given context. What’s even
more striking was that many students deemed the practice in school was
not enough. They rushed to bookstores to get more grammar books and
attended cram schools after class. The same practice continued through
senior high school though in the school I attended students were en—
couraged to do some outside readings. It is believed that reading could
enhance overall English proficiency. Most students chose the simplified
version of western literature such as Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of
Two Cities. .
During the high school years, recitations, drills, and grammar exercises
occupied most of the class time. Although sometimes we were asked to
write English compositions, the main purpose was to practice English. In
other words, English writing was not for students to develop their ideas
or express themselves, but to provide them another opportunity to put

. 100 T Silva et al.
together what they have learned in class, especially the grammar part.
· Hence, when I was asked to write English composition in class or at home,
my first priority was to come up with grammatically sound sentences. The
i main idea and overall organization of the paper was formed in Mandarin
`_ in my head first, and then translated into English. Since there was no one-
A to-one correspondence between Mandarin and English, I had to rely on
Chinese-English and English—Chinese dictionaries to help me complete
the translation. However, because I used my native tongue to develop
ideas and organize the paper, my English writing was contaminated by
Chinese rhetoric. Moreover, because I learned my vocabulary through
the word list in the textbook and English—Chinese dictionaries, which in -
many cases only provide Mandarin equivalents and no actual use, my
word choice was also problematic. Yet as long as I did not make many
grammatical mistakes and my composition was coherent, the English ‘
instructor was usually very generous.
After the university entrance exam, I was admitted to a prestigious For- I
eign Languages and Literature Department with an excellent reputation ‘
for its graduates’ overall English proficiency. Students in this department l
were expected to make extra efforts to meet the higher standard set by
it. Therefore, in addition to the heavily loaded literature courses, we I
. had to take several English classes. Among them were freshman English,
English conversation, English speech, listening comprehension, and two l
semesters of English composition. My first English composition teacher i
‘ was a Hong Kongese who at that time was at the stage of finishing his l
dissertation. He taught us the basic rules of English rhetoric such as the I
three—part framing strategy of introduction~body—conclusion and the in- _
clusion of a topic sentence at the beginning or the end of a paragraph.
The textbook served as a model. We analyzed the organization of an
article, discussed the strengths and weaknesses, and then incorporated
the newly acquired strategy into our own writing. My second English
composition teacher was a native speaker of English. He taught neither
rhetoric nor grammar. He just let us write in class and answered our
questions individually. `
In addition to what has been taught in class, I also developed several
ways to improve my English skills. First of all, I got rid of English—Chinese
dictionaries. Knowing the Mandarin translation not only would not help
me know how to use the corresponding English word or phrase, but ·
would enforce my old habit of thinking in Mandarin and then translating
into English. I added to my collection several English—English dictionaries
and thesauruses. The latter helped me avoid using the same word over
and over in the same paragraph or paper. Second, I forced myself to listen
r to English radio programs on a regular basis. Hopefully, my intuition
would grow stronger because of this practice. The third one was related
to my strategy in revision. After I finished the first draft, I would set it

Second language writing up close and personal 101
_'¤_ aside for a few days. And when I was ready to revise it, I would read
‘ _`_·~ = `°fg' it aloud. In this way, I could not only catch the sentences that did not
iii sound right to my ears, but also check if the paper was coherent.
After coming to the United States, I was placed in an advanced ESL
‘ i writing class. The instructor was a Greek majoring in linguistics. She used
fj :_ a textbook to discuss grammar issues and cohesive devices that could
I ‘`"— ` -1 be incorporated in our paper. Following the brief lecture was the small
5. group activity. Unlike the popular peer views in which students formed
‘ small groups to criticize each other’s paper, the group work here was
ji .` to provide us another opportunity to practice English. For example, we
in would interview our group members concerning a specific topic and then
· reported the result to the rest of the class. -Generally speaking, I enjoyed
the class because I could relax and socialize with my fellow countrymen.
However, I did not think I learned a lot from the instructor or my peers.
;- A As I continued to write, I gradually got a sense of what my weaknesses
‘_ were in English composition. Most of them were surface problems such
_; as articles, tense and aspect, and word choice. Since I knew what I needed,
“ I could find help either through writing labs provided in schools, native
i English speakers, or by reading more papers and books.
L2 voice 4: Gloria Vélez-Rendon
. . . grew up in Medellin, Colombia. She holds a BA in Modern Languages
_ from Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, and an MS and a PhD in
_ Foreign Language Education from Purdue University. Gloria is currently
i an Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education and Spanish at
1; Purdue University Calumet.
i I can still remember the sheer panic I experienced when faced with the
; task of my first writing assignment in English at the graduate level. I had
no idea how to approach it and I felt that my previous experiences as a
student had prepared me poorly for this challenging endeavor. It was in
E. the process of writing it and through a very slow and painstaking labor
y that I think I truly started growing as a second language writer.
; During my undergraduate years as an EFL major I had been required to
take two English composition courses in the sixth and seventh semesters
- of the program. The courses pretty much followed a_ grammar based ap-
proach to teaching writing. It involved memorizing the basic patterns of
· the English language, producing sentences modeled after these patterns,
U- and doing a lot of filling—in-the-blank exercises and expansion exercises.
Very few opportunities for actual writing were provided and the assign-
ments were rather short. Looking at samples of my writing at that time
I think I was still at some kind of interlanguage stage. My composi—
tions showed numerous errors in use and form, limited and inaccurate

102 T Silva et al. I
vocabulary, and disjointed and undeveloped ideas. Subsequent under- I re
graduate courses I took in English did not require much in terms of ` wi
research or writing either. They were evaluated mainly via written exams I ga
that relied on the memorization of content. Since the bulk of my courses of
at that time was in English and French, I did not have many opportu- I pa
nities to write at the academic level in my native language either. I had m·
shown some promise as a writer through my high school years though. I W1
I had a way with words and writing came easily to me; I had even won be
‘ a short story contest in the seventh grade. Growing [up] in a household pr
that valued and encouraged reading and writing a great deal contributed I na
to make me an avid reader with some inclination to writing. na
Upon arriving to the USA I became immersed in an English speaking I th
world for the first time in my life. This resulted in a much improved It"
language proficiency. I took some ESL and continuing education courses I I tic
involving short writing assignments. It was then, I believe when my writ- an
ing started to sound more English like. Although I still made mistakes at I co
the linguistic level, they were not the kind that would obscure meaning, ve
my word choice was appropriate for the most part, and I was able to I on
produce a short coherent text. Writing did not come easily to me how- uc
ever. Having never benehted from explicit instruction about the writing I co
process made mine a rather intuitive and laborious task. It took long and thi
frustrating moments in front of the blank page before Iwas able to come I a 1
up with something worthy and it involved incessant revision and heavy
use of bilingual and monolingual dictionaries and thesauruses. I usa- an _
ally received positive feedback from my instructors and their corrections so
helped me identify problems in my writing and learn from them. The writ- I ini
ten assignments at that time were rather short and never involved writing En
an essay paper per se. So when I was first faced with the task of produc- we
- ing a twenty—page graduate research paper I felt totally overwhelmed. I I lar
did not seem to have much difficulty representing in my mind what my the
instructor expected me to do in terms of the assignment. Identifying and I c
researching a topic did not pose major challenges either. Even though I or;
had very little experience with these processes, I was highly motivated and spi
eager to start exploring all the numerous bibliographical resources avail-
able to me. I felt that reading not only provided me with the information I the
necessary for developing my topic but also helped me gain awareness of = no
acceptable academic written discourse features and conventions. I—Iow— ha
ever, when it came to actually writing the paper I was completely at a loss, an
my only pre—writing strategies included highlighting relevant information fir:
and jotting down domain specific terminology from my sources. It did bu
not occur to me to summarize, let alone synthesize the information I had sta
gathered. Not having a plan or an outline either, I just started by putting Fo
down rough ideas in the paper in a disorderly fashion and from there I on
composed an initial draft which I would improve through revising and in

ll i Second language writing up close and personal 103
rewriting. It was only after having some thoughts down in paper that I
was able to gain some focus and to conceive a tentative rhetorical or-
ganization. When blocked, I would start working in a different section
of the draft or I would go back to my bibliographical sources; rereading
l passages helped activate the content in my memory and provided good
models for my writing. I also found that taking some distance from my
writing always helped. I would return to it with a fresh perspective and
better processed thoughts. Revising was a solitary and time—consuming
process though; I relied only on manuals, dictionaries, and my own non-
native speaker intuitions to achieve this task. Asking assistance from a
s native speaker for this purpose did not seem appropriate. In my mind
this practice was as unacceptable as plagiarism for some obscure reason.
It was only later that I would learn about the acceptability of such a prac-
tice and the availability of a writing lab to help you identify problems
and improve your writing. After long hours of writing, detecting and
correcting mistakes, deleting redundancies, detecting contradictions, de-
veloping and refining ideas, re—arranging text, improving style, and so
on, I was finally able to craft what I perceived as an acceptable prod-
uct. The positive feedback from my instructor was for me the definitive
confirmation that l had done a good job. Although my writing process in
the subsequent semesters continued being as demanding, I faced it with
I a newly gained confidence in my ability to produce a decent work.
After graduating from my masters, I returned to my country to live
I and work there for live years. During this period of time, I consciously
sought opportunities to keep up with my English language skills such as
l interacting constantly with speakers of the language, reading mostly in
English and watching cable television. However, I did very little in the
way of writing - only letters. It was the time for writing in my native
language. The process seemed similar to writing in English in terms of
thought processing and strategic use, but it was considerably much easier.
I did not have to struggle so much to give form to my thoughts and
organize my ideas coherently and do a more polished job aesthetically
speaking. I was also able to be creative. i
Back in the USA to pursue my doctoral studies, I was again faced with
the challenge of writing research projects in English. I felt that I had
not grown as a second language writer in the live precedent years, yet I
had gained expertise in my field through my readings and experiences
and had a much clearer vision of a number of issues. I approached my
l first writing tasks pretty much in the same way I had done it before
but with a broader knowledge base. As I advanced in mycoursework, I
I started incorporating, though not consistently, more effective strategies.
For example, through the readings and discussions in [a graduate seminar
on second language writing], I gained insights about the writing process
in general and mine in particular. So I started doing more in the way of

IO4 'II Silva et al. I
summarizing and synthesizing my sources after reading. I found that this .
practice sped up. my writing a great dealrlnstead of trying the impossible ‘ fc
task of committing to memory so much information, I got my processed pi
reading down on paper and I was able to use it later in my writing. Ir
Similarly, through my research courses, I became a betteninformed and in
more critical reader of research. This is reflected in a much improved A
ability when writing article critiques and literature reviews. ` vv
I feel that I still need to do a better job at the planning and revising le
stages of my writing. For example, I should be more consistent at doing · st
summaries and synthesis of my readings. I also need to think harder at
as I approach my writing in order to better envision what I want to th
accomplish, When revising, I believe I should use more efficient strategies ol
as well. I usually try to revise at all levels at the same time instead of just rh
focusing on one. Ican probably improve my approach to writing in other
ways I am not aware of yet. - nc
Regarding the present state of my writing, I feel that I have come a sc
long way since my undergraduate years, but I still have a lot of path to hi
cover. I am still at the stage in which the struggle for making meaning st
leaves no time for originality, depth of thought, and a better aesthetic se
form, which are my ideals as a writer. N
st
te
L2 voice 5: Sandra Wood
re
...u2as horn and grew up in Franklin, Indiana, in the United States. dc
She has a BA in Psychology and Linguistics and an MA in Linguistics ac
horn Purdue University. She is currently a PhD student at the University le
of Connecticut. Her work focuses on the syntax and semantics of nega— at
tion in American Sign Language. gi
Compared to most bilingual speakers, my situation is markedly dif- w
ferentfor learning English. I was born deaf to an American family who re
were all hearing. They were all monolingual users of English. My mother al
was not aware of the Deaf community and its language, American Sign th
Language (ASL), until I was approximately three years old. Consequently, hi
it was assumed that I would learn English and my mother worked with
me constantly from the time she realized I was deaf (eight weeks old). w
From her, I learned to speak in English and was able to put a sentence · pc
together when I was two and half years old. Interestingly enough, due to ity
my mother’s use of visual sentences and constant writing out of words, I I th
was able to read English by the age of three years old. I was able to read . w
a Walt Disney book, which had several short stories but consisted of 200 su
pages, in one day by the time I was four. Obviously, my reading level in er
English was very high when I was young. l was also able to write rather l lo
well, writing in cursive by the age of five years old. / hi

I _ Second language writing up close cmd personal 105
_` Most Deaf people learn ASL through attending a residential school
‘ for the Deaf. Only ten percent of all Deaf people learn ASL from their
parents, the rest learn from each other at school. Since I went to the
Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) from the age of three to six, I was fluent
in ASL and English by the time I was six years old. My mother learned
ASL when I was six years old, because she realized that I signed constantly
with my friends. She wanted to be able to communicate with me on both
levels, especially after enrolling me in a public school with no other Deaf
· students. This, I believe, made a crucial difference in my intellectual and
academic development. I was able to gain access to more information
through signed discussions with my mother who would explain much
of the things I needed to know that most hearing students pick up on
their own. I
After realizing that I was rather advanced in my language skills and
not challenged enough at ISD, my parents enrolled me in the local public
schools. I remained in the public school system until I graduated from
high school, with no interpreter or notetaker. At the time, that was the
standard situation for any Deaf student in the public school system. Con-
sequently, not many Deaf students were placed in the public schools.
. ` Nowadays, it is quite different with several resources available to the
student such as interpreters, speech therapy, notetakers, and a resource
teacher .
I was always the only Deaf child in the school so I never had any
restrictions placed on me as to how well I was expected to do in aca-
demics. Most people assume that Deaf students have difficulty achieving
academic success and often will treat them as such, which sometimes
leads to a "self-fulfilling prophecy.” As long as I sat in the front row
and attempted to follow what was being said through lip reading and
guesswork, I was considered to be doing "okay." To be fair, I did rather
well in academics, being a member of the National Honor Society and
receiving academic awards, so my teachers and my parents did not re-
alize that I was still in need of an interpreter. I was unaware that I had
the right to have an interpreter for my classes until I was a senior in
high school.
My Hrst exposure to writing a paper was in eighth grade in which I
. _ wrote a paper with twenty—five pages (longhand) on the roles of Black
people in the Civil War. My teachers were quite impressed with my abil-
ity to write a research paper, using references and footnotes. They felt
that my writing ability was on par with a college freshman. I was able to
write with a particular perspective in mind and present my arguments to
support this perspective in a structured and logical manner. This experi-
ence led me to realize thatI enjoyed research writing and I would always
I look forward to a research assignment given by the teacher throughout
I high school.
I

106 T Silva at al.
In high school, I was given increasingly harder topics and I would r
often play around with different ways to write my papers. I noticed that c
my teacher seemed to like it when I would write as scholarly as possible I
with lots of "long words.” I considered that kind of writing to be rather l
"pompous" but I would continue to write in that vein if it was what e
the teacher wanted. I never had any difficulty with spelling or grammar. s
My main difficulty was with the mechanics, particularly punctuation, of i
writing. My papers were always missing most of the commas and semi- r
colons that I needed. This may be due to the fact that hearing people
pause in the places where one would put a comma if it were written r
out. I probably did not have that awareness as well developed as other s
hearing people did. I 1
By the time I arrived in college, I had a confident attitude towards .
writing in English, which was reinforced by my professors. They often
commented on my ability to structure my papers well with an intro- c
duction, body of arguments, and conclusion. I did have a very good I
English teacher in high school that insisted we learn how to structure 1
our papers well. Sheiwould use a visual diagram of the introduction as I
an inverted triangle, the body of arguments as blocks, and the conclu— ` i
sion as a triangle. This illustrates that the introduction should be-broad t
in the beginning and narrow down to my thesis statement. The conclusion i
should condense the previous discussion, beginning with a paraphrase of l
my thesis statement and broadening out to a final conclusion. This tech~ ]
_ nique has served me well, even now as a graduate student. I often draw I E
out my papers using this technique and writing in the main points of each I 1
section. e
Another tool I use in writing my papers is ASL. I often sign my main
thoughts and arguments to myself either out loud or mentally. When ·
I am stymied by a mental block in presenting my analysis, I sign to ;
myself until I arrive at the point where I can translate my thoughts into ;
English. It is also helpful when I cannot quite find the right word for .
what I am trying to convey. I will sign it several different ways to see . -
which interpretation best fits with my concept. lf I still cannot think of I f
an appropriate English translation of my ASL, I then consult with my
colleagues who are experienced in interpreting ASL to English and vice
versa. `
Once I started graduate work, however, my whole perspective on -
English shifted radically. I started to question my ability in writing my
research papers because my professors became much more demanding I
with me. They insisted I have everything perfect, down to the last jot `
and tittle. I realized that writing in an academic vein was completely I
different than any other writing I had ever done. I had to learn to write
for a linguistic audience, using correct terminology and following stan~ I
dard conventions of linguistic writing. It was almost like learning a I

