Overview of Native English Speaker Composition

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Overview of Native English Speaker Composition


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Overview of Native English Speaker Composition:

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition Prof. C. sarmiento ENGL 6908 ALL OF THE INFORMATION WAS TAKEN FROM Reid , J. M. (2000). Teaching ESL writing. United States of America: Prentice Halls Regents.

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition:

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition The development of composition as a field of teaching began nearly a century ago and it focused heavily on grammar and literature. The main goal of these courses was to develop literature appreciation and develop their literature writing skills. Some vague instructions were often given, such as word limit, citation tools, etc. but the actual process of writing as mostly untaught. Students were expected to perfect the writing process on their own and later their written work would be corrected in comparison to the style of writing expected.

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition:

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition Maxine Hairston coined the phrase “the revolution in the teaching of writing”. She listed twelve features of the emerging paradigm: Focuses on the writing process; instructions intervene in students’ writing during the process. It teacher strategies for the invention and discover; instructors help students to generate content and discover purpose. It is based on the rhethoric : audience, purpose, and occasion figure prominently in the assignment of writing tasks. Instructors evaluate the written product by how well it fulfills the writer’s intention and meets the audience’s needs.

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition:

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition It views writing as a recursive rather tan a linear process; the activities of pre-writing, writing, and revision overlap and intertwine. It is holistic, viewing writing as an activity that involved the intitutive and non-rational as well as the rational faculties. It emphasizes that writing is a way of learning and developing as well as a communication skill. It includes a variety of writing modes, expressive as well as expository. It is informed by other disciplines, especially cognitive psychology and linguistics.

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition:

Overview of Native English Speaker Composition It views writing as a disciplined creative activity that can be analyzed and described. It is based on linguistic research and research into composing processes. It stresses the principle that writing teacher should be people who write.

Major Paradigm Shifts:

Major Paradigm Shifts An overall focus on the process rather tan on the product of writing. Concentration by classroom teachers on composing processes rather tan on literary discussion. Focus on the writer, and on the relationship between reader and writer. Interest in research on writing processes and classroom teaching. Commitment to the idea that teaching effective, successful writing is possible.

Emerging Schools:

Emerging Schools As part of the paradigm shift, many different schools of thoughts and techniques will pop up and change the way writing is taught, such as: The Expressive School The Cognitive School Early Writing Process Current Research Trends Classroom Implementation

Writing Schools :

Writing Schools As the pedagogy of writing began to emerge, practitioners began to divide mainly into two schools: the expressive school and the cognitive school .

The Expressive School:

The Expressive School Focuses on sincerity, integrity, spontaneity, and originality in composition. Emphasizes that students should “discover” themselves and their voices. Takes away emphasis from the structure of writing and instead concentrates on creativity and self-discovery through the use of journals or daybooks. Instructors such as Peter Elbow dubbed this “the free writing school”, where emphasis is taken away from grammar and instead students are encouraged to free write and then go back and find “a center of gravity” sentence. Basically, this school aims to find the student’s genuine voice.

The Cognitive School:

The Cognitive School Proponents of this school began to investigate the writing process and process teaching . They believe in research-based, audience-focused, context-based approach to the processes of writing. The research of this school focused on the early stages of composing: invention (idea generation) and arrangement (organization of ideas). Teachers also focused on the initial stages of writing (pre-writing) and began teaching pre-writing strategies such as brainstorming, free writing, outlining, cubing, clustering and listing.

Early Writing Process Research :

Early Writing Process Research Both Expressivists and Cognitivists led investigations into pre-writing processes and expanded into more formal educational research that observed working writers. The method of data collection was dubbed “ case study research ” which consisted of careful and detailed observations on a simple case for a period of time or a group of writers in the same situation. The data is then analyzed and reported. “ Think-aloud ” protocols were also used which consists of writers, both experienced and inexperienced, speaking their thoughts as they wrote.


Discoveries There are many kinds of writing processes. Composing is not always linear. When writers are composing, they don’t always plan, write, and revise. They often go back and their previous words, sentences or paragraphs in order to remember, to add, to edit, etc.

Flowers and Hayes:

Flowers and Hayes Flower (1979) and Hayes (1980) demonstrated that: Because goals direct composing, there must be a purpose for writing. Simple cognitive operations produce enormously complex action. Successful writers often use a variety of composing processes, depending on the writing situation and the parameters of the task.

Current Research Trends:

Current Research Trends Several areas of study piqued the interest of researches in the 1980’s. Some of the areas researched were: The social nature of writing Ethnographic studies of composing in the workplace as well as in schools The use of computer in composition teaching The reading-writing connection Composition classroom dynamics

The Social Nature of Writing:

The Social Nature of Writing Research focused on how the cognitive processes function and are conditioned to be social and historical forces, and how social circumstances shape the teaching and the learning of writing. Faigley , Fish, Lunsford, Bizzell and Bruffee found that the writing situation puts social and psychological constraints on the writer, as in, when accounting a situation a writer will use different rhetoric depending on the intended target. This awareness has developed into what is called “ discourse communities ”, (discourse = multi-sentence chunks of language, community = group of people with similar values, aims, aspirations, and expectations. If students lack the language of a community they can struggle to even communicate. Teachers must look to involve and immerse students into these communities so they can write from within.

Ethnographic Research and Composing Processes :

Ethnographic Research and Composing Processes In ethnographic studies, observes enter a specific setting to collect data and to analyze writing processes and practices in specific work-related and cultural related communities. These studies provided much of the research in the 80’s and it covered everything from composing processes in secondary school and elementary school, attitudes and expectations concerning literacy, literacy in the work place, and so forth.

Computers and Composition Teaching :

Computers and Composition Teaching In the beginning, this teaching was limited to word processing as editing programs provided assistance for editing any piece of writing. Rodrigues and Rodrigues (1989) stated that the use of a full-time computer changes the roles of both students and teachers in the classroom. When analyzed, the level of revision to the work done by students greatly incremented when using a computer. Future research should seek to further implement the software and technological advances towards writing composition.

The Reading-Writing Connection:

The Reading-Writing Connection Research has shown that there is a correlation between effective readers and effective writing, that reading is a form of learning and that reading and writing have common cognitive processes. In the constructivist point of view, the reader brings to a text the sum total of all prior knowledge and experience ( schemata ), conventional knowledge structures that are activated under various circumstances.

Classroom Implementation :

Classroom Implementation Theory derived from research in an applied field such as composition should be applicable, and then applied, in the classroom. In-class pre-writing and revision processes, and a focus on what has been called the conscious balance between writer, subject and audience, has become more important. As a result, the concept of authentic purposes and audiences have begun to dominate the composition class. Todays teachers give writers ownership of their writing, as in what did the learn, what weakness did they identify, what strengths do they have, etc.

Conclusions :

Conclusions The schools of writing have become more balanced, as in they implement attributes from both the cognitive and expressionist school. In many classes, students are taught the essential elements and processes of writing and they are also encouraged to discover and extend their writing proficiencies. The concept of audience and purpose as well as subject matter are stressed. The final paper, will never again be the solitary focus of composition classes, it is intermingled with many writing processes. Curriculum in many composition programs include all phases of the writing process, from the design of the assignment to the individual generation of material, to issues of arrangement and presentation that fulfill the expectations of the audience, to the final product, with equal importance.


Source Reid, J. M. (2000). Teaching ESL writing. United States of America: Prentice Halls Regents.

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