Writing in a foreign language
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Writing in a Foreign Language. Foreign Language Pedagogy EA 125/225. What do you write?. What types/kinds of things do you write in daily life?. Why do you write something?. Purpose of writing. Student needs. Does every student in a foreign language class need to learn how to write?

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Writing in a foreign language

Writing in a Foreign Language

Foreign Language Pedagogy

EA 125/225

What do you write
What do you write?

  • What types/kinds of things do you write in daily life?

Why do you write something
Why do you write something?

  • Purpose of writing

Student needs
Student needs

  • Does every student in a foreign language class need to learn how to write?

  • What do they have to write? What are their needs?

What is writing or literacy
What is “writing” or “literacy”?

  • Let’s review sociological perspectives on “literacy” by Richard Kern.

  • Literacy involves interpretation.

    When people write, they instantiate a particular interpretation of the world (experiences, event, ideas, and so on). Readers, in turn, interpret the writer’s interpretation in terms of their own conceptions, experiences, and understanding of the world.

What is literacy
What is “literacy”?

2. Literacy involves collaboration.

Writers always write for someone, even if only for themselves. The content, form, and style of their writing are all based on their understanding of their audience. Readers, in turn, must contribute their motivation, knowledge, and experience in order to make a writer’s text meaningful.

What is literacy1
What is “literacy”?

3. Literacy involves conventions.

How people read and write texts is not universal, but it is governed by cultural conventions that evolve through use and are modified for individual purposes.

What is literacy2
What is “literacy”?

4. Literacy involves cultural knowledge.

Reading and writing function within particular systems of attitudes, beliefs, customs, ideals, and values. Readers and writers who are operating from outside a given cultural system risk misunderstanding, or being misunderstood by, people who are operating on the inside of the cultural system.

What is literacy3
What is “literacy”?

5. Literacy involves problem solving.

Because words are always embedded in linguistic and situational contexts, reading and writing involve figuring out relationships between words, between larger units of meaning, and between texts and real or imagined worlds.

What is literacy4
What is “literacy”?

6. Literacy involves reflection and self-reflection.

Readers and writers think about language and its relations to the world and themselves.

What is literacy5
What is “literacy”?

7. Literacy involves language use.

Literacy is not just about writing systems, nor is it just about lexical and grammatical knowledge. It requires knowledge of how language is used in spoken, as well as written, contexts to create discourse.


  • A Continuum of Activities

    Mechanical or formal More complex

    aspect of act of composing

    “writing down”

    (Hadley, 2000, p. 281)


  • Japanese orthography

    • Rooma-ji

    • Hiragana

    • Katakana

    • Kanji

  • Korean orthography

    • Romanization

    • Hankil

    • Chinese characters

Difficulties of orthography
Difficulties of Orthography

  • Complaints from students

  • Tips for mastering orthography quickly?

Writing tasks activities
Writing Tasks/Activities

  • Novice level concrete

  • Intermediate level

  • Advanced level



  • Correction

    • How?

    • How much?

  • Comments

  • As a learner, what feedback do you want to get from your instructor?

Grading criteria
Grading Criteria

  • Sample

    • Composition scoring scheme (p.334)

    • Evaluation criteria for papers in UCI Japanese 2A (Japanese homepage)

      • http://www.humanities.uci.edu/eastasian/japanese/Courses/J2abc/J205-06/2A2005%20CBI%20Project/Writing%20Activities/Paper1.html


  • Criteria


    • Novice level

    • Intermediate level

    • Advanced level


Academic writing
Academic Writing

  • Do students in a foreign language class have to learn how to write an academic paper?

  • What is “academic writing”?

    • What is different about “academic writing”?