Seconcl language writing up close and personal 107
I new language for me. My mechanics were pretty well developed so I
did not have to worry about my punctuation as I did in high school. I
had to worry more about making sure my words were chosen carefully
because the choice of words could be so potentially misleading. For
example, I could not use the word "specific” unless I was using it as in the
. semantics sense. I would have to use the word “certain" or "particu1ar"
Z instead. Therefore, I started using the thesaurus to help me avoid being
- redundant.
. Also, my grammar had to be refined even further. I had to become
I more conscious of how I used "the" and "a" because the flow of the
sentence would be quite different even if I could interchange them with
no discernible difference in the semantics. Sometimes, it was not even
_ necessary to use the determiner before the noun phrase. That was a new
one for me. Furthermore, writing for a submission to a linguistic journal
demanded that I use either the APA style or the Linguistic Inquiry style.4
- I then became aware of the difference between ‘which’ and ‘that’ for
i nonrestrictive clauses and restrictive clauses.
The verbosity of my previous papers that was so well received by
my teachers was not appreciated by my professors. I had to learn not
to ramble so excessively but to be direct and make sure that every-
thing flowed from my thesisstatement. I feel the reason for my ram-
bling was due to my tentativeness in establishing my claim or argument.
I felt I had to justify my argument before I even made the argument.
j Since then, l have improved my academic writing considerably but I still _
tend to rewrite my introduction several times before it really makes any
j sense. i
U One thing that really surprised me in my journey as a graduate student
_ was how even the professors would give their own papers to a colleague
for feedback. Once I realized that the feedback by my professors was not
. a reflection of my skill in English but a necessary check to ensure that my
audience would understand my paper, I regained my confidence in my
ability to write a good research paper. I also realized native speakers of
I English struggle with academic writing also, sometimes more than I do.
My journey as a writer is not and never will be complete but I do feel
that I can present myself well in either English or ASL.
Discussion I
In this section of the chapter, we attempt to offer a useful summary!
j synthesis of these stories and from this generate some questions for
research on and instruction in L2 writing.
i Affect seemed to play a large role in the L2 writers’ accounts of
I their experience. And while positive notes were sounded (enjoyment,

108 T Silva et al. `i
pleasure, confidence, freedom), negative feelings were also voiced Vi
(self—eonsciousness, extinguished pleasure, aesthetic struggle, insecurity, ai
a feeling of being overwhelmed or completely at a loss, sheer panic), ai
reflecting, in our view, the rewarding, but long and difficult road to suc— A Cl
cessful L2 writing taken by this small sample of writers. In addition, F
there seemed to be a point on that road after which the narrators be- tl
came substantially more comfortable with and confident about writing. b
Regrettably, not every L2 writer reaches the point of comfort and con-
Hdence that these writers have. For Chikumag the catalyst was his MA 6
program; for Duval—Couetil, it was a combination of reading a great deal I Cl
and taking coursework in her second language while functioning in her H
L2 on a daily basis, for Velez—Rendon, producing her first L2 research I (*
paper in her MA program; and for Wood, the demands of her professors ¥·
in graduate school. I S
In addition to affect, the L2 writers said quite a bit about composing (
strategies or processes. One aspect of this is the use of the native language I f-
(L1) and translation from Li to L2 in second language writing. Chikuma C
notes that in his early L2 writing his sentences were mostly short and I f
direct translations of japanese. Mo talks about developing ideas and or- l
ganization in Mandarin and then translating into English. Wood tells of I 2
signing her main thoughts, arguments, and specific words aloud or men- `
tally until she is able to translate them into English. A related issue is the i
use of reference books — dictionaries, thesauruses, and manuals. Most of I
the L2 writers mention using (sometimes reluctantly) dictionaries and/or T
thesauruses to a greater or lesser extent. Chikuma reports using several i
dictionaries to look up words he is not comfortable using. Mo talks I i
about needing reference hooks to help her translate from L1 to L2 and to I - 1
achieve some lexical variety. Vélez—Rend6n reports heavy use of dictio— 1
naries, thesauruses, and manuals to help her through the revision process I {
and to avoid redundancy. However, misgivings about using dictionaries ¤ l
(especially L1-L2 dictionaries) are voiced, as are concerns about getting
inaccurate equivalents, sounding bookish, and reinforcing the practice 1
of translation from L1—L2. A '
The second language writers also took advantage of written models =
and writing guides in constructing their texts. Chikuma writes that he i
learned about the organization and logic of an English academic paper by ’
using the APA style manual and that the templates from a writing center I -
helped him develop formal cover letters. Mo indicates that she was well `
served by model texts in a textbook. Vélez-Rendon reports using pas- I
sages from source materials as models for writing, and Wood"indicates
that her writing profited from her study of guidelines for submissions of I
manuscripts to scholarly journals in her field. I
Additionally, the L2 writers seemed to see revision as both a necessity
and a challenge, the most detailed account coming from Vélez—Rendon, I

ll .'‘-. Second language writing up close and personal 109
l ._ who talks about long frustrating moments in front of a blank page
in I " and a solitary, time~consuming process requiring long hours of finding
l i and correcting mistakes, deleting redundancies, detecting contradictions,
developing and refining ideas, rearranging text, and improving style.
Finally, Chikuma, Mo, and Vélez-Rendon all report profiting by get-
ting some distance from their texts —- that is, letting a draft sit for a while
before attempting a revision.
The way in which these L2 writers talk about their texts reflects an
` explicit understanding of rhetorical features (e.g., coherence, creativity,
I depth, directness, disjointed ideas, explicitness, linearity, logic, orga-
I nization, originality, redundancy, verbosity) and rhetorical elements
I (e.g., argument, conclusion, introduction, paragraph, thesis statement,
topic sentence). Several of these elements are critical to an under-
standing of the properties that typify academic genres (see johns,
Chapter 8 this volume). in addition, Wood credits a high school English
teacher for teaching her what is often referred to in the literature
on writing as the five-paragraph essay, a textual construction tech-
l nique that served her well from high school through graduate school.
Furthermore, each of the L2 writers’ narratives reflects an acute sense of
audience.
it also seemed clear to us that the L2 writers were quite cognizant
of but not overly concerned about making errors (grammatical, lexical,
mechanical) and that their errors were primarily local rather than global.
They reported problems with such things as articles, prepositions, and -
verb tense and difficulties due to limited lexical resources. The L2 writers
were able to address errors by going to writing labs, consulting with
native speakers (though this practice was sometimes problematic), and
reading extensively in the second language. Several of their concerns with
grammar are discussed in the chapter by Frodesen and Holten (Chapter 6
r this volume). ‘
The L2 writers talked a lot, typically in a positive way, about teacher
response to their writing, a topic discussed more thoroughly by Ferris
(Chapter 5 this volume). Chikuma seemed pleased that his graduate
school professors complimented his skills in English, e_ven though he
modestly claims that they probably did so because they were not used
to having second language writers of English in the classroom. Duval-
Couetil seemed reassured when her undergraduate professors didn’t ex-
-_ pect perfection in her writing. Mo reported that her high school teacher
l was usually very generous as long as she had not made many gram-
, matical mistakes and her composition was coherent. Vélez—Rendon saw
I feedback from instructors as confirmation that she had done a good job
( and felt that corrections from instructors helped her identify problems
in her writing and learn from them. Wood noted that her undergrad-
I uate professors reinforced her confident attitude toward writing, often

110 TZ Silva et al.
commenting favorably on her ability to structure her texts. She adds ‘·
that her graduate school professors were much more demanding, noting, °
however, that she saw the value in this once she realized that their feed-
back was not a critique of her writing ability but an attempt to make her _
writing more reader friendly.
Interestingly, the L2. writers spoke relatively little about getting feed-
back from native English—speaking peers, and what they did say was I
primarily negative. Chikuma notes that heeding such advice sometimes .
made his papers worse. Duval—Couetil describes her feelings of discom- I
fort with having a native French—speaking colleague check her writing. ‘
And Vélez-Rendon reports that she first saw asking a native English `
speaker for assistance with her revising as inappropriate, even plagia-
ristic. It was only later that she would learn about the acceptability of
such a practice and the availability of a writing lab to help her identify
problems and improve her writing.
For us, finding this variety in such a small sample of five L2 writers '
underscores how important it is for teachers to present a variety of per- *
spectives, approaches, and strategies to their students so that eventually
each writer can develop a process that works for her or him in a given
writing situation (see Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998). ·
Conclusion “ I
Questions , _ °
We recognize that these five narratives — as interesting, insightful, and l [
enlightening as they are — and our observations about them do not con- I
stitute a basis for making general or specific claims about the nature of
L2 writing, L2 writers, or L2 writing instruction. However, we believe I
that the foregoing does address some issues worthy of (re)consideration · l
by L2 writing professionals. Therefore, in light of these narratives, we *
ask the following questions and offer some personal comrnentary.5 l
With regard to L2 writers:
• Is the notion that L2 writing is a long, slow, painstaking process that '
never really ends not diametrically opposed to the common situation g
in higher education of requiring students to take one or two writing {
classes in their first year in the hope that this will inoculate them once -. {
and for all against “bad writing"? I
• Should affective considerations be given as large a role in instruction .
as the cognitive and social considerations? ‘ I i
• Could students be helped to get to the point at which they become I _ *
substantially more comfortable and confident about L2 writing more
quickly and less painfully? I l

`If Second language writing up close and personal 11 1
·` With regard to L2 writing processes:
fi _ • in what contexts and at what stages of development are L1 use in L2
writing and L1 to- L2 translation beneficial or harmful?
Z • Is explicit instruction in the use of dictionaries, thesauruses, and guide-
= books warranted?
• What are the pros and cons of using bilingual and monolingual (L2)
dictionaries in L2 writing?
• Should the use of models and guidelines (e.g., style manuals), which is
currently out of favor, be reconsidered?
• Should the "optimal distance" between drafting and revising, that is,
the amount of time a draft is left to sit before beginning to revise, be
looked into further?
With regard to L2 texts:
• Should explicit instruction on rhetoric be part of L2 writing courses?
• Given that it seemed to serve one of the L2 writers well from high
school through graduate school, should the value of teaching the so-
called Hve—paragraph essay in academic contexts be reexamined?
• Should vocabulary instruction be given a (larger) role in the L2 writing
classroom? ·
I With regard to readersr
• Are L2 writing students wrong to see their teachers as their primary ‘
I readers and to value teacher feedback over peer feedback?
• Are students wrong to see peer feedback as potentially bad advice or
U to feel uncomfortable about asking for such feedback?
I Finally, as we found these and many other writing autobiographies
quite interesting -and enlightening, would such autobiographies be useful
as data in L2 writing research and as assignments in L2 writing classes —
to raise consciousness for both L2 writing students and their teachers?6
Commentary -
In writing this chapter, we have come to feel that as L2 writing practi~
tioners we need to be stronger advocates for our students in every way we
. can, especially in making our faculty colleagues and our administrators
better understand the long, slow, painstaking process that is L2 writing.
A primary need is to foster realistic expectations of L2 writers, to pur-
i sue a goal of progress rather than perfection, and to meet L2 writers
where they are in terms of their L2 skills, not only in (L2 or L1) writing
i classes but across the curriculum as well. Additionally, in closely exam—
l ining the various paths these L2 writers reported, we believe we have

112 T Silva at rtl. .
developed an increased sensitivity to affective factors in the development
of L2 writing ability, one that has helped us create more supportive and
comfortable classroom communities. Moreover, we think it has made
us more open—minded in our (re)consideration of a number of issues:
L1 use in L2 writing, the role of (bilingual and monolingual) dictionar-
ies and other reference tools in composing, the importance of models | 6.
and guidelines, incubation time between drafting and revising, explicit
instruction in rhetoric, traditional patterns of textual organization, vo-
cabulary instruction, the teacher as audience, and potential problems
with peer response. We believe that all writing teachers would benefit
from visiting these issues as they plan their own courses for L2 writers.
‘ i R
Notes · j Bf
1. Silva sent the five writers the initial request to participate in this chapter. gt
After stating that he and Reichelt were planning to write a chapter centered
around firsthand accounts of what it is like to write in a second language Cj
from the perspectives of highly skilled second language writers, his invitation
stated: C,
We would very-much like you to be a part of this project, that is, to
produce a narrative account of your experience in writing in a second I E
language. What we’re interested in is a fairly brief (1000 words or so) text I
in which you address the development and the current state of your ability I F
to write in a second language in terms of rhetorical, linguistic, strategic, E
and any other relevant issues} j FI
2. Each of the narratives is presented using the exact wording of the writer. ‘
Rather than editing or polishing each writer’s words, we have chosen to let j
each writer speak for himself or herself to demonstrate the writer’s current
(and admittedly highly sophisticated) skill level in English. On a few occa— I H
sions, the L2 writer’s original wording naming a specific school or course
has been replaced with wording in brackets that provides a more generic JO
reference; for example, in lieu of ENGL 630, as found in one original text, K]
we substituted “ [a graduate course on second language writing]?
3. Many universities provide online writing help through their campus writing
resource centers. The original and oldest example of such online writing labs Lt
(OWLs) is the OWL at Purdue University, a service provided by the Depart-
ment of English at Purdue University. Many of its features are accessible to M
the public via its Web site as well: http://owl.english.purdue.edu.
4. Linguistic Inquiry is the name of a journal that requires use of its own style Ri
sheet for articles submitted for publication in that journal.
5. Additional discussion of the issues mentioned in the questions can be found R'
both in a number of book-length treatments of second language writing j _
in general (Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998; Leki, 1992; Reid, 1993) and in SL
recent work addressing specific issues like L2 composing processes (Krapels, . _
1990; Manchon, 2001), L1 use in L2 writing (Friedlander, 1990), dictio— Sl
nary use among L2 writers (Christianson, 1997), lexical issues in L2 writing

" Second language writing up close and personal 1 13
l (Engber, 1995), and peer and teacher feedback to L2 writing (Zhang, 1995).
·- Extensive inquiry into these and other L2 writing issues can be conducted
through the use of annotated bibliographies by Tannacito (1995) and Silva,
Brice, and Reichelt (1999) and the “Bibliography of recent scholarship in
second language writing," which appears in every issue of the journal of
Second Language Writing.
6. In fact, we would like to mention that we have both used writers’ biographies
as initial assignments in our L2 writing classes and feel that this has served
` us well not only in getting to know our students better but also in helping
us understand and more intelligently and tactfully deal with our students’
perceptions and values with regard to their written work.
References .
[ Belcher, D., Sc Connor, U. (Eds,). (2001). Reflections on inultiliterate lives.
Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Belcher, D., Sc Hirvela, A. (Eds.). (2001). Voice in L2 writing [Special issue].
s journal of Second Language Writing, 10( 1-2 ).
Christiansen, K. (1997). Dictionary use by EFL writers: What really happens.
fournal of Second Language Writing, 6, 23-43.
Connor, U. N. (1999). Learning to write academic prose in a second language:
A literacy biography. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English
language teaching (pp. 29-42). Mahwah, N]: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Engber, C. (1995). The relationship of lexical proficiency to the quality of ESL
compositions. journal of Second Language Writing, 4, 139-155.
Ferris, D., Sc Hedgcock, ]. S. (1998). Teaching ESL composition: Purpose, pro-
cess, and practice. Mahwah, N]: Lawrence Erlbaum. i
Eriedlander, A. (1990). Composing in English: Effects of a first language on
writing in English as a second language. In B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language
writing: Research insights for the classroom (pp. 109-125). New York:
Cambridge University Press. ·
I Hyland, K., Sc Milton,]. (1997). Qualification and certainty in L1 and L2 stu-
. dents’ writing. ]ournal of Second Language Writing, 6, 183-205.
journal of Second Language Writing. New York: Elsevier Science.
Krapels, A. (1990). An overview of second language writing process research. In
B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language writing: Research insights for the classroom
(pp. 37-56). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Leki, I. (1992). Understanding ESL writers: A guide for teachers. Portsmouth,
NH: Boynton-Cook.
Manchon, R. M. (Ed,). (2001). Writing in the L2 classroom: Issues in research
and pedagogy [Special issue]. International journal of English Studies, 1 (2).
_ Raimes, A. (1985). What unskilled ESL students do as they write: A classroom
" study of composing. TESOL Quarterly, 19, 229-258. e
Reid, ]. M. (1993). Teaching ESL writing. Englewood Cliffs, N]: Regents!
I Prentice Hall.
Silva, T. (1992). L1 vs L2 writing: ESL graduate students’ perceptions. TESL
Canada journal, 10, 27-47.
Silva, T. (1993). Toward an understanding of the distinct nature of L2 writing: I
The ESL research and its implications, TESOL Quarterly. 27, 657-677.

