Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 11 November 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.



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Bridging the Gap -
The Potential of Contrastive Rhetoric in Teaching L2 Writing

Debasish Biswas, M.A. (English Lit.), M.A. (Applied Lang. Studies)


Teachers of L2 classes are well- aware of students' struggle with the rhetorical patterns and they try a number of methods and strategies to acquaint their students with the expectations of native readers in terms of those rhetorical patterns. Contrastive Rhetoric was initially thought of as a mighty way out to this struggle of L2 writers. The insights gained from the studies on Contrastive Rhetoric, however, have remained underutilized or unutilized. This paper weighs the possibility of using contrastive rhetoric in teaching L2 writing and argues that Contrastive Rhetoric can be used in teaching L2 writing.

Introduction - Contrastive Rhetoric

Writing in the target language has always remained a challenge for second language writers. Their incompetence in writing is often attributed to the negative transfer from their first languages (Kaplan, 1972).

Contrastive Rhetoric over the past thirty years has strived to find out the influence of first language and culture on second language writing. Researchers (e.g., Connor 1987; Hinds 1997; Clyne 1987; Kaplan 1966, 1988) have studied differences of rhetorical patterns across cultures and have come up with findings that have potential pedagogical implications for teaching second language writing.

However, despite the initial pedagogical aim of contrastive rhetoric, the insights gained by research have not been effectively translated into the practice of teaching organizational structures (Leki 1997; Matsuda 1997). Kaplan (1988) says, "contrastive rhetoric is not a methodology for teaching, though some of its findings can be (and indeed have been) applied to the teaching process since its inception" (p.289) .In this paper, on the basis of the findings of text analysis and expert opinion, I will argue that contrastive rhetoric can facilitate L2 writing.

What is Contrastive Rhetoric?

According to Connor (1996), "contrastive rhetoric is an area of research in second language acquisition that identifies problems in composition encountered by second language writers and, by referring to rhetorical strategies of the first language, attempts to explain them" (p.5).

This field of study began with the publication of the article "Cultural Thought Patterns in Inter-cultural Education" in 1966 by Robert Kaplan. Kaplan's basic assumption was that rhetorical aspects of each language are unique to each language and culture. This assumption implies that second language writers' writing proves inefficient in the eyes of native readers of the target language as the skills acquired from their first language interfere.

The aim of contrastive rhetoric is to help second language writers understand the rhetorical conventions and reader expectations in the target language by examining the differences and similarities of writing in their first and second languages.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Implementing Explicit Grammatical Instruction in Thailand Schools | Nature of Sentence Intonation in Kannada, Tulu and Konkani | Language and Gender - Linguistic Analysis of Intermediate English Textbooks in Pakistan | Development of Punjabi-Hindi Aligned Parallel Corpus from Web Using Machine Translation | Paralinguistic and Non-Verbal Props in Second-Language Use: A Study of Icheoku and Masquerade in Nigeria | Economic Perspectives and Life-style Characteristics of the Aged Population in Tamil Nadu, India | Redefining Secularism - An Analysis of John Updike's Terrorist and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist as Post-9/11 Novels | Reduplication in Bengali Language | Development of Time-Compressed Speech Test for Children between 8 - 12 Years of Age in Telugu | Bridging the Gap - The Potential of Contrastive Rhetoric in Teaching L2 Writing | ELT in Yemen and India - The Need for Remedial Measures | Relationship between Multiple Intelligence Categories and Learning Styles of Students in Pakistan | Internet as an Educational Resource in Vocabulary Instruction | The Effectiveness of Technology in Teaching Study Skills | A Study of the Comparative Elements in the Poetry of Keats and Ghani Khan | Sentence Pattern Method - A New Approach for Teaching Spoken English for Tamil/Indian/EFL Learners | Enhancing Language Skills Using Learn to Speak English Software in Engineering Students of Andhra Pradesh | Problems in Teaching of English Language at the Primary Level in District Kohat, NWFP, Pakistan | An Appraisal of the Practicum - Finding the Gaps between Theory and Practice in Teacher Training Institutions in Pakistan | A Study of B.Ed. Students' Attitude Towards Using Internet in Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India, Masters Dissertation | Politics of Sambalpuri or Kosali as a Dialect of Oriya in Orissa | A Six-Step Approach to Teaching Poetry Incorporating the Four Skills | Lexis of a Suicidal | A Case Review of Tamil Diglossia | Comparison of Markedness of Lexical Semantic Abilities in Normal Children and Children with Hearing Impairment | Social Effects and Other Impediments in Teaching Literature | Aligning the Connotations of Love and Freedom in the Novels of Iris Murdoch | Spiritual Communication and Managerial Effectiveness | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF NOVEMBER, 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. | HOME PAGE of November 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Debasish Biswas, M.A. (English Lit.), M.A. (Applied Lang. Studies)
Department of English
American International University-Bangladesh
House no-83/B, Rd No. 4
Kemal Ataturk Avenue Banani
Dhaka 1213

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