Enlightenment from Rethinking Writing Teaching Approaches
abstract: english writing is a complex integrative process of compressive skill, which is difficult to master in a short period,
especially for middle school students. however, writing teaching is an essential part in language learning process. the paper tries to rethinking the writing teaching process, and gives some advice for writing teaching in class so as to help student’s improve their english writing level. key words: writing teaching; second language acquisition theory; implication i. introduction effective english writing has long remained a challenge in english teaching class. it is hard not only for teaches but also for students to deal with. in order to improve the level of english writing, many researchers are working actively. the paper try to rethinking the writing approaches in sla aspect and come up with some strategies. ii. literature review 2.1 some related second language acquisition theory on writing
2.1.1 input and output hypothesis the role of input in second language learning is undeniably crucial. corder, in 1967, point out that input refers to what is available to the learner. as to input hypothesis, we may think more about comprehensible input. essentially, comprehensible input is that bit of language that is heard/ read and that is slightly ahead of a learner’s current state of grammatical knowledge. krashen suggests that the right level of input is attained automatically when interlocutors succeed in making themselves understood in communication.most language learning researches agree that output play an important role in language learning. the idea that output could be part of learning was not seriously contemplated prior to swain’s important paper in 1985, in which she introduced the notion of comprehensible output or “pushed” output. comprehensible output refers to the need for a learner to be “pushed toward the delivery of a message that is not only conveyed, but that is conveyed precisely, coherently, and appropriately” (swain, 1985, p. 249).output, thus, would seem to have a potentially significant role in the development of syntax and morphology” (swain, 1995,
p.128). 2.1.2 feedback and attention the feedback in writing is refers to author’s input which is provided by readers. the purpose is to provide information for author to correct his own paper (keh, 1990: 294). (hyland ＆ hyland,2006) think the function of teacher’s feedback not only present in the improvement of learner’s writing mark, but also in the effect on letting learner’s pay attention to their problems in the writing process. according to the american heritage dictionary, attention refers to “the concentration of the mental powers upon an object.” schmidt and frota (1986) suggested that “a second language learner will begin to acquire the target like form if and only if it is present in comprehended input and ‘noticed’ in the normal sense of the word, that is consciously” (p. 311).one of the early treatments of attention in the sla literature came from tomlin and villa (1994). they proposed three components to attention: alertness (readiness to receive incoming stimuli), orientation (direction of resources to stimulus), and detection (registration of stimulus). in this model, detection does not entail awareness and, consequently,
learning can take place without awareness. 2.1.3 frequency and affect ellis(2002)point out that frequency is a decision factor in language learning. frequency can refer to the law of the distribution of linguistic features; it can be the experience of the individuals exposed to language. (harrington &dennis, 2002: 261).something which is very frequent in the input is likely to be noticed. affect, from krashen’s perspective, is intended to include factors such as motivation, attitude, self-confidence, and anxiety. krashen proposed an affective filter. if the filter is up, input is prevented from passing through; if input is prevented from passing through, there can be no acquisition. if, on the other hand, the filter is down, or low, and if the input is comprehensible, the input will reach the acquisition device and acquisition will take place. in sum, output provides learners the opportunity to produce language and gain feedback, which, through focusing learners’ attention on certain local aspects of their speech, may lead them to notice.noticing, then, leads to reassessment, which may be an on-the-spot reassessment or involve longer-term
complex thinking about the issue. this, in essence, is the process of learning (see also swain and lapkin, 1995). 2.2 an introductory of writing teaching approaches 2.2.1 traditional approach the label traditional should not be taken in an exclusively negative light. there are still some elements of the traditional approach play an important role in our practical writing teaching. this approach focuses on structural and rhetorical patterns, so it called structural/rhetorical pattern approach. this pattern is much useful in five-paragraph essay. it achieve its favors with its predictable elements of an introduction, complete with thesis a statement and road map for the rest of the essay, three supporting paragraphs, each introduced with a topic sentence; and a final concluding paragraph ,which restates the thesis and offer some evaluation. however, it stresses the form of student texts; their content is almost entirely irrelevant. so it may do not have a good effect on student’s language learning in total. 2.2.2 process approach and product approach product approaches assume that writing is a linear process,