114 I Silva et al. Y
Silva, T., Brice, C., Bc Reichelr, M. (1999). Annotated bibliography of scholarship g PA
in second langnage writing: 1993-1997. Stamford, CT: Ablcx.
Tannacito, D. (1995). A guide to writing English as a second or foreign lan-
guage: An annotated bibliography of research and pedagogy. Alexandria,
VA: TESOL.
Zhang, S. (1995). Reexamining the affective advantage of peer feedback in the
ESL writing class. jonrnal of Second Language Writing, 4, 209-222.
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a PART HI:
i a EXPLORING WRITERS’ FINISHED TEXTS
i - It is perhaps axiomatic to say that one learns to write by writing. And
while no one disputes that many second langu_age (L2) writers will grow
{ into better Writers simply by producing sufficient quantities of writing
over an extended period (during which time their general language skills
presumably improve as well), both native and second language writers
often benefit most and make the most progress when teachers and peers
contribute to this goal through a variety of intervention strategies avail-
’ able in classroom settings.
As long as they have been in existence, writing classes have tended
to revolve around assignments that require students to produce various
types of texts. What has changed in more recent methodologies in writing
classes is the opportunity students are given to craft their writing —— rather
i than being forced into a situation where all writing tasks are undertaken
in a one—shot approach. Even in the era of so-called post-process ap-
proaches (Babin Sc Harrison, 1999, p. 223; McComiskey, 2000), most
classes allow students to approach writing tasks through a series of stages
in some kind of process framework. Regardless of other distinctions in
their approaches to curriculum design and syllabus planning, many writ-
ing teachers would probably agree that extended work on a single piece
of writing contributes most to students” ability to expand their writing
skills.
Previous sections in this volume have examined issues in second lan-
guage writing as a field of study, have given some insight into the way
teachers conceptualize courses, and have shown how second language
writers view their own learning. The three chapters in this section are
focused on the actual writing that students produce, As teachers, how do
- we respond to it? How do we approach the student’s language struggles
and assess the writing in general? `
: · 1 15

1 16 Part IH I
What are the issues and options for teachers to consider and/‘
as they structure feedback opportunities for
tl1€i1' Stlld€l'1tS? key (
1 tj
For students, the most time—consuming of the tasks they are asked to gxgft
undertake in writing courses is preparing texts, that is, written responses OSSSS
to the required writing assignments. Sometimes this process is extended OOIO
when they are also asked to incorporate peer response, this serves as a Way,
way to hone their abilities to analyze their own and others’ texts. Once OOOS
student writing is submitted to the teacher, the most time—consuming of QISO
all teacher tasks is crafting responses to student output. Teacher response { dSbS
typically takes the form of written commentary but can also be delivered I ggm
orally via conference (or potentially via audiotape as well). Because learn-
ing to write useful comments is not an easy task, a recurrent theme in
teacher training has been helping teachers improve the effectiveness of I
their comments (Mathison—Fife SC O’Neil, 2001; Qualley, 2002, Yates Sc Wh
Kenkel, 2002). I Wl-)
Chapter 5 by Dana Ferris provides a survey of current L2 research on
written teacher responses, on teachenstudent conferences, and on peer I WISE
responses. Ferris organizes her discussion around nine generalizations have
from previous research that highlight key issues and findings from a wide Hum
range of studies. Attention is given throughout to research on student OISSE
attitudes toward teacher and peer response, description of teacher and {OI ,z
peer commentary, and effectiveness of response on students’ subsequent OOO
writing. A large number of studies have investigated the area of teacher I (O ]
response, but not to the satisfaction of everyone. Ferris echoes some of the _ ' C
reservations raised by Goldstein (2001), citing the need for future studies I SSSS]
on this topic to pay greater attention to the classroom and institutional ity ,
contextin studying teacher commentary and subsequent student revision. I Vigv,
Polio’s earlier chapter on research methods (Chapter 2) cautions that I cept
any given technique might have its limitations; both Ferris and Goldstein SSSS;
(2001) call for more rigor in research. I rate
writ
I and
What role(s) should grammar play in writing courses for Cha
second language students? I , I fer ‘
._ ple
Accuracy in the linguistic properties of sentences and discourse struc- I full}
tures can certainly contribute to overall text excellence, but finding that
ways to incorporate attention to grammar in L2 writing courses can I m€Y
be problematic. In exploring the debates about combining language and I TW?
ESL writing instruction, in Chapter 6 ]an Frodesen and Christine Holten md]
acknowledge the controversy over whether overt grammar instruction I bfif

I i Exploring writers’ jinished texts 117
. it
and/or specific feedback on grammar errors is useful to an ESL writer’s
overall language and writing development (see particularly Truscott,
. 1996; Ferris, 1999; and Truscott, 1999). Their chapter explores three
key questions of concern to both practitioners and researchers regarding
(1) the usefulness of grammar instruction, (2) the role of grammar in
drafting, and (3) the place of feedback on error. Frodesen and Holten
present a thorough discussion of appropriate principles to adopt for in-
corporating grammar in writing instruction in manageable and optimal
ways, offering specific guidance for understanding the dynamic interrela—
` tionship between learners, their texts, and their writing processes. They
also address the ways that evolving work in text linguistics figures in the
debate, especially with its concerns for identifying properties of various
genres.
What is the role for writing assessment in understanding
writers’ texts? j`
Whereas teacher and peer feedback provide opportunities for students to
have their writing assessed on an ongoing basis, academic life provides
numerous occasions for writing assessment to occur outside an individual
class. For example, Brindley and Ross (2001) suggest that in the English
1 for Academic Purposes (EAP) environment, assessment data guide “selec-
tion [of students], curriculum monitoring and program accountability”
1 (p. 148).
1 Chapter 7 by Liz Hamp-Lyons provides an overview of writing as-
_ sessment by discussing such general concepts as reliability and valid-
ity as well as key developments in how writing assessment has been
viewed past and present. Her chapter covers students’ role in and per-,
ceptions of writing tests, processes in the development of writing as-
- sessment instruments, uncertainties in the evaluation of the writing by
raters, and issues in notions of "correctness” and "appropriacy” of
written texts, tying in with some of the concerns raised by Frodesen
and Holten in Chapter 6 and anticipating issues raised by Connor in
Chapter 9. Hamp-Lyons argues that while some teachers would pre-
fer to leave assessment to “someone else,” teachers are the right peo-
ple (and the best people) to ensure that students are assessed meaning-
1 fully and fairly. Williamson and Huot (2000, p. 206) have suggested
that “the main difference between teachers and testers is that assess-
1 ment developers are primarily interested in observing the differences be-
tween people, while most teachers are primarily interested in helping
1 individuals to develop." Harnp—Lyons wants to ensure that such a gap is
bridged.
1

118 Part III
References , " ‘ 5
Babin, E., ESL Harrison, K. (1999). Contemporary composition studies: A guide _
to theorists and terms. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Brindley, G., Sc Ross, S. (2001). EAP assessment: Issues, models and outcomes.
In]. Flowerdew Sc M. Peacock (Eds.), Research perspectives on English for
academic purposes (pp. 148-166). New York: Cambridge University Press,
Perris, D. (1999). The case for grammar correction in L2 writing classes: A
response to Truscott. journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 1-11.
Goldstein, L. (2001). For Kyla: What does the research say about responding to
ESL writers. In T Silva &i P. K. Matsuda (Eds.), On second language writing
(pp. 73-89). Mahwah, N]: Lawrence Erlbaum. RBS
Mathison—Fife, ]., Sc O’Neil, P. (2001). Moving beyond the written comment; i to
Narrowing the gap between response practice and research. College Com— I
position and Communication, 53, 300-321. ma
McComisky, B. (2000). The postrprocess movement in composition studies. I [EP
In R. Wallace, A. Iackson, Sc S. L. Wallace (Eds.), Reforming college For
composition: Writing the wrongs (pp. 37-53). Westport, CT: Greenwood. I ma
Qualley, D. (2002). Learning to evaluate and grade student writing: An ongoing as X
conversation. In B. Pytlik Sc S. Liggett (Eds.), Preparing college teachers of I by
writing (pp. 278-291). New York: Oxford University Press. [O
Truscott, j. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. P1
Language Learning, 46, 327-369. _ C al
Truscott, j. (1999). The case for “The case against grammar correction in L2 hm
writing classes. " A response to Ferris. journal of Second Language Writing, _ to 5
8, 111-122. sis
Williamson, M., Sc Huot, B. (2000). Literacy, equality, and competence: Ethics I km
in writing assessment. In M. .A. Pemberton (Ed.), The ethics of writing gm
instruction: Issues in theory and practice (pp. 191-209). Stamford, CT: I 3
Ablex. Pi
Yates, R., Sc Kenkel, ]. (2002). Responding to sentence—level errors in writing. _
fournal of Second Language Writing, 11, 29-47. rlvillil
wri
I cal
ide
I gie.
I res-
i I I I Pe
I As
COI
I tea
noi
I rev
I tha


r
{ 5 Respondmg to wrztmg
_ il; .
o Dana Ferris


eg?

et
l Response to student writing and its effects on writers is a vitally important
topic for second language ,(L2) writing teachers and researchers. For
many teachers, the act of responding (whether orally or in writing)
represents the largest investment of time they make as writing instructors. i j
For students, the feedback they receive from both instructors and peers
may be the most significant component in their successful development
as writers. The potential value of teacher feedback has been highlighted
l by the widespread adoption over the past fifteen years of a process ap-
proach in North American English as a second language (ESL) writing
classrooms (see Matsuda, Chapter 1 this volume), meaning that students
have the opportunity to receive and review teacher feedback and then
to submit revised versions of their papers. Further, the increased empha-
sis on other forms of response in both native language (L1) and second
l language (L2) composition teaching, such as teacher—student conferences Q
` and peer feedback, may also be‘attributed to the popularity of the process
l approach with its cycles of multiple drafts.
I The nature and effects of teacher commentary and peer feedback in L2
I writing classes have both been widely investigated over the past decade.
Cl'13pt€1` looks HISY Gt l`llStOI'lC3l p€I'Sp€CtlV€S O1] 1'€SpOI1S€ to StLlCl€.‘I'1t
writing and then moves to a discussion of key issues (and their pedagogi—
cal implications) in teacher and peer response to L2 writing that have been
identified by previous research. Finally, it highlights questions and strate~
gies for future studies on this vitally important area of L2 composition
research.] A
Perspectives on response to student writing , -
a
As noted by Leki (1990a), initial L1 research concerning written teacher
commentary on student writing revealed a discouraging picture, with
l teachers finding that regardless of their comments, students’ writing did
not improve in subsequent writing tasks. A frequently cited early L1
l review asserts, "We have scarcely a shred of empirical evidence to show
) that students typically even comprehend our responses to their writing,
l or if if if i i if i iiii rl

120 Dam: Ferris _
let alone use them purposefully to modify their practice" (Knoblauch Of
&i Brannon, 1981, p. 1). Reviews by Hillocks (1986) and Knoblauch mf
and Brannon (1981) concluded that regardless of how written teacher lm
feedback was delivered (in the margins or at the end of the paper, in Y6]
red or black pen, through correction symbols or verbal commentary, m'
etc.), it appeared to be unsuccessful in helping students to improve their tl)
Writing; worse, students seemed either to resent or ignore teacher feed~ _
back. To the "composition slaves " of the world - teachers toiling away IH
late into the night to provide comments or corrections on student papers m
(Hairston, 1986) — the conclusions of these research reviews were dis- ( df
couraging indeed. The resulting widespread view that teacher feedback th
was ineffective and unappreciated by students undoubtedly contributed _ bt
to the corresponding rise in the use of peer feedback and teacher-student Bl
conferencing in writing classes, classroom concepts that later came to be
termed collaborative approaches.2 I;
The next phase in the history of response to student writing thus l T
focused on strategies considered less "appropriative" (i.e., directly or 0.
indirectly forcing onto the author of a paper the teacher’s views of what l lc
student writing should achieve). As chronicled by Zhang (1995), in na-
tive language composition, peer feedback was widely adopted because it A
was seen as more appealing and less threatening and disempowering than · Sl
teacher commentary. When teachers did give feedback, they were encour— P
aged to do so in face—to—face teachenstudent writing conferences, again i`
seen as preferable to writtenz teacher feedback because conferences of— l Y
fered students opportunity for on—the—spot negotiation and clarification. Y
As time went on, other researchers began to point out that the l 8
response-and—revision dynamic was far more complex than previous ‘i
studies and reviews had considered. Most early studies had been I
conducted in contexts in which students wrote only one draft of a paper,
submitted it to the teacher for correction and evaluation, and then moved l
onto the next writing assignment. As students and teachers increas— ( ‘
ingly adopted rnultiple—draft approaches to writing instruction, it became ‘
important for researchers to consider carefully the effects of feedback on ( J
student writing given prior to asking students to revise their papers. In I
addition, scholars argued that earlier teacher feedback studies were too l `
decontextualized, looking at the student paper and written teacher com- A
ments in isolation without considering anything else. about the writing l t
class or the relationships between teachers and students (see Ferris, p
Pezone, Tade, ESC Tinti, 1997; Leki, 1990a; Mathisoii-Fife O’Neill,
1997; Reid, 1994; Silva, 1988, for discussions of these contextual issues).
Given the differing contexts in which research was conducted, it should
not be surprising that results of studies and researchers’ interpretations I
of their findings in the area of responding to writing have been somewhat __
inconclusive and even contradictory (not unlike the Endings in other areas I

il
I Responding to writing 121 ~
I of L2 research). In a recent review of numerous studies on teacher com- _
I mentary in the English as a second language (ESL) or English as a foreign i
I language (EFL) context, Goldstein (2001) calls on future researchers to ,
remember that “ [b]ecause teacher commentary, student reactions to com— I
I mentary, and student revisions interact with each other, research needs
to look at all three simultaneously” (p. 86).
I Reid (1994) reports on an example from her own teaching that
illustrates how teacher commentary taken out of context can be seen to
I misrepresent the dynamics of the classroom. In a unit in which her stu-
dents were drafting persuasive essays late in the semester, she informed
them that she would review their drafts and highlight any logical fallacies
by using labels such as _“hasty" or "oversimplif1cation” in the margins.
She notes: `
I An outside examiner viewing tbose remarks rnigbt conclude that I dm being
obtuse, negative, and dppropridtive. Instead, my students view it as a game:
I They fully understand the shorthand of the response, which reminds them of
I our classroom discussion and activates their background knowledge about F
I logical fallacies. (p. 281, emphasis added)
As researchers and theorists continue looking at all types of response to
- ` student writing, it has become clear that such examinations need to take
place within multiple—draft, longitudinal, and carefully contextualized
research designs. lt is encouraging to note that researchers examining
I response to student writing have recently begun to take seriously the
‘ need for triangulated, longitudinal research designs examining this issue
I and that some valuable insights have emerged as a result (e.g., Conrad
Sc Goldstein, 1999; Ferris, 2001; Ferris, Chaney, Komura, Roberts, Sc
McKee, 2000; McGroarty Sc Zhu, 1997; Polio, Fleck, 86 Leder, 1998).
Further, while teacher—student conferences and peer feedback are cer-
tainly appealing alternatives to written teacher feedback on student
writing, they will not and should not completely replace written teacher
commentary. Not all writing teachers have the time and space to hold
regular one-to-one conferences with their students (due to heavy student
loads and/or lack of office space). Some students may be uncomfortable
with face—to—face interactions with their teachers; others may process and
utilize feedback better in written than oral forms. Furthermore, peer feed-
back clearly represents a different response dynamic from teacher—student
feedback because of varying levels of expertise and competence on the
I part of student writers as well as ascribed respect and authority. Teacher
and peer response ideally should co—exist peacefully within a writing
class, but there is no evidence, nor have any compelling arguments been
advanced, that one should completely replace the other. It is thus as-
sumed in this discussion that all three types of feedback — written teacher
commentary, oral teacher-student conferences, and peer feedback ——- are
. ` ra . '.`_ U _ -

122 Drama Ferris
l. Feedback is most effective when it is delivered at interrnedrate stages of the i I N
writing process. M·
_ _ th;
2. Teachers should provide feedback on all aspects of student texts, including _ au
content, rhetorical structure, grammar, and mechanics. in
te:
3. Teacher feedback should be clear and concrete to assist students with revision. At 1 9
the same time, teachers need to be careful not to appropriate student texts. EH
pe
4. Teacher feedback must take individual and contextual variables into account. te:
in
5. ESL writers attend to teacher feedback and attempt to utilize it in their revisions. CCE
6. Teacher—student writing conferences may be more complex with L2 writers. lc?
cy-
7. There is a great deal of variation in what students talk about during peer feedback | OD
and how they interact with one another — which may he related to how the teacher
models feedback and structures peer response sessions. fer
8. Research evidence is conflicting about the degree to which students utilize peer -
TE
feedback in their revisions. O I
9. Students appear to enjoy peer feedback and find it helpful. S I
U In
(st
Figure 5 .1. Response to student writing: Genemlizcztions from previous mi
research OK
av
qualitatively and practically different from one another and that all three sh
forms have their legitimate roles within L2 writing instruction.3 EJ]
Gl
or
T€£1Cl1€1' 1`€SpOl'1S€ to L2 Wflfillgi R€S€£11'Cl1 approaches ig
and findings (I,
. ». . Y6
Examinations of teacher commentary on student writing have rncluded _ gf
text analytic studies, quasbexperimental approaches, and survey research Fg
on student attitudes toward teacher commentary. (See Polio, Chapter 2 L,
this volume, for a discussion of these research types.) These studies have W
highlighted a number of specific issues and implications for L2 writing as
instructors. Figure 5.1 summarizes these issues;` each is discussed in suc-
ceeding sections of the chapter. th

