Saturday, September 11, 2010

On contrastive rhetoric

Leki, I. (1991). Twenty-five years of contrastive rhetoric: Text-analyses and writing pedagogies. TESOL Quarterly, 25(1), 123-143.

I'm reading this article for a class on second language writing I'm taking. This well-written article gives an overview of the journey of contrastive rhetoric until the 1990s. I think it does a very good job summarizing the criticisms raised about contrastive rhetoric by proponents of process approach in second language writing and addressing these criticisms.

"Contrastive rhetoric studies have become considerably more complex over the last 25 years and have explored a number of different directions related to written discourse across cultures. This article (a) provides an overview of these changes and research problems associated with them, (b) re-analyzes the concerns of process-oriented teachers and researchers in light of these changes, and (c) examines the extent to which the findings of modern contrastive rhetoric can play a more legitimate, less prescriptive role in L2 writing classroom. (p. 125) 

I agree with Leki in that process-oriented and text-oriented approaches doesn't have to be in opposition. Overall it was a nice reading.



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