The tension and growth Taiwanese students experience as non-native writers of English in a university writing program for international students
KeywordsEnglish language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers -- Case studies.
English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Case studies.
Students, Foreign -- Education (Higher) -- United States.
Committee ChairMcCarty, Teresa L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA case study approach was adopted for this study. Four Taiwanese students enrolled in the writing program for international students at The University of Arizona were interviewed individually about (1) how they acquired the code of written English and what their L2 writing assumptions were upon entering The University of Arizona; and (2) what writing difficulties they experienced in a university writing program for international students and what their L2 writing assumptions were after completing a university writing program for international students. Findings from this research indicated that the four Taiwanese students did not have sufficient comprehensible input from pleasure reading or other voluntary, extracurricular sources. They acquired the code of written language from reading, participating in varied classroom activities such as small-group and whole-class discussions, peer review, teacher-student conferences, writing texts to different audiences for various purposes, analyzing model essays, practicing sentence combinations, and formal instruction in the composing process. Their writing difficulties could be summarized as follows: (1) not making good use of classroom activities to reshape ideas in terms of readers' expectations and their own writing intentions; (2) lack of experience to develop necessary reading and writing skills; (3) inadequate knowledge of the composing process; (4) inadequate syntax, vocabulary, or mechanics to express themselves in L2; (5) being influenced by their L1 rhetorical convention; (6) no intrinsic motivation to integrate with the target language, culture, or society; and (7) low expectations of success related to negative or weak teacher-student relationships. This research both reinforces and expands Krashen's (1984) model of second language acquisition and writing, showing the critical role of comprehensible input, the significance of natural acquisition over direct teaching of grammar rules and error correction, and the presence of an "affective" filter which is socially and culturally mediated, as well as cognitively and linguistically based.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture