ERIC Number: ED271006
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Oral Style Strategies in EFL Written Discourse: Implications for Teaching College Composition.
Stylistic features that impede the efficiency of communication in writing were studied in the essays of a sophomore class in reading and essay writing in English as a second language (ESL) at Birzeit University (Israel). It was hypothesized that in ESL writing, college students apply many strategies of communication more typical of the spoken mode of language than of the written mode, an extension of the stylistic transfer made from spoken to written Arabic. A sociolinguistic method of analysis that sees the essay as a communicative event involving the writer, the reader and his or her expectation, and the message was used. Two elements in the essays were examined: (1) moments in the text at which the writer assumed that the reader possessed all the appropriate background information not provided for in the text, and (2) textual and syntactic structures more appropriate in spoken than in written language. The analysis supported the hypothesis concerning the transfer of Arabic stylistic practice to English. Two classroom procedures for helping students make the transition from spoken to written styles are proposed: that in oral language classes teachers guide students to be more topic-focused in their narratives through questioning and requests for more specific information; and that, in writing classes, teachers engage in similar, but written, dialogs to cultivate specificity. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Linguistics Conference (3rd, Irbid, Jordan, April 1-3, 1984); see FL 015 768.