ERIC Number: ED276263
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Building Critical Thinking Skills through Writing in the Foreign Language Classroom.
Terrio, Susan J.
Research indicates that writing can be an important vehicle for integrating all the learning that occurs in a foreign language. However, a number of factors have conspired to displace foreign language writing as a critical skill: the push for oral proficiency, departmental fragmentation, larger class sizes, and heavier faculty loads. Second language instruction should both teach the mechanics of writing in the target language and stress that writing builds critical thinking skills and ultimately produces more proficient writers in both native and second languages. This argument can be illustrated through an analysis of currently used oral language proficiency rating guidelines and their relationship to cognitive skill development. Second language prewriting strategies and writing assignments used in one college French curriculum are designed based on principles of native language writing instruction and include sentence-combining and critical text reading exercises, description and composition assigments, a mock press conference, a simulated travel diary, sequenced assignments on cultural topics, student paper exchanges, and dialectical journals. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (33rd, Washington, DC, April 17-20, 1986).