with writers starting at the beginning of a piece and writing straight through to the end. it emphasizes correctness of the final text. it focuses on the final product than the process that lead up to it, and sees the teacher’s role as judge and corrector. in contrast, process approach emphasis on making learners aware of the process they go through when they write, they acknowledgement of writing as an exploratory and recursive rather than linear ,predetermined process, it focus on composing process rather than on the finished product, focus on the reader writer relationship rather than on literary the themes. they reduce the importance of grammatical correctness and increased emphasis on the expression of meaning and personal voice. the advantage of the product approaches is that students will have a clear idea about the organization of a particular text, for imitation is one effective way to develop student’s vocabulary and structure in writing. however, this approach students’ creativity is given a little consideration. compared with the product approach, the process approach made greater improvement in practical teaching, however, this approach requires long time training, and it is not suitable to be
applied to large classes. 2.2.3 task-based instruction and content based instruction task-based instruction is an instructional approach that attempts to incorporate what is known about l2 learning into classroom activities, namely, that language is best learned in the exchange of meaningful messages. this approach has number of advantages:(1)it has high face validity (2)authentic tasks are more likely to engage learners than language practice that require little thought.(3)tasks can be manipulated in terms of cognitive and linguistic complexity.content based instruction is an approach to language teaching that finds its roots in schools rather than colleges. it provides cognitively and intellectually challenging material that may be missing in language course.in content based instruction writing course, teachers need to direct learner’s attention to linguistic accuracy as well as to course content. to summarize, traditional approaches to teaching l2 writing have focused on language rules, vocabulary use, and rhetorical patterns. process approaches shifted the emphasis to audience and purpose.task based instruction is one that
has importance outside of the language classroom. activities are authentic or at least derived from authentic activities. content based instruction stresses mastery of content in a specific discipline. iii. implications from second language acquisition for writing teaching 3.1 prewriting input is most useful for developing implicit knowledge when it contains meaningful message rather than rules and information about language. as a result, we need to give plenty of relevant input in order to achieve a good composition. we can do something active with some of reading such as taking notes, responding, summarizing, reformulating, or using thematic vocabulary. for example, we need to write a composition about one’s family. we can let the students have an interview with each other. first, the students might brainstorm about what questions to ask. what information might one want to know about his family? what vocabulary might useful to describe them? what is the best way to take notes when anther person is talking? clearly, it is benefit for good writing. the reason why these activities is suggested is that
it let the learners engage in the call their attention to important textual features that will need to be aware of as they become writers. 3.2 writing from now on, we also need to saw that it is unlikely that writers will improve their writing ability by simply being exposed to relevant input. thus, it is important to include plenty of practice in and out of class. in terms of practice, journaling is a good choice. journal writing can be especially helpful with inexperienced writers or those who lack confidence in their writing abilities. student’s responses to journals vary considerably. to avoid the negative aspect of journals, the teachers can introduce journals with a set of guidelines about appreciate topics to explore. teachers who plan to have students share should make this clear at the outset so that no one is uncomfortable or feels that his privacy is being breached. 3.3 after writing as mentioned before, feedback is essential for a good writer. generally, teachers are always the reader of student’s composition. however, what the teachers can do and always do
is to correct the forms or give advice on grammars. in fact, because of so many students, it is also laborious for teachers to revise many compositions in a short time. so peer response comes in to being a new trend and good choice for good feedback. in order to have an affective peer response, teachers can role play responding with another faculty member. once the practice has been modeled, students should practice on their own with sample composition before start working on their own composition. besides give models, the teachers can set a set of questions which relevant to evaluate a compositions to guide peer response. after a period of practice, students may become a good commenter on one composition. iv conclusion english writing is a kind of creative thinking activities as well as a dynamic and interactive process. therefore ,there are many research have been down on how to teach writing effectively and there are many approaches have been come up with one by one. all of them have its merits and drawbacks, this paper try to rethinking writing teaching approaches from an second language acquisition aspect, so as to come up with some strategies ,which is easy to be down in middle class.
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