Thursday, September 9, 2010

Readings (Second Language Writing)

Teaching composition in the ESL classroom: What we can learn from research in the teaching of English by V. Zamel
Methodologists and teachers have suggested numerous approaches as to how composition should be taught in the ESL classroom. Whether or not these methods are truly effective, however, has not been established, for research in ESL composition is almost totally non-existent. In addition to the fact that research in this area has failed to provide us with answers, is the fact that we have ignored the research that has been done in the teaching of English composition, thus denying ourselves an important source of information. The ESL student who is ready to compose, i.e., express his or her own thoughts, opinions or ideas is similar to the student in the regular English composition class. Thus, the results of the experimentation in English composition classes have as much to say to the ESL teacher as to the English teacher and undermine many of the assumptions that they both hold in common. Research in the teaching of English has demonstrated not only how oversimplified past approaches have been, but is beginning to suggest the complexities that the writing process entails. The time has come to recognize the important ramifications that this research has for the teaching of composition in the ESL classroom.
Zamel, V. (1976). Teaching composition in the ESL classroom: What can we learn from the research in the teaching of English, TESOL Quarterly, 10(1), 67-76.
See also Ney's response and Zamel's reply.
Ney, J. (1976). A note on Vivian Zamel's views of research in the teaching of composition, TESOL Quarterly, 10(3), 351-352.
Zamel, V. (1976). A reply to professor Ney's "note" TESOL Quarterly, 10(3), 352-353.

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