writing is a productive skill( Chastain, 1988) and we learn to write if we are members of a literate society and usually only if someone teaches us( Brown, 2007). Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone 'conversations'.(http://www.skillsyouneed.com/writing-skills.html#ixzz2SahZsY9e)
Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. The oldest known use of writing in China was in divination in the royal court.
it's clear that writing is important in the context and we should understand how the ability is being learned not taught?
in writing text , writer, and reader are important things,
there are three views on writing. environmentalists, innatist , interactions:
environmentalist in early 1960s believed writing as a mechanical process that is based on stimulation - response- reinforcement.
they thought speaking is more important.
here, writing is reinforcement for language grammar and vocabulary,
Silva (1990: 13), was merely considered as “a collection of sentences patterns and vocabulary items – a linguistic artifact, a vehicle for language practice.”
in late 1960s innatists believed that children are active rather than passive in language learning,
they tested effect of grammar instruction to improve learners' writing.
writing changed from product to process .
writing is not lockstop or sequentional rather recursive and creative
then Flower and Hayes (1981) proposed a cognitive model of recursive writing consisting of three major elements: 1) the planning stage, in turn subdivided into smaller processes such as generating ideas, organizing these ideas and setting the goals for writing; 2) the
translating stage, in which writers articulate and write down their thoughts generated in the first stage; and 3) the reviewing stage, in which writers evaluate and revise the text.
Thus, as Kern (2000: 181) points out, “writing was no longer
seen simply as a way of recording thoughts, feelings, and ideas after the
fact, but also as a key means of generating and exploring new thoughts and
we had decreasing on grammar and spelling in writing. but we had creativity and fluency.
writing was considered to be learned not taught. errors were corrected in final stage.
then interactionaist based on sociocultural views proposed 3 patterns of organizations:
problem-solution pattern, in which a problem is presented in a given situation
followed by the response to the problem and the evaluation of the response
as a solution to the problem; 2) the hypothetical-real pattern, which
is characterized by, first, the presentation of a statement which is to be supported
or rejected, and then the affirmation or denial of that statement, and
3) the general-particular pattern, in which a generalization is presented
followed by an exemplification of that generalization. They pointed out that
readers draw on their conventionalized knowledge of text patterns to infer
the recognizable connectedness of text and, therefore, they emphasized the
cognitive approach to writing This approach maintains that what makes
writing coherent is not in the text but in the readers’ prior knowledge of the
formal and linguistic structure of different types of texts or formal schemata.
then Halliday (1978) developed a systematic way of describing language in terms of its functions
within social contexts. Basic to his theory was the notion of register, which
is a functional language variation and is analyzed on the basis of three variables:
field, or the social function; tenor, or the role of the participants; and
mode, or what the language is doing. According to Halliday (1978) these
three situational and contextual dimensions are central to language interpretation.
Swales (1990: 59)proposed genre that is a class of communicative events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes. These purposes are recognized by the expert
members of the parent discourse community, and thereby constitute the rationale for the genre. This rationale shapes the schematic structure of the discourse and influences and constrains choice of content and style. Communicative purpose is both a privileged criterion and one which operates to
keep the scope of a genre as here conceived narrowly focused on comparable
and now ESP had an influence on L2 writing,
writing is a dynamic, creative , and contextualized process..
it was not individual but social,
language is changed by the context in which it happened.
From an ESP genre approach, it has been recommended that three main phases
should be follow in that instruction (Hyland 2002: 21): 1) modeling, in
which the teachers provides an explicit explanation of the genre to be dealt
with; 2) negotiating, in which the teacher guides the class composition by
means of questions; and 3) construction, in which the students construct the
genre by working through several drafts in consultation with the teacher
here we have Hymes with communicative competence:
Discourse competence enables writers to use discourse features to achieve a
well-formed written text given a communicative goal and context in which
it has to be written
Linguistic competence is an umbrella concept that comprises basic elements
of written communication such as vocabulary or lexicon, grammar
rules, and conventions in mechanics
Pragmatic competence involves an understanding of the illocutionary force
of an utterance in accordance with the situational and participant variables
within which the utterance takes place, as well as politeness issues such as
degrees of formality
An important point to remember here is that a written text also provides
important clues to meaning and that mastery of how these clues is essential
for writers if their ultimate goal is to make readers achieve a full understanding
of a given written text
Intercultural competence deals with the knowledge of how to produce written
texts within a particular sociocultural context. In order to produce a
competently written discourse within a particular culture, writers need to
understand and adhere to the rules and norms of behavior that exist in a
target language community, as well as to develop cross-cultural awareness,
since each particular culture has different “do’s and don’t’s” (Celce-
Murcia, Dörnyei, and Thurrell 1995: 25).