` Responding to writing 123
FEEDBACK IS MOST EFFECTIVE VVHEN IT IS DELIVERED AT
INTERMEDIATE STAGES OF THE WRITING PROCESS
Most L2 composition instructors, researchers, and theorists now agree
that teacher feedback is most effective when it is delivered at intermedi-
ate Stages of the writing process, when students can respond to feedback
in subsequent revisions and may thus be more motivated to attend to
. teacher suggestions (Ferris, 1995; Krashen, 1984; Leki, 1990a; Zamel,
1985). Thus many North American ESL writing instructors now
encourage or even require students to write multiple drafts of their pa-
pers, providing opportunities for feedback (written teacher commentary,
teacher-student conferences, peer feedback) during and between the writ-
ing of various drafts. Witli numerous opportunities for students to re-
ceive feedback and revise, teachers can choose to focus on different issues
(content, organization, grammar, style) at different stages of the writing
cycle. While some scholars have urged teachers to give feedback only
on content and organization in early drafts, saving sentence—level issues
for the end of the process (e.g., Zamel, 1985), others have noted that_
l ESL writers are capable of dealing effectively with more than one type of
feedback on the same draft (Fathman Sc Whalley, 1990; Ferris, 1997).
_; TEACHERS SHOULD PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON ALL ASPECTS
OF STUDENT TEXTS, INCLUDING CONTENT, RHETORICAL
STRUCTURE, GRAMMAR, AND MECHANICS
I Influenced by process approach advocates and social constructionists
` (see Ferris Sc I-Iedgcock, 1998; johns, 1990; Silva, 1990, for sum-
maries), writing instruction and assessment have increasingly focused
on students’ ideas, mastery of rhetorical strategies and forms, and
awareness of audience. As teachers’ priorities for student writing have
.changed, the types of feedback they have given students about their
writing have changed as well. Though early L2 studies of teacher
feedback reported that ESL writing teachers focused almost exclusively
on sentence—level errors (Cumming, 1985; Kassen, 1988; Zamel, 1985),
later investigations, including both student survey research and text
analytic examinations of teacher commentary, indicated that teachers
(perhaps influenced by the process paradigm) provided feedback that
responded to students’ ideas and organization as well as their errors in
grammar and mechanics (Cohen Sc Cavalcanti, 1990; Dessner, 1991; -
Ferris, 1995, 1997; Ferris et al., 1997; Hedgcock Sc Lefkowitz, 1994;
Lam, 1992.). Further, as teachers modeled these priorities, student
writers indicated that they paid attention to and valued feedback on all
aspects of their writing (Ferris, 1995; Hedgcock Bc Lefkowitz, 1994).
The above generalizations would suggest that teachers should focus
their feedback efforts primarily on intermediate drafts of student texts,

124 Dum: Ferris "
perhaps limiting Hnal draft feedback to some affirmation of what the * _:__
writer has done well and to a summative suggestion or two about prob— "n
lems or issues the writer should consider for future assignments (and/or _ (15
for future iterations of the paper in question if portfolio assessment is ° i
being utilized). It also seems clear that teachers should give feedback Wh
about a variety of writing issues, including ideas, organization, gram- - W9
- · _ adi
mar, mechanics, vocabulary, and style, depending upon the needs of the
individual student, the developmental stage of the text, the specifications $2
of the particular assignment, and the overall expectations of the writing C EH
course. {hr
i. em
TEACHER FEEDBACK SHOULD BE CLEAR AND CONCRETE TO
ASSIST STUDEISITS \VI'I`H REVISION. AT THE SAME TIME,
TEACHERS NEED TO BE CAREEUL NOT TO APPROPRIATE er:
STUDENT TEXTS fe:
Both L1 and L2 survey studies on student reactions to teacher feedback F9
have reported consistent findings that students appreciate_clear, concrete, Wl
specific feedback (see, for instance, Ferris, 1995, and Straub, 1997). l Pf?
A text analytic study linking various types of teacher comments to dit
the effectiveness of student revisions reported that teacher questions YG
asking for specific information or giving concrete suggestions led to tu
mOre—effective Student revisions than feedback that was more general PY
or abstract (Ferris, 1997, 2001). in a recent case study of three stu- C9
dent writers’ revisions after receiving teacher feedback, Conrad and Q
Goldstein (1999) found that teacher comments that challenged students’ m
logic or argumentation were most likely to be problematic for the Student af
writers. wl
Such Endings would indicate that ESL writing instructors should be CC
straightforward, concrete, and fairly directive in their feedback to L2 `
writers. On the other hand, both L1 and L2 composition scholars have Tl
warned teachers against “appropriating" (taking over) students’ texts by C‘
being too authoritative and direct in their feedback (see, e.g., Brannon 8c Tl
Knoblauch, 1982; Elbow, 1973; Krashen, 1984; Sommers, 1982; Zamel, I to
1985). When teachers cross out portions of student texts and substitute er
other words or ideas, make directive suggestions, or use the imperative th
mood, these behaviors communicate to student writers that the teacher’S qi
priorities are more important than what the writer wants to say in his or tr
her own text. Such appropriative behavior can frustrate, demotivate, and in
otherwise disempovver student writers. To avoid appropriation, teachers gi
have been advised and even trained to ask questions rather than to use 1f
statements or imperatives, to avoid the use of "I" and "you" (as in "you 1f
should . . ."), to use hedges to soften criticism or suggestions, and to com- "·
municate that any revisions are left solely to the discretion of the text’s tr
author. | _ _ vi
.‘.. [ “

``‘‘ Responding to writing 125
;§ _` A number of L2 researchers and teachers have questioned whether a
Y "nonappropriative" approach to feedback is optimal for L2 writers. Leki
` (1990a), commenting on this issue, notes that
Y
i while Knobiauch and Brannon’s interesting perspective on improvement may
_ well be pertinent for L1 writers, the peculiar situation of L2 writers makes
1 adoption of their attitudes somewhat more problematic for the L2 writing
. teacher. An element of prescription appears necessary in responses to L2
» student papers because L2 students have a smaller backlog of experience with
Q English grammatical and rhetorical structure to fall back on, not having had
the same exposure to those structures as native speakers have had. (p. 59,
t emphasis added)
Other researchers have highlighted the unique status of L2 writ-
ers and resulting implications for instruction and specifically teacher
9 feedback (Ferris, 1999; Ferris ESC Hedgcock, 1998; Patthey-Chavez Sc
Ferris, 1997; Silva, 1993, 1997). Reid (1994) spoke out strongly against
· what she termed "the myths of appropriation," arguing that com- .
{ position teachers, out of fear of being appropriative, were failing to. _
distinguish between appropriation and necessary intervention. Other
researchers have pointed out that L2 writers may have linguistic, cul-
` tural, and rhetorical differences that could cause them to misinter-
pret teacher indirectness in either written comments or face—to—face
conferences (Ferris, 1999; Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998; Goldstein Sc `
I Conrad, 1990; Patthey-Chavez Sc Ferris, 1997). Second language writ-
ing teachers concerned with clarity and helpfulness on the one hand
l and appropriative behavior on the other must strive for a balance be-
tween the two concerns with which both- they and their students feel
comfortable.
TEACHER FEEDBACK MUST TAKE INDIVIDUAL AND
c0NTEXTUAL VARIABLES INT0 ACCOUNT
The needs, desires, and abilities of individual student writers with regard i _
to feedback are often overlooked by researchers and theorists. Teach-
ers, in their efforts to be nonappropriative and consistent, may forget
` that "one size does not fit all” and that different students may re-
quire different types of feedback. In the United States, several au-
thors have observed that there are differences in background between
international student writers and long-term U.S. residents (i.e., immi- .
grants) that may have specific implications for teacher feedback (Ferris,
1999; Leki, 1992; Reid, 1998; see also Harklau, Losey, 82; Siegal,
1999). For instance, international students may never have experienced
"comp0sing" or "revision" in their English classes_in their home coun-
tries and may fail to see the need or purpose for multiple drafting, re-
vision, or teacher feedback (except to explain their grade and tell them
tl';
at
All
· wifi


126 Dam: Ferris p
what they did "wrong"). Wliile immigrant students may have already _' Spec
experienced multiple drafting and teacher feedback as characteristics of ’ gggj
the American composition classroom, they may be unfamiliar with tech-
nical jargon related to either rhetorical issues ("thesis,” "transition") ESL
or grammatical points ("subject—verb agreement," "sentence frag- AT'!
ment"), terms they are likely to find written by teachers on their AS]
papers. c gbg
It is important for writing instructors to assess their particular stu- eve;
dents’ prior experiences, knowledge, and expectations at the beginning ]97
of a course and to explain their own responding strategies to their stu- Q folk
dents (see also Leki, 1992; Reid, 1998). Teachers also need to be aware of 310;
student motivations. Students and instructors in foreign language (FL) | bg {
classes (e.g., students studying Spanish in the United States or English gm,]
in FL contexts) tend to see writing as language practice or as a way U hav.
to demonstrate comprehension of literature. Foreign language students - less
may not be as motivated to revise and edit their writing as students who l by {
understand that their academic and future career success may depend ]§
to some degree on their ability to master the conventions of English stm
writing (Hedgcock Sc Lefkovvitz, 1994). In sum, not all L2 writers are Tw
identical in theirexperience, knowledge, and motivations simply be- {OO}
cause they are writing in a second language (see Silvaand Reichelt, Saw
Chapter 4 this volume, for some student voices speaking out on this L}
mplc-l I den
Teachers also need to be aware that different types of assign- (Q5
ments may lend themselves to diverse forms of feedback (Ferris et ysgs
al., 1997). For instance, a teacher suggestion to "add more detail" Fat]
might be very helpful if the student is working on a narrative de- Lef]
scription but counterproductive if the student is working on a per- eve]
suasive text, in which extraneous detail could actually distract the mac
readerand weaken the argument. Finally, as teachers analyze stud- CGSS
ies of teacher feedback and consider their own response strategies, atm
they should be aware of institutional and course constraints on the ES],
effects of feedback. For instance, student journal entries are typically gf {
designed to build students’ fluency and reflective thinking abilities 0,-5
and are almost never revised by students; feedback or correction on limj
these is not likely to have much effect on student writing. Similarly, Wy;
extensive feedback on an in—class graded midterm, while it might bet
help the student know how to approach such a task the next time, [EV;
will not have the same immediate and observable effects as com- to}
ments on an intermediate draft of an essay to be revised for a grade [Bq
or to be submitted in a portfolio. Teachers, therefore, should con- 5
sciously vary their feedback to match the goals of the writing task: beg
responding as a reader to the content of journal entries, giving test- cia;
taking strategy tips in feedback on in—class essay exams, and giving | FOI

_. Responding to writing 127
I . specific text—based suggestions on papers that students will revise
again.
. ESL \Y/`RITERS ATTEND TO TEACHER FEEDBACK AND
_ ATTEMPT TO UTILIZE IT IN THEIR REVISIONS
; As previously noted, early L1 reviews reported discouraging findings
about students’ attention to and utilization of teacher feedback. How-
ever, it is important to remember that these reviews were written in the
1970s and early 1980s and were primarily studies of classes and teachers
E following the "current—traditional" paradigm: teachers gave feedback,
along with a grade, on the ONLY draft, which was never expected to _
be revised. More recent L1 studies (e.g., Beason, 1993; Sperling, 1994;
a Straub, 1997, 2000) have indicated that although student writers may
have strong feelings about the types of feedback they prefer, they nonethe-
less appreciate and take seriously the comments and suggestions made L
‘ by their teachers.
Early ESL studies focused only on the effects of error correction on
student writing, reporting similarly discouraging results (see Leki, 1990a; -
Truscott, 1996, for reviews). Again, however, when researchers began to
look at the effects of feedback in multiple—draft settings, they quickly
saw that L2 writers were just as inclined (maybe more so) as their
L1 peers to attend to and address their teachers’ feedback. Such evi-
l dence comes from some of the research paradigms discussed by Polio
l (Chapter 2 this volume), including student Survey research, text anal-
a ysis, and quasi-experimental studies (e.g., Cohen Sc Cavalcanti, 1990;
Fathman Bc Whalley, 1990; Ferris, 1995, 1997, 2001; Hedgcock Sc
Lefkowitz, 1994; Kepner, 1991; Patthey-Chavez Sc Ferris, 1997). How- _
ever, because ESL writers are likely to at least attempt to follow their
teachers’ suggestions in revision does not always mean they will be suc-
cessful in doing so (Conrad 8C Goldstein, 1999; Ferris, 1997, 2001). As
already noted, research on the effects of teacher feedback indicates that
_ ESL writers may be more capable of dealing successfully with some types
of comments than others (e.g., statements rather than indirect requests
or suggestions). Though this body of research is still too small and pre-
liminary for definitive pronouncements, it is fair to say that since ESL
writers will likely take teacher feedback very Seriously, teachers need to S
be thoughtful in providing feedback, helpful in showing students how to
revise their texts successfully (with or without feedback), and determined
” to hold students accountable for at least considering feedback they have
received (see Ferris, 1997, 2.001). -
Student survey research on reactions to teacher commentary has also
been helpful in highlighting the types of comments ESL writers appre-
ciate and feedback that is (at least occasionally) problematic for them.
For instance, Students indicate that they appreciate praise but not at the r .

128 Dam: Ferris ·.·’ i
expense of constructive criticism, that they struggle with understanding i .
correction symbols and codes, that teacher questions may either be toe I? I I
specific or too general and therefore confusing, and that they value I . I
feedback on all aspects of their writing, although they feel the most I
strongly about receiving feedback on their grammar problems (Cohen i
Sc Cavalcanti, 1990; Ferris, 1995; Hedgcock 86 Lefkowitz, 1994; Leki, , (
1991). Finally, if asked to choose, most students prefer teacher feedback l
to peer- or self—evaluation (Hedgcock Sc Lefkowitz, 1994; Zhang, I
· 1995). I
TnAcHnR—sTUDENT \Y/RITING CONFERENCES MAY BE MORE l
COMPLEX WITH L2 VVRITERS _ r l
As previously noted,‘teacher—student conferences have become a popular l
pedagogical tool, especially in L1 composition classes. Suggestions (
are plentiful on ways to implement such conferences successfully, (
with "success" usually defined as amount of student engagement in l
the discussion, particularly in books by Murray (1985) and Harris (
(1986). Some L1 scholars are so enthusiastic about the potential of I 1
the face—to—face writing conference that they suggest doing away with °
most other writing class activities so that time can be allotted for con- I l
ferences (Carnicelli, 1980; Garrison, 1974). Though L2 writing spe- l
cialists are also favorably disposed toward writing conferences (see I
Ferris 8C Hedgcock, 1998; Zamel, 1985), almost no research has been I {
done on the nature and effects of teacher—student conferences with ESL _ J ‘
writers. _ ` I
The best-known study on writing conferences with ESL students _ `
is a case study by Goldsteinand Conrad (i990). They examined I _ T
the writing conferences and subsequent revisions of three university =
ESL writers, finding qualitative and quantitative differences in the na- I l
ture of the conferences themselves and in their influence on students° 1
later writing. Goldstein and Conrad point out that "ESL students I l
bring with them diverse cultures and languages. . . that potentially af- I
fect how students conference and how their teachers respond to them" =
(1990, p. 459). A related study by i°atthey—Chavez and Ferris (1997) `
examined the first drafts, conference transcripts, revisions, and first 4
drafts of the next assignment written by eight university composition I
students — half native English speakers and the other half interna- `
tional students. The researchers found differences in the conferences ‘
and revisions between high- and low—achieving students; however, they I `
also found that even weaker writers attempted to utilize their teach-
ers’ suggestions- when revising and that all eight students improved I ‘
their essays after conferences with their teachers. These two studies, _
covering only seven ESL writers in total, can hardly be considered _
conclusive. . I

