ERIC Number: ED402612
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Personal Writing and the ESL Student.
Simmons, Mary Beth
Personal writing is not only valid in such places as the academy, it is vital--even though Daniel Horowitz, in his essay "Process, Not Product: Less Than Meets the Eye," said that "teaching students to write intelligently on topics they do not care about seems to be a more useful goal than having them pick topics which interest them." But English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students say they changed their negative attitudes about writing when they were given writing assignments they cared about--a personal connection to the writing assignment. The process approach is many approaches, involving many facets of being: cognition, emotion, sense of self, sense of others, situation, background, experience, and development. The recognition of students' voices, hearing what they consider to be their writing needs, is central to a process approach to writing. Three foreign students in a writing lab at the University of Iowa using personal writing experienced some positive results: one student's prose became more vigorous and her aim in writing more precise; another found it helpful to relate work experience as a teacher to her present studies of education; and another used photographs as a key to write a thesis, resulting in prose combining her personal, political, and artistic voices. (CR)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, English (Second Language), Foreign Students, Higher Education, Learning Strategies, Personal Narratives, Personal Writing, Process Approach (Writing), Second Language Instruction, Student Motivation, Student Needs, Student Reaction, Writing Improvement, Writing Instruction, Writing Laboratories, Writing Processes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Writing Centers Conference (2nd, St. Louis, MO, September 27-30, 1995).