In addition to all the above-described competencies, writers also need to
have strategic competence, which refers to both learning and communicating
strategies (Scarcella and Oxford 1992).
On the one hand, writers need to possess a set of learning strategies to write effectively
Silva and Brice argue (2004: 72) that studies of texts, not writers’ processes,
continue to dominate the literature
In process studies, researchers analyze
the ways in which writers plan, draft, revise, and edit their texts. Initially,
these studies encompassed the entire writing process, generally within a
classroom context (Zamel 1983).
Learners’ processes have been central – but also studied is the work of
teachers, the other major participants in pedagogies. Polio (2003: 50) notes
that most of the teacher-centered studies have been qualitative, focusing on
issues such as their views and practices in writing, how their views change
over time or as they encountered new student populations, and teacher responses to student texts
The recent emphases upon the social nature of writing and genre (Swales1990; Hyland 2003) has brought context or (“writing situation”) into the research limelight. Polio writes about studies that investigate the goals of programs and writing classes, the tasks characteristic of academic writing classes, and the ways in which features of text interact with the values of a discipline.
corpus linguistics can radically change our classrooms. Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in samples (corpora) of "real world" text. This method represents a digestive approach to deriving a set of abstract rules by which a natural language is governed or else relates to another language. Originally done by hand, corpora are now largely derived by an automated process.
By selecting the corpora from targeted genres, teachers can assist students in completing their own research about how language operates: the ways in which
form, meaning, discourse and pragmatic factors interact. As a result, the
classroom can become more individualized and student-centered, a great
service to teachers who know that all classrooms are, by nature, heterogeneous.
As Tognini-Bonelli (2001: 41) notes, “What students can derive
from corpus work is qualitatively different from descriptive statements
found in traditional grammars… students can formulate their own hypotheses
and rules inductively from the corpora they select.” By its very nature,
then, corpus linguistics changes the classroom dynamic and establishes the
learner as researcher, as Tim Johns (1991: 17), the father of data-driven
learning points out: “The task of the learner is to discover the foreign language
[…] and the task of the language teacher is to provide a context in
which [the learner] can learn how to learn.”
Discourse communities and their valued genres
Corpus linguistics is only one leg of the table, one step on the ladder leading
to curriculum renovation and research, however. Though valuable for
its inductive, empirical base and student-centered approaches, it remains a
bottom up research strategy, an approach to patterned uses and immediate,
textual contexts of words and phrases. Thus, though corpus studies will
help students to analyze a text, it will not give them all the tools they need
to read or write one.
Situated texts and their domains (activity systems)
though valued genres and discourse communities may, in fact,
be highly salient to disciplinary faculty, it is the specific situation in which
a genre appears that determines how it will be successfully written and interpreted
our students’ lives, found on the Internet, Ipods, and in other technologies.
Many of our (more privileged) students have grown up with technology;
they use the Internet, the cell phone, the palm pilot and other tools frequently
and for a variety of purposes. This dependence upon technology
marks a truly significant departure from reliance upon print texts
students will learn best if they can engage with the material in
some way that allows them to develop a high level of investment in their writing.
I refer to this approach as the “student to world” model
Regardless of the nature of any specific assignment, the writing assignment
itself is the center of the life cycle of the writing class
Six steps in assignment completion
Step 1 Teacher sets assignment
Step 2 Students engage in preparatory work
Conducting Interviews and/or
Writing Notes and/or
Step 3 Students draft complete text
Step 4 Feedback is provided
By self and/or
By peers and/or
Step 5 Students revise text and/or return to Steps 2-4
Step 6 Students submit text for evaluation by teacher
at last i add to my paper that writing include:
prewriting or rehearsing( look for topic and ideas)
, drafting , composing(note down the ideas)
revising, editing , post writing( check the writing) ( Longman, 2002)
in revising we should pay attention to grammar , punctuation , spelling , unity, coherence , cohesion.