Responding to writing 129
zlj
Further, both L1 and L2 researchers have warned that "in empower-
i ing students to retain ownership of their writing, we force them into
I roles for which they are not prepared and with which they are not
comfortable" (Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998, p. 142). Some students may
have aural comprehension problems that may limit the effectiveness
of conferences; others may feel inhibited from questioning or arguing
with a teacher under any circumstances and may thus not understand
teachers’ attempts to "empower" them, instead incorporating instruc-
tors’ suggestions verbatim into their papers because of teachers’ per-
ceived superior knowledge (Delpit, 1988; Goldstein ESC Conrad, 1990;
Newkirk, 1995; Patthey—Chavez Sc Ferris, 1997). Ferris and Hedgcock
(1998) suggest that teachenstudent writing conferences may be im-
plemented successfully if teachers explain the purpose, nature, and
dynamics of conferences and if students take notes and/or audiotape
conferences to augment their memory and place less of a burden on
their aural comprehension abilities. If students are uncomfortable for
cultural or personal reasons with meeting privately with an instruc—
I tor, conferences can be conducted in threes (two students, one teacher),
during class with peers otherwise engaged, or online via e-mail (see
| Pennington, Chapter 12 this volume, for further discussion of online _
possibilities).
I Peer response_ in L2 writing classes: An overview
( Potential berieyits arid drawbacks of peer feedback
Second language writing teachers and researchers appear to hold
attitudes toward peer feedback that are almost exactly opposite
their views on teacher response. Although few practitioners muster
much enthusiasm about the. work involved in giving feedback to
their student writers (mainly because it is so labonintensive), most
nonetheless would acknowledge the necessity for teacher feedback,
and all would agree that their students seem to expect it. In con-
trast, a great deal of excitement - mostly coming from L1 research
and pedagogy —— has been generated by the notion of peers giv— _
ing each other feedback. However, as research and practice have in-
tersected, L2 writing teachers and theorists have begun increasingly
to question the appropriateness of peer response activities for ESL
writers.
Ferris and Hedgcock (1998, pp. 170-171) summarize various poten—
l tial benefits claimed by advocates of peer response:
l.
I • Students can take active roles in their own learning (Mendonca 8c
, johnson, 1994). .
. ·l'

· 130 Dame Ferris
• Students can “reconceptualize their ideas in light of their peers’ reac- Of F
tions" (Mendonca 86 johnson, 1994, p. 746). SPO
• Students can engage in unrehearsed, 1ow—risk, exploratory talk, which
is less feasible in whole—class or teacher—student interactions. TH]
• Students receive "reactions, questions, and responses from authentic TA}
readers" (Mittan, 1989, p. 209, but see Leki, 1990b, and Newkirk, INF]
1984 for counterarguments to this assertion). TO
• Students receive feedback from multiple sources (Chaudron, 1983; ST];
Mittan, 1989). S€V*
• Students gain a clearer understanding of audience (readers’) needs by I 8lV*
receiving feedback on what they have done well and on what remains i llc
unclear (Mittan, 1989; Moore, 1986; Witbeck, 1976). l dec
• Responding to peers’ writing builds the critical skills needed to analyze fm]
and revise one’s own writing (Leki, 1990b; Mittan, 1989). as l
• Students gain confidence (or reduce apprehension) by seeing peers’ dla
strengths and weaknesses in writing (Leki, 1990b; Mittan, 1989).
However, a number of scholars, researchers, and teachers have also raised bec;
various concerns and objections about peer response: gba
ou;
• Students misunderstand the purposes for peer feedback and are un- inte
comfortable with it (Leki, 1990b; Nelson Sc Carson, 1998; Zhang, typi
1995). * wa;
• Peer feedback activities can be especially uncomfortable for students - 199
from "collectivist" cultures, who are more interested in group solidarity ! WO]
than individual achievement (Allaei Sc Connor, 1990; Carson, 1992; lea
Carson Sc Nelson, 1994, 1996). In I
• Students, due to their limitations as both developing writers and L2 mm
learners, are simply not very good at giving one another helpful feed- Sub
back,-thus calling into question the time and effort needed to implement mai
peer response (Connor Sc Asenavage, 1994; Leki, 1990b; Nelson Sc ikl
Carson, 1998). 1;%
` (
Research on peer feedback Sm
Research on written teacher commentary and teacher—student confer- 2;;:
ences has been relatively sparse, but there has been a proliferation of stud- . Wri-
ies on peer response in L2 writing classes over the past ten years.4 This C3']
body of research has examined the nature of interaction in peer feedback Set,
dyads or groups (including analysis of the substance of comments made in Mu
addition to participation dynamics and stances taken by peers), the effects cia]
of peer response on student writing, and student attitudes toward peer re- tg g
sponse. From these studies emerge three generalizations about the content (gg
-...-’. i 1 t I-
··‘- ' ·

I Responding to writing 131
‘ of peer feedback, its effects on revision, and student reactions to peer re- g
g sponse. Next, these generalizations are presented and discussed briefly. ·
l THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF vARiATiON IN WHAT STUDENTS
Q TALK ABOUT DURING PEER FEEDBACK AND HOW THEY
’ INTERACT _\‘l/ITH ONE ANOTHER — XVI-{ICH MAY BE RELATED
I TO HOW THE TEACHER MODELS FEEDBACK AND
3 STRUCTURES PEER RESPONSE SESSIONS
_ Several researchers have looked at the nature of commentary peers `
_` give about other students’ papers (Lockhart 8c Ng, 1995; Mangelsdorf
` Sc Schlumberger, 1992; Mendonca Sc johnson, 1994; Villamil 8c
3 deGuerrero, 1996). Though terminology and methodology have varied
from one study to another, these researchers have examined issues such
as the aspect of the texts students focused on (e.g., thesis, support, me—
. chanical issues, organization), whether they asked questions or offered
critical evaluations or suggestions, and what personae or “stances" they
assumed (e.g., prescriptive, interpretive, or collaborative). It is difficult,
I because of the differences across these studies, to offer generalizations
about their Endings, but it is fair to say that all four sets of researchers
found peer feedback to be a complex process affected by a wide variety of ·`
interpersonal and contextual factors and that a wide variety of feedback
types and stances appeared to benefit a range of student writers in various
ways. Further, both L1 and L2 researchers (_e.g., Connor 8c Asenavage,
I 1994; Howard, 2001) have suggested that peer feedback, for better or for
J worse, can be influenced by the priorities modeled by the teacher in giving
feedback and in structuring the class in general and peer response sessions
| in particular. For instance, if the teacher functions primarily as pro0f~
reader, marking grammar, spelling, and punctuation without ever giving
substantive comments on content, students giving each other feedback
may follow the teacher’s lead and focus on the same issues. in addition,
a key to successful peer feedback sessions is prior training of students to
be effective responders (Berg, 1999; Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998; Mittan,
1989; Stanley, 1992).
One specific pedagogical issue that arises is the degree to which in-
structors should structure peer response sessions by providing specific. p R
questions or tasks on a "feedbac
orally or in writing, in conjunction with peer feedback activities. Some A
writers, concerned again with issues of teacher appropriation, have advo-
cated leaving peer response largely unstructured and allowing students to
set their own agendas (see Elbow, 1973; Lockhart Sc Ng, 1995; Nelson IBC .
l Murphy, 1992/93). Others have argued that novice student writers (espe-
i cially L2 writers) lack necessary schemata to assess each other’s writing,
to give helpful feedback, and to frame such feedback in appropriate terms
(e.g., Mittan, 1989; Reid, 1994). This latter view would support peer

132 Dana Ferris
feedback sessions that are “teacher-choreographed” -— including care- •
ful modeling and training of students prior to beginning peer feedback _
activities, providing specific tasks and questions for peer feedback ses-
sions, and building in accountability mechanisms so that both responder
and receiver would take the feedback process seriously (see Ferris 8c •
Hedgcock, 1998). .
O
RESEARCH EVIDENCE IS CONFLICTING ABOUT THE W
DEGREE TO \VHICH STUDENTS UTILIZE PEER FEEDBACK ` l lll
IN THEIR REVISIONS i rc
Studies of the effects of peer response on students’ subsequent revisions P'
have focused on one or more of the following issues: (1) Do students uri- j lc
lize their peers’ comments when they revise (Connor Bc Asenavage, 1994; St
Mendonca 8C]Ol1I‘1SOIl, 1994; Nelson Sc Murphy, 1993)? (2.) What sorts I 3*
of revisions do students make after receiving peer feedback (Berger, 1990; P‘
Connor Sc Asenavage, 1994; Huang, 1994; Resh, 1994)? (3) Does peer I P
feedback help students to improve their papers (Hedgcock {Sc Lefkowitz, S‘
1992; Resh, 1994)? Results of these studies have been mixed. Connor I A
and Asenavage (1994) report that only 5 percent of student revisions ' IIT
were attributable to comments made by their peers, while Mendonca l bt
and ]ohnson (1994) found that their participants utilized peer feedback N
in 53 percent of their revisions. Berger (1990) found that the major- SF
ity of her subjects made only surface changes, while Connor and Ase-
navage noted that at least some of their subjects made more text—based 0]
(global) changes after receiving peer feedback. As already noted, sub- fu (
jects and research methodologies varied widely in these studies, so it YC
is difficult to draw conclusions about the effects of peer response in all 3*
contexts. For instance, Connor and Asenavage’s eight subjects were fresh- Ut
men who also received teacher feedback prior to undertaking revision;
Mendonca and ]ohnson’s subjects, however, were graduate students, S1
most of whom were paired with peers in the same academic discipline.
Further, the graduate students were writing papers about their own aca- A
demic fields, but the freshmen were writing on more general composi- to
tion class topics. Under such circumstances, it stands to reason that this m
latter group of students would hold their peers’ feedback in higher re—_ fa
gard than the freshmen writers would, especially when students knew ‘ rn
that they would also receive feedback from the teacher on the sa_me - er
draft. S ` -
To consider the overall "effects" of peer feedback, a number of issues °
need to be looked at more extensively by researchers: _ •
• Were students trained or prepared for peer feedback, and did this prepa-
ration affect the substance of their peer feedback sessions and how they
subsequently approached revision?

Responding to writing 133
- • Do students give more—effective feedback and take the process more se-
·- riously when teachers structure the process for them, or when students
` themselves have the responsibility to choose the direction, tone, and
focus of the peer response sessions?
• is peer response implemented regularly in the·'v.rriting class, and are
students placed in consistent pairings or groupings?
• Are teacher expectations for peer response clear and reasonable?
When such questions have been examined systematically in a body of ‘
research, then we can more accurately assess the nature and effects of
I peer response and determine whether it is beneficial for L2 writers (or at
I least for some of them). Because at least some studies have suggested that ii
students do utilize peer suggestions in revision, it is premature to suggest,
as some have done (e.g., Nelson {Sc Carson, 1998; Zhang, 1995), that
peer feedback is not appropriate for ESL writers.
STUDENTS APPEAR TO ENJOY PEER FEEDBACK
AND TO FIND IT HELPFUL
In general, researchers have found that peer response is well received
I by student writers and that they enjoy the process (Leki, 1990b; ·. ‘
Mangelsdorf, 1992; Mendonca Sc johnson, 1994). On the other hand, -
I students sometimes question the efficacy of peer feedback, express
concern about either their peers’ competency to evaluate their work i?
I or their ability to give critical feedback constructively and not hurt-
I fully, and clearly prefer teacher feedback over peer feedback when asked »
_ to choose (Berger, 1990; Leki, 1990b; Zhang, 1995). To this point, the E
{ available evidence does not suggest that ESL student writers have strongly -
I negative feelings toward peer feedback or feel that it is harmful to them.
Summary ofprevions research
As previously noted, the scarcity of research on some aspects of response
to student writing and the lack of comparability of studies that do exist
make it difficult, and perhaps even inappropriate, to draw hard—and- I
fast conclusions about how teachers should approach their own com-
‘ mentary and peer response activities. Still, several generalizations do
I emerge: .
I • Students appear to appreciate and value both teacher and peer feedback i
_ and to feel that feedback helps them to improve their writing. `
• Teachers and peers, in providing commentary, take a wide variety of it
stances and cover a range of issues about student texts. Though it may
have been accurate in the past to claim that teachers and peers respond ii
only to sentence—level issues, this no longer appears to be true. _ I

134 Dana Ferris
• There is considerable variation across teachers and peers giving feed- (
back and student writers processing it as to the nature of feedback i
given and the ways in which the commentary is utilized by writers. 1
This variation occurs across text types, students’ linguistic and cultural *
backgrounds, and their L2 prohciency and writing ability. Y
• Students, at least under some circumstances, consider and utilize J
teacher and peer feedback in constructing revisions of their texts. These {
revisions occur on both global and surface levels. _ I I
Implications for teaching l i
These generalizations lend themselves to several practical conclusions
for responding to student writing. First, teachers should not abandon ei-
ther providing feedback themselves or facilitating peer response. Though
there are some caveats to this — for instance, students at lower levels of l
language and writing proficiency are probably less capable of processing
copious teacher feedback or engaging in peer response —— there is enough l
positive evidence that both sources of feedback are valuable to (and vai-
ued by) students to continue these practices until such time asthere is
overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Second, teachers should examine
their own responding practices to see whether their feedback is clear and
responsive to the needs of individual students and/or texts. They should
_ also be diligent in preparing students for peer feedback, particularly in
modeling the types of feedback that are most helpful and appropriate.
Finally, teachers should be intentional in helping students to revise, seeing
that they understand and can utilize feedback they have received, and cre-
ating accountability mechanisms to make sure that students are taking
the response-and—revision process seriously.
Limitations of previous research
The review of research on written and oral teacher feedback and on
peer response has shown that many questions about response to student ’
writing have not been adequately considered by previous researchers.
First, because of the time- and labor—intensive nature of discourse ana- ·
lytic research, sample sizes in many studies have been quite small. It is
necessary therefore to add data and observations from more teachers and
students. In addition, it is important to consider the student popula_tion
being studied and how the characteristics of that audience may affect l
the response—and—revision dynamic. For instance, newly arrived interna-
tional students in the United States may have limited experience with
either teacher feedback during the writing process or with peer response
T; t_c..t I ' it

l Responding to writing 135
(Perris, 1999). If they either react negatively to feedback or d0 not utilize
it effectively in revision, this may be due more to student characteristics Q
than to flaws in the feedback they have received. Similarly, the effects
of age, maturity, educational experience, and expertise about the topic
under discussion may all impact the results of the studies of response and
R revision. To summarize, we must be careful not t0 prematurely embrace
or dismiss various response strategies unless adequate numbers of sub-
, jects and contexts have been examined using consistent methodologies
and research paradigms. (See Goldstein, 2001, and Polio, Chapter 2 this` I
4 volume, for a discussion 0f various ways to conduct rigorous research on
L2 writing response.) We might, once such studies have been conducted,
decide (for instance) that peer feedback is more appropriate for some i
student audiences than for others, or that some students could succeed
with less teacher intervention. At this point, however, we have too little
data to make such pronouncements. S
Second, there has been, for the most part, a disconnect between
the suggestions of practitioners about response to student writing and
l research that has been conducted on various aspects of response. As ’
a result, many crucial pedagogical questions remain unexamined by -
researchers. For example, with regard to peer feedback, a number of
concrete suggestions have been offered about how to make peer re-
sponse activities more effective (e.g., Ferris 8c Hedgcock, 1998; Mittan,
1989). These include issues such as carefully grouping students into per-
manent response pairs, providing structured peer response forms, and
implementing mechanisms to hold peer feedback givers and receivers
accountable for taking the process seriously. Yet none of the previous
studieshave investigated whether such practical ideas make a difference
in the nature and effects of peer response.
As for teacher response, various suggestions have also been made:
- that teacherscarefully explain their responding strategies to their stu-
dents, that they give students options about the types of feedback that -_
they would like to receive, and that teachers hold students accountable f
for explaining how they have (or have not) utilized the feedback they `
have received. it has also been suggested that teachers avoid rhetorical _
and grammatical jargon and indirectness and that they selectively priori- {
tize their feedback rather than overwhelming the student with too many g
criticisms and suggestions. Again, however, we have little evidence as to
whether any of these ideas ultimately makes. a difference in the effects of · at
teacher commentary on student writing.
Most crucially, we have almost no longitudinal evidence about the
extent to which feedback helps students to improve their writing over
‘ the long term. Studies of teacher and peer feedback typically consider
only how the effects can be observed in revisions of the same paper.
There are few attempts to trace these effects any further. Though it

136 Dana Ferris I
would be challenging and time—consuming to address this issue, various Ca
types of text~analytic and ethnographic approaches could be used to
investigate it, to the great potential benefit of students and teachers
alike. ,.._ Ca
There is no doubt that "coaching from the margins" (Leki, 1990a) is a I Ca
challenging and time-consuming task, whether it is undertaken through I
teachers’ written commentary, teachenstudent conferences, or peer feed- I (ja
back. However, there also appears to be little doubt among teachers or
their students about the importance of feedback to students’ develop- Ch
ment as Writers. We have made great strides in the past fifteen years in I
understanding the nature and effects of feedback, but we still have a C
long way to go. Most important, teachers and researchers need to iden- O
tify and execute a research agenda that addresses the most critical ques-
tions still surrounding the processes of feedback, revision, and student I
development. ‘ I Co
Notes I Co
1. This chapter focuses on research and implications regarding response to
student writing that emphasizes students’ ideas and rhetorical structure. For Cu
a discussion of grammar issues in L2 writing, see Frodesen and Holten,
Chapter 6 this volume. I De;
2. For a recent discussion on the history and use of such collaborative pedago-
gies as conferencing and peer review in the L1 setting, see Howard (2001). I De;
3. Other types of feedback that are discussed in the literature include audio- ·
taped teacher feedback and teacher or peer response delivered electronically I
(via e—mail or specialized software). However, because research on these . Ell:
forms of feedback is as of this writing relatively rare, these options are not Fat
explored further in this chapter.
4. For a review and analysis of many of these studies on peer review in
greater depth than space permits in this chapter, see Liu and Hansen
5 (2002). Fer
_ Fer
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_ ing ESL for college—hound students} (pp. 3-17). Boston: Heinle 8; · i
I-Ieinle. ‘
Resh, C. A. (1994). A study of the effects of peer responding on the respon-
der as writer—reviser. Dissertation Abstracts International, 55(12), 377
1A—3772A.
Silva, T. (1988). Comments on Vivian Zamel’s "recent research on writing
pedagogy”: A reader reacts. . . TESOL Quarterly, 22, 517-520.
Silva, T. (1990). Second language composition instruction: Developments,
issues, and directions in ESL. In B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language writing: I
Research insights for the classroom (pp. 11-23). New York: Cambridge
University Press. I (
Silva, T. (1993). Toward an understanding of the distinct nature of L2 writing:
. The ESL research and its implications. TESOL Quarterly 27, 65 7-671. I t
Silva, T (1997). On the ethical treatment of ESL writers. TESOL Quarterly 1
31, 359-363. I (
Sommers, N. (1982). Responding to student writing. College Composition and i
Cornrnunication, 33, 148-156. I I
Sperling, M. (1994). Constructing the perspective of teacher—as—reader: A E
framework for studying response to student writing. Research in the I ,
Teaching of English, 28, 175-207.
Stanley, ]. (1992). Coaching student writers to be effective peer evaluators. .
journal of Second Language Writing, 1, 217-233. I 1
Straub, R. (1997). Students’ reactions to teacher comments: An exploratory I
study. Research in the Teaching of English, 31, 91-119. t
Straub, R. (2000). The student, the text, and the classroom context: A case 1
study of teacher response. Assessing Writing, _7, 23-55. (
Truscott, ]. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. (
Language Learning, 46, 327-——369. I
Villamii, O. S., Sc deGuerrero, M. C. M. (1996). Peer revision in the L2
classroom: Social—cognitive activities, mediating strategies, and aspects of (
social behavior. journal ofSecond Language Writing, 5, 51-76. l
Witbeck, M. C. (1976). Peer correction procedures for intermediate and (
advanced ESL composition lessons. TESOL Quarterly, 10, 321-326. (
Zamel, V. (1985). Responding to student writing. TESOL Quarterly 19, {
79-102. -
Zhang, S. (1995). Reexamining the affective advantage of peer feedback in the 1
ESL writing class. journal of Second Language Writing, 4, 209-222. (
I
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i
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E
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T
T

I II
I

in
I 6 Grammar arid the ESL wrztm g class
jan Erodesen and Christine Holten
I i III
I wi
ill
I .

Iii
I Good writing is indeed an elusive concept, one that varies according to
I the entire rhetorical situation in which it is produced. It is clear, however, "
that certain properties of good writing can be identified. Most would
I concur that for writing to be deemed "successful" to its overall purpose,
it must conform to the conventions of English syntax and usage, generally
I referred to as grammar.] Grammar is indisputably an essential element of
second language writing instruction, but the ways in which it is integrated `
I with other components of writing courses have varied. if
Until the introduction in the 1980s of communicative language teach- ‘
I _ ing,. grammar was often the main curricular focus in English as a second
language (ESL) writing instruction: Courses concentrated on having stu-
I dents manipulate and master grammatical forms with little attention to
the content or organization of the texts they were producing.2 More re- l-
I cently, grammar instruction has been assigned a less prominent role in
second language writing classrooms. For example, in classrooms that fol-
I low a process model, the writer, the content and purpose, and multiple I
I drafts are central and grammar is_ often reserved until the final editing · _;
phase. In genre—based classrooms, the central focus is on the type of text _
(e.g., research report, summary, problem-solution text) as well as the
content, organization, and audience considerations that it entails. Here ‘ i
grammar instruction derives from an analysis of the dominant grammat-
ical features of a given text type. (e.g., past tense in the methods section
of a research report). -
Regardless of instructional approach, integrating grammar into ESL `
composition teaching is a complex task (cf. Brinton Sc Holten, 2001). I `
After all, there are only so many instructional hours in a term. Problems
- arise because university—level ESL writers need so many skills — the abil-
ity to think and. read critically, to understand difficult texts, to synthesize
I information and perspectives from multiple sources, to develop and orga—
nize arguments and analyses adequately and logically, and the list could
I go on. lf students are not able to produce well—organized texts or have
difficulty grasping ideas in the readings they will draw on when writing ·;i
I their papers, how can teachers take precious time to focus on subject-
I verb agreement, relative clauses, or subordinate sentence structures? `
I 14} I '

142 jrin Frodesen and Christine Hoiieit
A second obstacle to successful integration of grammar and writing in- C3
struction arises because many ESL Writing courses have students with I ``'_-`. 1 T6
diverse levels of language prohciency. Grammar instruction in these .`:` Z . P!
classes is difficult because students vary widely in several ways: (1) over-. C af
all language proficiency and command of English syntax and grammar-; ` ‘ UV
(2) familiarity with structures and vocabulary commonly used in aca- ·i - ai
demic writing; and (3) background in formal grammar instruction needed - H
to successfully revise and edit written products. In such instructional BY-
contexts, the task of Ending a grammatical focus useful for all students FO
seems daunting. In addition, the "return" on grammar instruction is of- m
ten disappointing. Teachers Hnd that even when a grammatical feature th
has been covered and practiced, students may not use it accurately in PI
their own writing. This has led many teachers to question the value of C3
formal grammar instruction in ESL writing classes. St-
In this chapter, we explore the role of grammar in second language ` ll?
(L2) writing instruction, focusing on three questions that have been of _
central concern to researchers and practitioners: (1) Is formal grammar H}
instruction useful for L2 writers? (2) What is the role of grammar in ¤*
the drafting process? (3) Is individualized feedback on errors in student W
writing an effective strategy? We then extend this discussion by consider- Sl
ing other factors that can inform language-focused instruction in second m
language writing courses. I Sl
s t1·
_ 1 h:
Questions about grammar in second language i g
Writing instruction C;
Question 1: Is forrnul grizinnuzr instruction useful _ ig
for L2 writers? it
How to — or even whether to — incorporate grammar instruction into A h
the teaching of writing has been hotly debated in first language (L1) d
composition circles and later among experts in second language writing.
Experts in first language composition began disputing the issue in the $‘
early 1960s, dividing into what Hartwell (1985) termed the pro- and anti- J V)
grammar instruction camps. An early challenge to the prevailing practice I3
of focusing on rules of grammar and punctuation in writing instruction l t d
came in the 1963 seminal book Research in Written Composition by H
Braddock, Lloyd-jones, and Schoer. They wrote, "Formal grammar in- I U
struction has negligible or. . . even harmful effects on improvement in D
vvriting" (pp. 37-38). By the mid-1980s, this view began to gain wide i l d
acceptance, supported by the powerful arguments and evidence against 3
the usefulness of teaching formal grammar advanced by such L1 com- l
position experts as Emig (1981) and Bartholomae (1980). The seminal i I _
iT -.i(ii tiueu
=.-·.. : --·‘

{ 1
I
I Grtzmmtzr cmd the ESL writing class 143
il
i case was made by Hartwell (1985) in "Grammar, Grammars, and the
Teaching of Grammar. " He presents the misconceptions that grammar
proponents have about their students’ lack of grammatical knowledge Q
and about the way that language is best learned and used. The cen- ii
I tral and most compelling premise of his argument is that grammar is
an internalized system of rules. This means that native—speaking writ-
I ers already know language rules intuitively, if not overtly, and therefore,
any attempts to teach them are redundant, He then turns his attention
I to how language is best used and learned. Language cannot be learned
i in isolation but only by manipulating it in meaningful contexts. Given
I this, Hartwell argues that grammar rules can have little connection to
I productive control of the language and, quoting personal communi-
cation from james Britton, he likens the teaching of rules to "forcing
I starving people to master the use of a knife and fork before they can eat”
(p. 380). E
I The controversy about the role of grammar in L1 writing instruction
in some sense forced researchers and practitioners to reconsider the rela-
I tionship between grammar instruction and language accuracy in student
writing. This is most evident and helpful in the publication of Mina
I Shaughnessy’s groundbreaking work, Errors and Expectations (1977), I
in which she redefined the notion of error. In her research and teaching, . -
she found that native-speaking student writers reading their composi- _
tions aloud could actually correct (most) errors without realizing they _’
had made them. She concluded that contrary to teachers’ assumptions, I
I students don’t make errors because of an incomplete grasp of the rules of I
I English grammar; in fact, they have an intuitive grasp of many grammar I
conventions. When they do make errors, these are often performance er- - (
rors or ones based on "rules" about written language that they have erro- I
neously intuited. Shaughnessy’s work and that of subsequent researchers I
in the field of basic writing have encouraged writing teachers, who may i
have been prone to prescriptivism, to view error as a window on students’ I
development as writers.3 i
Following suit with the L1 composition world, ESL composition re-
searchers and writing teachers began to re-evaluate the tendency in ESL I
writing instruction to "over focus ” on language form (Zamel, 1983). Like ii
Hartwell and other L1 compositionresearchers, L2 composition experts Z
drew on the work of Stephen Krashen to make their case. Krashen’s
monitor model (1978, 1982) held that second language learners’ ability
to consciously use the formal grammar rules they have learned in class-
room settings is limited. In other words, learning about grammar rules
does not necessarily translate into correct production of those forms in
actual language use.4 ‘
There are, however, problems posed by this crossover from L1 to `
L2 composition pedagogy in practice and thinking about grammar

if `
144 ]t1n Frodesen and Christine Holten
instruction. It is iirst of all problematic that second language writing draft
experts have accepted a view based largely on native—speaking writerg’ and
intuition about language. This intuition is, of course, something that itself
comes to L2 writers only gradually (or not) through long exposure to the C
and/or study of the second language. Even ESL writers who have spent I Som]
many years in U.S. schools complain that they lack the ‘°feel” for written tive _
language that native speakers have. Equally problematic is the Ll in— I Emil
terpretation of Krashen’s monitor model that has been adopted by both Writ,
L1 and L2 writing instructors. In adopting Krashen’s noninterventionist I Com!
position, as Long and Robinson (1998) have termed it, both L1 and L2 WIN
compositionists have undereniphasized an important aspect of the {Slat
monitor model: namely, that the monitor can be used effectively when activ
there is enough time for learners to apply a rule to their language out- St,
put. That is, if a learner has time to recall and apply formal rules, these I Writi
rules can aid in accurate language use. Such conditions do not hold in wsse
speaking, but can and do obtain in writing. I Cess',
The noninterventionist position has been challenged by a growing Subk
body of L2 research and pedagogy concerning the importance of atten— I issue
tion to form in L2 learning. In recent years, some L2 acquisition re- . {avis
searchers who formerly supported the noninterventionist position have, I Simi]
on the basis of classroom research, stressed the need for focus on form, e Of Bi:
not in the "old" or traditional sense of decontextualized lessons on I _ {SC"
grammar, but as a component of instruction that starts with a focus on P T]
meaning. Lightbown (1998), for example, now believes that " focused at- I C1 ass
tention to language features is often beneficial and sometimes necessary" drag

In light of both new research findings and the inherent differences as th
in Ll and L2 writers’ literacy development, it is clear that ESL writing mac}
instructors have a role to playin making writers aware of language form. the H
Overt and systematic grammar instruction can help students access the gmx
grammar rules that they know and use their intuitions about the language fcccu
jl1CllClOLlSlY. feedl
texts
Question 2: What is the role ofgrarniner aetu;
in the drafting process? editi
The 197'Os and 1980s saw much research about the nature of the writ- gg;
ing process. Both L1 research and practicing writers portrayed writing lang]
as recursive and cyclical in nature, requiring multiple and intercon- knm
nected phases of planning, writing, and rewriting. This new understand- R,
ing inevitably led to profound changes in how composition was taught. E Wim
Rather than teaching writing as a series of carefully sequenced skills, gmx
the new model of writing instruction emphasized the primacy of content Whig
planning and idea generation. It encouraged learners to write multiple Of IC

_I_ Grammar and the ESL writing class 145
drafts and learn about their own preferred writing process so as to exploit _
and guide it. This radical shift in understanding the activity of writing I
- itself also spurred the re~evaluation of the role of grammar instruction in
_ the composition classroom. Studies on the writing process (Perl, 1979;
Sommers, 1980) have drawn distinctions between effective and ineffec-
tive writers. This research portrays effective writers as waiting until the
final stages of the drafting process to edit their work and ineffective `
writers as focusing on form early in the process rather than looking at 1
content and organization. Flower and Hayes (1980, 1981) and other
writing process researchers have also found that editing for language is a _
relatively "low level" concern for writers when this focus competes with
activities like idea generation and planning.
Second language composition researchers have also investigated the
writing processes of ESL writers, finding similarities between the pro-
cesses of L1 writers and those of ESL writers. Studying the writing pro-
cesses of six advanced ESL students, Zamel (1983) observed that the
subjects she categorized as "better writers " waited to deal with language
issues until the end_ of the process while those seen as “poorer writers"
revised words and phrases all during composing. Raimes (1985) draws
_ similar conclusions about the role of language for ESL writers. In a study _
of eight students, she found that "the students did not, as a group, seem IE
preoccupied with error or with editing" (p. 247). .
These findings have had direct pedagogical implications in L2 writing
l classrooms. Some ESL writing teachers take it as an article of faith that the
drafting process itself will take care of many language problems. Believing
that students’ grammatical and lexical errors will gradually disappear
as they review their written output and clarify their thoughts on a topic, ·
teachers frequently encourage writers to delay attending to language until
the final draft. Such a practice is grounded in the idea that students cannot
attend to multiple concerns at one time. However, in a study of teacher I
feedback, Fathman and Whalley (1 990) found that students who received
feedback on grammar and content simultaneously improved their written
texts in both areas, while students who received feedback on content only
actually made more errors in subsequent drafts. In a later study of the
L editing practices of ESL writers, Shih (1998) found that adopting a hands-
off approach to grammar editing often leaves students, especially those
with the weakest overall language proficiency, with texts replete with
language errors, errors they often lack the editing ·strategies or grammar _=
knowledge to tackle. _ I T
Research that has examined the placeIof grammar in an individual’s
writing process suggests that it is in the best interest of`L2 writers to I
U attend to language issues consistently throughout the drafting process.
While teachers obviously do not want to drown student papers in a sea
E of red ink on early drafts, the end result of putting off attention to lexical

146 fan Frodesen and Christine Holten
and grammatical issues in student writing may be counterproductive, tht? ft
By this, we are not suggesting that teachers mark errors on every draft, m0F€
There are many other types of grammar instruction beyond feedback FC}
arid error marking that can be useful in developing students’ academic Clvslr
literacy skills.5 wide:
ers vv
Question 3: Is individualized feedback on errors in student l Fl/hal
writing an effective strategy for improving accuracy and l {Egg,
developing overall language proficiency? and I
One instructional option commonly adopted by L2 composition teachers WCYC
for dealing with grammar is to give feedback on the actual grammatical CXPll‘
and lexical choices that student writers make in their compositions when In
such choices violate conventions or rules. This negative feedback can YCSPO
have several forms. Some teachers take an indirect approach that requires lCm$·
students to figure out what the nature of the error is and edit it indepen— mg cl
dently. Some instructors indicate the presence of an error by underlining imag!
or circling; others use a more elaborate system of symbols that represent mC Cl
categories of common grammar errors. More-direct methods include I Of ml
marking and correcting lexical or grammatical errors. While grammar_ ltms
J correction of student drafts is often individualized, some teachers spend btnef
a portion of whole—class instruction considering and correcting error— 9mCm
filled sentences that they have culled from a number of their students’ mCuS‘
texts. · · l QPPIC
Although it has been widelyi endorsed and adopted, individualizing Q mam?
feedback on grammatical and lexical choices is by no means uncontrover— but il
sial. Truscott (1996) started a debate that generated much heat and light Omm
in the field when he wrote, " Grammar correction has no place in writing Cf Cla
classes and should be abandoned" (p. 361). This sentence concludes a guaet
carefully argued case against grammar correction. Truscott bases part of mil 0
his case on evidence from several studies (Kepner, 1991; Semke, 1984; WNW;
Robb, Ross, dc Shortreed, 1986, among others) that seems to suggest that Y0 2C'
error correction, regardless of how it is implemented, does not improve l¥m}CC
the accuracy of a student’s written text. He then provides theoretical ex— _ Tal
planations for why this method might not work. First, the notion that UCC C
marking errors will show students the gap between their production and lansu
correct forms of written English fails to acknowledge the complexity and YCSCQI
‘ idiosyncratic nature of language development. In addition, he maintains eral U
that the structures noted by the instructor may not be ones that the stu- WITCH
dent is developmentally ready to acquire. Finally, he notes that teachers E¤s!i=
often lack the training, ability, consistency, or time to notice errors, and the P?
even if they do, they may not be able to explain what is wrong. Students, Vid'?
on the other hand, sometimes find the teachers’ marks or explanations Slmdil
difficult to understand or demoralizing, or they are not motivated to use fC•1`m$

_ Grcimmar cmd the ESL wrizfirzg class 147
l
ithe feedback they are given. (See Chapter 5 by Ferris in this volume for
more on this topic.) L
. Ferris (1999) has effectively responded t0 Truscott, finding his con-
clusions about the efficacy of error feedback too "gloomy." She cites
l evidence from her own research (Ferris, 1995, 1997) and that of oth-
ers who have investigated the effects of error correction (Fathman &
l Whalley, 1990; Lalande, 1982) to show that many students do benefit
from feedback aimed at helping them become independent self—editors.
These findings were corroborated in a later empirical study by Ferris
and Roberts (2001) that indicated students who received no feedback
were less able to self-edit their own texts than those who received either
explicit or general feedback on their errors. t
In addition to Ferris’s reservations as presented in her published
response to his claims (Ferris, 1999), Truscott’s position has other prob- E
lems. While he advocates abolishing grammar correction in L2 writ-
, ing classrooms, he suggests nothing to put in its place. Readers are left 3
imagining a classroom in which students write and receive feedback on
the content and organization in their papers, but not on the accuracy g
of the language they use to convey their ideas. There are two prob- .
lems with his ideal classroom. First, much has been written about the .
benefit of instruction that focuses on grammatical form. Spada (1997), _ .
among others, has stated that learners need instruction and practice that I
focuses both on form and meaning in language development. Truscott’s
approach (at least the one we can imagine in the face of his silence on the 1
matter) would provide students with lots of meaning—focused practice l
but no opportunity for practice with forms that self-editing provides. i
Other researchers (Rutherford, 1987) have pointed to the importance
of classroom activities that raise students’ consciousness about the lan- (
guage. These tasks help students notice grammatical forms, focus explic— )
itly on the gap between their output and what native speakers would i
write, and expose them to language forms that they may not be ready (
to acquire immediately, but will be at some point in their acquisition (
trajectory.
Taking Truscott’s claim seriously would mean that the L2 composi— l
tion classroom should not or cannot be a place where the seeds of later ‘
language acquisition can be planted. This is emphatically not the case. As
research and teacher experience indicates, error feedback can have sev-
eral important functions, helping ESL writers_ to (1) gain awareness of
where their written texts do not follow conventions of standard written -
English and (2) develop self-editing skills by focusing their attention on
the patterned nature of their errors. Most important, when teachers pro- L_
vide careful feedback on the language features in a student draft, they are
sending a powerful message that clarity and appropriateness of language -
forms is a key to effective written communication.

148 fan Frodesen and Christine Holten
Principles fO1' il'1COI°POI`E1{iIIg gI`31T1II'13]Y
in writing instruction - I
The review of the central questions related to the role of grammar in L2 I
writing suggests that form—focused instruction remains an essential com-
ponent in ESL writing curricula. Issues of language are inseparable from I
content, organization, and audience considerations, and they should all
be given equal weight in ESL composition classes. Furthermore, atten—
tion to language is a non-negotiable part of L2 writing instruction, given
L2 writers’ backgrounds and needs. Nonetheless, the themes that the lit-
erature has tended to focus on reflect a limited notion of the role that
grammar can play in ESL composition, claiming that editing and error I F.
feedbackeare grammar instruction. A more comprehensive perspective Ig;
would view grammar instruction as an opportunity to build writers’ lin- . I
guistic resources for academic literacy and to create understanding of cart
the relationships between language form and written message. In the re- . Sup]
mainder of this chapter, we would like to outline a principled approach Cum
to incorporating grammar in L2 writing classes, one that expands the ` II"
role grammar plays in writing classrooms beyond a focus on error. I SSH;
lang
L2 writing classroom variables: Learners, texts, processes Sim
Recent L2 composition research and pedagogy, as well as second lan-
guage acquisition studies, have identified several variables in the writing T
equation that are useful in formulating a principled approach to grammar stm,
instruction. These variables include learners (students), stages of writ- as tg
ing processes, and written discourse texts and contexts, schematized in tcaci
Figure 6.1 . Attention to these three areas helps in determining when to di- tcacl
rect learners’ attention to form, what grammatical forms merit attention, get I
and how best to engage different kinds of L2 writers in grammar activities gL,§
that promote writing development. twcc
The three areas of focus are not isolated components but rather, as thm
illustrated, interact dynamically. For purposes of our discussion, how- Eng]
ever, we will consider how attention to and reflection oneach of these Lck,
L2 writing classroom components can help inform our teaching. Obvi
_ signi
Learners I POI;
One of the most critical choices in course design for language teaching of le
is whether the starting point should be the learner or the language to be popi
taught. Long and Robinson (1998) note that in most classrooms through— inter
out the world, language constitutes this starting point. In the United Ame
States, however, a primary focus of current composition pedagogy is the stud:


i Grammar and the ESL writing class 149
if
‘ l
`il
A fi
l
% l
l
l Figure 6.1. Classroom variables
learner and his or her language learning processes. Byrd and Reid (1998)
support this current trend, stating that " planning for the grammar in ESL
curricula needs to begin not with the structures but with students " (p. 1).
More and more ESL composition classrooms around the world typi—
cally comprise heterogeneous student populations. These students exhibit
differences in linguistic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds as well as in _
language proficiency, academic skills, and cognitive and metacognitive g
strategy use, among others. They also vary in their motivations and at—_ .
titudes toward language learning and the acquisition of academic skills
(Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998).
- These variables are clearly important in decisions about grammar in-
struction. Some student variables, however, deserve greater attention
as they impact curricular models for incorporating language into the
teaching of writing. The L2 composition literature has emphasized that
teachers need to distinguish the different types of L2 writers who often
get lumped under the label "ESL" (including English as a foreign lan-
guage [EFL] students). One of the most significant is the distinction be- li
tween international students, who have completed secondary school in
their native countries, and permanent resident, or immigrant, students in E
English—speaking countries such as the United States (Byrd Sc Reid, 1998; ` li
Leki, 1992). Individual students who fall into these two broad categories
obviously differ in many of the complex ways already noted, but more _
significant to teachers are several important distinctions between the two
populations that can inform instructional choices.
In decades past, international (EFL) students made up the majority Y?
of learners in L2 postsecondary writing classes; they are still a sizeable
population in many colleges and certainly in most graduate schools and “
intensive English programs on university campuses throughout North I
America (as well as in other English-dominant countries). International ·
I students have typically developed strong literacy skills in their native

lk II
150 jcm Frodeserz and Christine Holten
languages. They have learned English primarily in foreign language class-
rooms, with instruction that has emphasized formal ·study of English bel
grammar. Consequently, these students are generally able to access and 3)*
explain grammar rules even though their writing may be more "nonna— W
tivelike" than that of permanent resident students. Because their speaking I cxl
and listening comprehension skills are usually less well developed (Leki, Wh
1992), the linguistic resources international students access tend to de- I lh?
· rive from written rather than oral English. Consequently, they tend to be I WH
familiar with the conventions of standard written English. I l
ln contrast to international students, permanent resident ESL students I t€a‘
in North America have typically acquired much of their English outside aw
_ the classroom, often by ear rather than through print media (Reid, 1998). I em
Consequently, they are generally very familiar with the grammar and OW
‘ vocabulary of informal spoken English and often import these into aca— I SBC
demic writing contexts. In addition, much of their intuition about English {fla
grammar and syntax may derive from their knowledge of_ oral English. I {0
W/hereas an international student may access a language rule to identify I flge
and explain an ungrammatical form, an immigrant ESL student intuits I ml
that the form "sounds wrong" much as -a native English speaker might.
In other cases, resident ESL students may identify some formal language j W/T
structures as incorrect (e.g., possessive gerund phrases such as "their `
objecting to the amendment") because they have not encountered these TH
forms in oral English.
Further complicating the profile of permanent resident ESL students Ms
is that many who enter postsecondary institutions may be bicultural and mc}
biliterate, and some have had formal English grammar instruction in WU
their native countries. However, an increasing population of L2 learners (ml
is more literate in English than in the L1 and, in some cases, may be lit- Dpi
erate only in English. Recent research has focused on the language needs ` imc
of this growing population of U.S.—educated L2 learners, referred to as as
‘°Generation 1.5," a term Hrst used by Rumbaut and Ima (1988) to char— gp?
acterize students whose traits and experience "lie somewhere between acc
the first and second generation” (Harklau, Losey, Se Siegal, 1999, SP?
p. vii). WH
These students’ problems with the conventions of written English do _ and
not result from a lack of exposure to English. As Scarcella (1996) has A I I
pointed out, their difhculties arise in some part because K-12 language cdg
education has neglected attention to linguistic form and de-emphasized I {cla
corrective feedback; as a result, these learners enter postsecondary writ- abc
ing classrooms without awareness of their very real language difficulties ‘ - ROI l
in academic English. Given the complex roots of their laInguage prob~ use
lems, grammar instruction designed for inexperienced users of English OHS
will fail to meet their literacy development needs (Frodesen Se Starna, ef l
1999; Harklau, 2000). _ _ tcxl
* ` .`:‘·;=-- . - ‘ “ ·

I Gmmmczr and the ESL writing class 151

To summarize, an awareness of learner variables and the distinctions »-
between different types of L2 writers is important for teachers if they are
to avoid the simplistic and erroneous conception of ESL writers as simply
"writers with language errors.” While ESL writing instructors cannot be
expected to consider at all times the entire complex of student variables
when designing and implementing language instruction, knowledge of
l these variables may often provide valuable insights at different stages of
writing instruction and in different learning contexts.
Bear in mind that there may be a disconnect between what a teacher
teaches and what a student learns. The degree to which students take
away the knowledge of a structure or form as intended by the instructor
and their ability to subsequently use that structure pr_oductively in their
own writing may depend on one or more of the variables outlined in this
section. In the end, as Long and Robinson (1998) point out, it is not a
matter of the lesson per se — or the teacher’s intention — that constitutes
"focus on form " but rather whether the instruction successfully encour-
ages the leczrners’ focus on language and leads to language development —
{ in this case the language of written English.


I Wfritirzg processes -
· ill!
liz.
THE PLACE or GRAMMAR in COMPOSING
Most postsecondary L2 composition courses in the United States now
incorporate some form of a prooess—based model of composing into their
writing courses. As L2 writers work through sequences of pre—writing
(invention and organization tasks), drafting, revising, and editing, many
opportunities occur for instructors to help students draw on their implicit
knowledge of English structures and the ways in which these forms real-
ize meanings. Through grammar—based instruction, teachers can model
appropriate forms for students to use not only in their papers but to
accomplish classroom discourse tasks, such as brainstorming ideas, re-
sponding to a peer’s paper, and conferencing with their teacher. The forms
writers acquire should prove useful throughout their university studies
and perhaps beyond.
In addition, opportunities arise to draw on and develop explicit know]- _
edge of less familiar (and oftencomplex) structures and form—function A
_ relationships. During these activities, teachers can raise consciousness
about language, such as differences between spoken and written English
or the use of certain verbtenses in particular types of texts (e.g., the
use of past tense in describing experiments). Focused instruction at vari—
ous stages of composing processes allows L2 writers to imitate the types
I of language-based choices that native speakers make in creating written
texts. As Little (1994) has noted, effective communication in written
A - ll

152 jan Frodesen and Christine H olten I
discourse typically requires a high level of correctness, and native speak- I T
ers often use explicit knowledge, "whether [they] take it from memory or One
reference books, when [they] plan, monitor and edit more formal kinds I Engl
of written and spoken discourse" (p. 104). and
I sign:
ERROR FEEDBACK AND CORRECTION mm
Feedback on errors has generally been a staple of ESL writing instruc- I able
tion. Influenced largely by the process approach to writing, this activity poss
is now generally reserved for the end stage of students’ drafting after they I mar.
have worked through their ideas and organizational issues. Some instruc— teacl
tors, in fact, use error feedback as the predominant method of grammar I A
instruction. Perhaps this instructional strategy enjoys such popularity be- I teacl
cause it satisfies the many practical and theoretical imperatives related to the g
grammar instruction that we have previously outlined. First, it allows I struc
teachers to individualize grammar instruction, thereby acknowledging writi
that language learning is complex and varies from individual to indi- I repa
vidual. It also appeases the fear that other types of grammar instruction disci
may seem irrelevant to student writers or fail to transfer into student pro- I treat
duction. In addition, error feedback allows teachers to put editing in its feed]
proper place in the writing process - after students have done pre-writing, discc
planning, and drafting and while they are revising their texts. Finally, such tatio
an approach is pragmatic because it allows teachers to integrate atten- learr
tion to grammar while not detracting from the primary aim of the course: texts
teaching students writing skills appropriate for academic contexts.
Error feedback is indeed a useful way to incorporate attention to lan- W ._
guage into L2 writing courses, especially when it is done selectively and I M
strategically (Ferris, 1999). Thanks to considerable research on this as- ` In at
pect of L2 writing instruction, ESL teachers now have excellent resources shou
to guide them in creating feedback methods that will best meet the specific gran
needs of their students and the constraints of their teaching contexts (e.g., of ai
Bates, Lane, Sc Lange, 1993; Byrd Sc Reid, 1998; Ferris Sc Hedgcock, L2 c·
1998; Shih, 1998) as well as full descriptions of course curricula in this · andi
area (e.g., Camhi, 2000; Shih, 2001). In general, these discussions advo- unde
cate the following: (1) limiting error feedback to certain types of errors, to ill
based on considerations such as attention to global — or more serious — voca
errors, error frequency, or errors that may stigmatize writers (e.g., grarr
nonstandard forms of English considered to be "uneducated”); (2) pro- discc
viding indirect rather than direct corrections through such methods as Fc
underlining, checking, or coding errors; (3) considering individual writ- cours
ers’ learning styles, metalinguistic knowledge, and overall proficiency and i
level in deciding when and how to provide feedback. In sum, these gen- can 1
eralizations direct teachers to focus on "aspects of grammar that can be meat
explained, understood, and generalized to students? particular writing texts
needs" (Ferris Sc Hedgcock, 1998, p. 205). mode

I Grammar and the ESL writing class 15 3
I Two issues remain relative to the widespread use of error feedback.
, One is that some teachers of L2 writers lack sufhcient knowledge of
I English structure and pedagogical grammar to accurately, consistently,
and appropriately deal with learner errors (Truscott, 1996). This is a
I significant concern, since responding to students’ errors, especially at ad-
vanced levels, is a complicated task, even for experienced and knowledge- .
I able instructors. Clearly, effective error feedback requires that teachers
possess thorough knowledge of English structure and pedagogical gram-
I mar. (See Kroll, 1993, for a discussion of other pitfalls of inadequate ESL
teacher preparation.)
I Another and somewhat broader issue concerns the reality that many
I teachers have come to rely on error correction as "the" way to address
the grammar needs of second language writers. Assigning grammar in-
I struction such a restricted role not only fosters a narrow conception of L2
writers as "error producers" and the L2 writing classroom as an "error
repair shop " but also ignores much of the current research and theoretical
discussion on pedagogical grammar. A richer and more comprehensive
treatment of language in L2 writing classrooms should combine error
feedback with lessons on the essential relationship between language and
discourse structure (e;g., the use of modal verbs to hedge in argumen-
tation). It would also, as johns (1994) suggests, make second language
learners co—researchers, discovering how grammar functions in academic
texts and eventually transferring these discoveries into their own writing.
I Written texts and genre
In addition to considering learners and the writing process, teachers
should consider written texts themselves as key in making decisions about
grammar instruction in L2 writing. Research and pedagogy in a number
° of areas — discourse and genre analysis, functional linguistics, L1 and
L2 composition, and second language acquisition (SLA) — offer insight
and inspiration for instructors in using written texts to enhance students’
understanding of how grammatical systems function in communication,
to illustrate the co—occurrence patterns of grammatical structures and
vocabulary (or Iexis, as the latter is often termed), and to identify the ‘
grammatical features that typically cluster in different genres of written
discourse. . - _
. For teachers who are attentive to grammatical patterns in written dis-
course, the readings they assign in class can serve as a source of authentic
and interesting examples of features of English grammar, examples that
can make students sensitive to the choices that writers make to convey
meaning. In the English for academic purposes (EAP) classroom, written
texts representing the genres that students are expected to write offer
models not only for rhetorical structures but for the language used to

154 fan Frodesen and Christine Holten I
create them. For L2 writers, instruction focused on how language is used I dw
in different genres -— such as a problem—solution text, the literature review com
in a research paper, or the short essay required in exam contexts — should I {Og,
be an essential part of an academic writing class. (See johns, Chapter 8 , the
this volume, for further discussion on this topic.) I
Expository texts are not the only ones that can be mined for rich _
grammatical input. As Holten (1997) discusses, ESL writing instructors I Bn
typically use only "academic” expository prose as a context for grammar Wh
instruction and tend to regard literature as a "break” from language- I POS
focused activities. But short stories or excerpts from novels offer excellent Of k
opportunities for students to look at language features, partly because I Cm]
these texts treat topics that are often more accessible to students than ` Wm
those in expository or “textbook" selections. Thus, students may be more I ing
willing-to examine language in these texts than ones they End difficult to I smc
relate to. (See Vandrick, Chapter 11 this volume, for a fuller discussion tion
of this topic.) I kim
From the preceding discussion, it might sound as if L2 composition HOU
instructors must become experts in text linguistics. There is, in fact, a I Sew
wide variety of resources for them to draw on. As Hyland (2002) points t Cho
out, however, all of the approaches used to investigate the discourse of ` ·I
texts "have sought to discover how writers use patterns of language op- Whi
tions to accomplish coherent, purposeful prose" (p. 10). Developments Sis 2
in computer-based text analysis have enabled researchers to analyze usm
large corpora of spoken _and written English, identifying grammatical I Wh,
features that typically cluster =·together in particular discourse contexts cmg
(Biber, 1988; Conrad, 1996, among others). In Variation across Speech I (gg
and Writirzg (1988), Biber has identified a number of dimensions along The
which speaking and writing vary and the ways in which grammatical fea— I mm
tures cluster in these dimensions. While Biber’s dimensions and features Stud
do not identify genres per se, they are often associated with particular Stud
genres. For example, narrative communication often characterizes histor— thci;
ical writing. Thus, the grammatical features can be exploited in helping H
writers select appropriate forms to meet particular rhetorical demands. haw
Computer analyses of written texts can also provide L2 writing teach— Sim}
ers with authentic examples of the ways in which grammar and vocab- {Om
ulary interact. These analyses, referred to as concordance data, can be ppm
found in reference texts such as Collins COB UILD English Language und
Dictionary (1987) and the Longman Grarnrnar of Spoken and Written leaf,
English (Biber et al., 1999) or can be created using software programs. (Wa
In these kinds of written text data, key words (e.g., therefore, thus, and ing :
hence; definite article the) or syntactic structures (e.g., all verbs followed mqt
by that clauses) are extracted from large collections of texts and appear ami,
in lists of sentences or parts of sentences that teachers can use to focus Vide
on particular language forms and choices writers make. johns (1994) in lz

I Grammar and the ESL writing class 155
I describes a variety of lessons created for advanced L2 writers based on
concordance information, noting that when students and teachers work
I together on data, "they discover things unobserved and unsuspected by
I the teacher when the materials were prepared" (p. 299).
I Bringing texts arid learners together
While genre analysis and corpus linguistics have much to offer ESL com-
I position instructors in their choices about grammar instruction, this body
I of knowledge must be applied in a principled way, taking into account the
_ central purpose of the composition class: the development of learners’
I writing proficiency. As Tribble (2002) points out, "Content and writ-
. ing process knowledge will [always] remain an area for. . . teachers and
I students to address, however much contextual and linguistic investiga-
tion" (p. 145) students might engage in. A primary concern, then, is what
I kinds of text-based instruction may best allow students to attend to, or
notice, relevant forms and to provide them practice in using these forms.
I Several considerations may assist teachers in reflecting on what forms to ·
choose and how to structure lessons for learners.
The first consideration in creating lessons is the types of activities in
which students will engage: text analysis or text production.i·Text analy-
sis activities ask writers to describe or notice how certain- structures are
used in extended discourse. For example, they might identify contexts in
I which writers use passive verbs or notice how embedded noun clauses are
created from previously mentioned information expressed as sentences
I (e.g., the results may not be valid —> whether or not the results are valid).
These "noticing" exercises heighten students’ awareness of language fea-
I tures for later productive tasks, assuming that they are appropriate for
students’ proficiency levels. In addition to analyzing published writing,
students can analyze language features in their own texts and those of ‘
their classmates in peer response activities.
If we expect students to access and use the- explicit knowledge they
have discovered through written text analysis, they must go beyond
simply noticing grammatical relationships or contrasts in grammatical ‘
I forms. They must practice these structures productively. Productive
practice may range from controlled work, such as revising instructor-
underlined sentences, to guided work, such as a dictogloss, in which
learners reconstruct an extended text that has been dictated to them
(Wajnryb, 1988), to communicative writing practice, such as summariz-
ing a published persuasive text using reporting verbs. All of these tasks
require learners to draw on their grammatical knowledge. Productive
activities following text analysis tasks are important not only to pro-
videopportunities for students to transfer their newly gained knowledge
in language output but to help instructors evaluate the effectiveness of ‘

15 6 ]a1i Frodeserz and Christine Holteri
text analysis exercises in helping students develop writing fluency and ]
accuracy. -
These two types of literacy development activities — text analysis and (
productive activities —— can and should be used in tandem in L2 writing E
classrooms. Ideas on how to integrate text analysis and student produc- I
tion tasks can be gleaned from comparative studies of L2 writers’ I
attempts to meet the linguistic demands inherent in certain genres. I
Schleppegrell’s (2000) study, for example, identilies language required I
for expressing assumptions in a science lab report. She outlines the dif- ` I . I
ferent ways in which assume was used in a model report —- as passive verb I
(is assumed), nonfinite verb (X, assuming Y), noun (this assumption), I j
g and so on - illustrating the linguistic resources used to convey meaning I I
and create lexical cohesion. Using similar genre—based authentic mate— I
- rials, teachers could create a text analysis lesson that focuses students’ i I
attention on these word class variations of a key concept, followed by a l E
production task in which writers construct a cohesive text using various I I
forms of a particular vocabulary item. Analysis and production tasks can I
. address other language needs common across text types, such as sum- I {
mary and paraphrase. These skills require students to make connections I
between their texts and those of others and, in the process, to manipulate I _ I
language forms such as complex clauses or idiomatic language. r I
A second consideration involves the intersection between written texts, I I
learner production and the ways in which learners will best pront from 0 I
focus on form. SLA literature provides a helpful distinction here between I
proactive and reactive focus. As Doughty and Williams (1998) explain, I
teachers "can plan in advance to ensure that a focus on form will occur, I
or they can wait for a pressing learner need to arise and develop an I
‘on-the—spot’...lesson in response" (p. 205). Process-based models of I
instruction have tended to favor a reactive rather than a proactive ap- I
proach. Language—focused instruction in the ESL writing class could, and I
generally should, include both types of focus. For example, in planning I
the syllabus, the instructor may proactively include lessons focused on I
particular verb tenses that she predicts her students will need to work 1
on. As part of a reading assignment, she may include a lesson on the I
ways in which writers employ different reference words and phrases, I
such as demonstrative pronouns and adjectives, definite article the + i
noun, and personal pronouns it and they to createdcohesion and avoid -
ambiguous reference. As the class progresses, reactive lessons may sur- I
face in answer to students’ questions, in response to observed patterns l
of error in students’ drafts, or during individual conferences. Reactive _ _
lessons may thus respond to needs of the class as a whole or to individual ‘
learners. By combining proactive and reactive lessons, teachers can help
students expand their existing linguistic resources while at the same time I
capitalizing on the learning opportunities that student errors provide.

· Wi
lll
l Grammar and the ESL writing class 157
a L :!
Revisiting the role of grammar in ESL writing
Can clear answers be found to the questions surrounding the role of
explicit grammar—based instruction in the second language writing class—
room? It appears that the answers —— and new questions —- lie in considering
the relationship of second language literacy acquisition to second lan-
guage learning in general and in clarifying our perspective on grammar’s
role in written communication of all kinds. If, as a great deal of current
research has indicated, some degree of focus on form is not only bench-
cial for learners but necessary in second language learning (Lightbown,
1998), then it seems the question is not what/ver we should "teach" gram-
mar but bow best to do it. Instructors need to pay careful attention to
the many learner variables that may affect students’ abilities and motiva—
tions in developing language—based knowledge. They need to consider the I
stages of writing process and the role that grammar plays in generating
ideas, drafting, and revising. They need to identify genre—based demands
of writing tasks, academic and otherwise. And if we view grammar as
an essential component of all communication —— as a set of linguistic
resources from which native and nonnative speakers alike select forms
based on appropriateness for meaning, for audience, and for textual _
demands — then grammar and writing are inseparable. We simply cannot
convey meaning properly without grammar, and it stands to reason that
the richer our students’ grammatical resources are and the better their 1;
knowledge of form—function relationships are, the better they will be able in
to communicate. Grammar in ESL writing is not just about error, and 1
this aspect should not be the sole focus of grammar instruction in second ‘—
language writing pedagogy.6 ' - - I i
Perhaps ESL writing teachers can best integrate the teaching A er ‘ Q,
grammar with the teaching of writing by drawing not only on their · ·
knowledge of the issues discussed thus far but also on their classroom rg
experience and intuition. Ellis (1994) recommends this combination of
research and teacher experience in all language teaching contexts. In L2
- writing classrooms, such a combination will allow instructors to create
· meaningful ways for students to access and develop the linguistic re-
sources they will need to communicate effectively in a wide range of
writing tasks.
. i
Notes
. 1;%
1. These conventions, of course, differ across genres and from country to coun-
try where English is a primary language for written communication in aca-
demic, professional, or governmental settings. Nevertheless, the concept of e
conventions is relevant no matter what the genre or form of world English
because readers expect and need the language of a text to communicate its
l r.
I t

15 8 ]an Frodesen and Christine Holten l
ideas clearly and appropriately. A more comprehensive discussion of world J Emig
Englishes, however, is beyond the scope of this chapter.
2. in Blanton and Kroll et al. (2002), several veteran L2 writing teachers reflect
on their use of these grammanfocused approaches in teaching their own
ESL/EFL writing classes in the 1960s and 1970s. l path;
3. We thank one of the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript for this in—
sightful comment.
4. Thornbury (1999, pp. 14*-28) provides a more extensive review of these i
arguments in a highly readable format. Perri
5. For some specific suggestions about classroom activities to promote im- (
proved proficiency, see Frodesen (2001). ` FEM)
6. There are helpful resources for teaching the intersection between gram- I
mar and style, for example, including joseph Williams’s Style: Ten Lessons Feng
in Clarity and Grace (1999) and Martha Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar:
Grammatical Choice, Rhetorical Effects (1999). FSH)
Perri
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7 Wfltlng t€6ZCh€7”S CIS CZSSBSSOTS I
of wrztmg I
Liz Harnp—Lyons I
Many teachers feel that assessment is not their concern, that their job is I
to teach well, and that assessment is something to be taken care of by p
someone else — by a special person within their school who is responsible I
for testing or by external, invisible means (often through large—scale tests
devised and administered by an agency outside of their own institution). I
But if teachers accept responsibility for the progress of the people they
teach, and if they want to ensure that those they teach will be judged fairly I
(and all teachers do! ), they must have some involvement with evaluation. I
Teachers must know enough about assessment practices to be able to look
at the assessments being brought into their programs, or being taken
externally by their students, and evaluate them. From this perspective, `
assessment is every teacher’s job.
ln this chapter, I hrst provide a short overview of some key aspects of ‘
_ assessment in general and follow with a focused discussion of the most I
critical issues that writing teachers need to be aware of in a variety of
situations they are likely to face — when they plan writing tests for their
own students, take part in a school-wide writing assessment, participate
in decisions about what writing test to use for a specific purpose, or talk
to parents about the meaning and implications of tests their children are
taking. Without such information, it is very difficult for teachers to make
informed and knowledgeable decisions about a very critical component
in the full picture of teaching writing.
Among the many changes that have occurred in the field of writing _
assessment, especially in the past twenty years, a particularly significant
one relates to the changing relationship between direct and indirect mea-
sures of writing. Nowadays, when systems do use indirect measures of
“writing" (including multiple-choice, grammar completion, cloze, etc.), .
they are likely to do so with some apology and appeal to expediency. (
Such indirect tests tend to be used as only one component of the as- `
sessment of "writing ability, " and they are administered in tandem with
direct writing assessments that have become a common part of large—scale
tests. For example, the Test of Written English (TWE) was introduced
in I986 as an optional component in addition to the three compul-
sory, multiple—choice sections of the widely used Test of English as a
162

I Writing teaclaers as assessors of writing 163
I Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the new TOEFL computenbased test
- includes a direct writing assessment. I
I As this chapter shows, direct tests have become common, and the
importance of authenticity and validity has been generally accepted. We
I still have much to learn about the assessment of writing, however, and
much progress must be made before we can feel that this assessment is
I fully able to measure literacy education in the modern world.
I EXP€ClZ3tlO1'1S of Wfllilllg 3SS€SSII`1€I]tS
I Two key terms that factor into any assessment discussion are ·"reliabil~
ity" and “validity." After briefly reviewing the general interpretation of _
I these terms, I discuss validity from the current perspective, in which con—
struct validity is seen as the overarching and encompassing validity, and I
I identify some other expectations of (writing) assessments that used to re~
ceive less attention than they do now. These new expectations of writing
assessments reflect changes in our understanding of the goals of educa- ·
tion and the roles of teachers, learners, and assessors in the educational
enterprise. , .
Reliability `
I In general terms, reliability refers to the ability of the test scores to be `
replicable — for example, from one test occasion to another, or from one
essay prompt to another. Writing tests cannot be 100%, and are rarely
more than 80%, reliable. This realization made the statisticians unhappy,
and in the United States of the 1950s and 1960s the statisticians ruled edu- _
. cational assessment (see L_emann’s 1999 history of the Scholastic Aptitude
Test [SAT]). The solution proposed was to replace the assessment of ac—
tual pieces of real writing with multiple—choice, standardized, so—called
objective tests, and that solution was implemented in many contexts.
This was a period that coincided with a behavioral approach to lan-
_ guage teaching and its concomitant focus on rules and the importance _
of accuracy. However, direct testing (or the elicitation of writing sam-
ples) lends itself to a type of reliability in terms of rating procedures. In
the United States and many other countries, we are now at a stage in
which reliability above 75% is consistently achieved when measured as i
agreement between two or more raters on the score assigned to a given
_ sample of writing, and this, coupled with strong validity, is accepted in
e most educational contexts.
However, because writing is a very complex activity involving think-
ing, planning, organizing, and linking as well as several levels of language
manipulation (sentence and clause levels as well as word and phrase level,

ril.
1 64 Liz H 4zmp—Lyo11s ji
. plus spelling, punctuation, etc.), there are inherent problems with the ex- { I ·· tit
pectation of reliability when viewed from the perspective of the writing `- cc
rather than the perspective of the rating. The same person does not nec- gi g :_._ _ _`_`i . sn
essarily write equally well on different days or about different subject I _` `a‘
matter. Differences in the same person’s scores might not, then, mean the _ I th
scores are not reliable: in fact, the scores might be reliably reflecting dif- if _ wg
ferences in that person’s performances. Considerably more complexity ar
is added because writing is judged by human beings — teachers and/or - i·=' m
raters - and these human beings are likely to vary from day to day, from pr
subject to subject; they are likely to have preferences for certain kinds of by
ideas or structures, or dislike for some choices of words or arguments, fo
in Britain and its former colonies, direct assessment of writing con- - _ °f°‘ va
tinued, as did written examinations in almost every subject, even when g if is
multiple-choice testing was introduced as part of examinations in many ` ET
content areas. Wiseman (1949) proposed the "Devon method," a sys—
tem of multiple marking of writing to improve reliability, and because ‘:'· C
this kept writing assessment "respectable" the essay test never fell out ‘?
of favor as it did in the United States. However, some British English `Q A1
as a foreign language (EFL) tests still do not use multiple marking for sir
reasons of cost and instead use a system of "moderation" to check on the ‘ bt
accuracy of raters by sampling their scoring; therefore, it is not possible - Tr
to accurately evaluate the reliability of these tests. This approach is not - or
considered satisfactory by writing assessment specialists and represents va
a battle still to be won with the British test agencies. - “c
t Ci
Traditional vczlidities gg
Coupled with concern for reliability, assessment is also concerned with Tl
validity. In writing assessment, as with most assessment contexts, it has an
. been-traditional to consider four kinds of validity: face validity, con- th
tent validity, criterion validity, and construct validity (see Hamp—Lyons, BY
1990). The simplest validity is face validity, or what looks to an intelli~ I°€l
gent outsider as if it is valid. Content validity is related to face validity Of.
but is grounded in some actual evidence. lt is often claimed, for example, f€i
that if the students are history majors, we should give them a writing test bc
that asks them to write about history. The problem with content validity hir
is the difficulty of defining what it is that writers do when they write, for
example, a history assignment, and of finding ways to test that without HS=
depending on any specific content. SCI
Another kind of validity is criterion validity. This refers tothe mea~ 1‘€·
sur able relationship, usually correlational, between a particular test of fh
_ writing and various other measures ("criterial" measures). Criterion va- lid
lidity includes concurrent validity, in which the criterion performance is M
compared against another performancegrneasured at the same or close _ ffl!


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