NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ881565
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
Solving the English-as-a-Second Language Writers' Dilemma
Nowalk, Thomas
Inquiry, v15 n1 p53-66 2010
This brief work stands against a four-year stretch of writing classes at Northern Virginia Community College, with the author teaching English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students how to write academic essays. The courses taught have included high intermediate and advanced writers, many of whom plan to earn a degree at the college or any number of four-year schools around Virginia. For these non-native writers, the clarity expressed by Dr. Seuss's Horton is often a foreign experience: these students find it quite difficult to write accurately what they mean. This exploratory paper first looks at the dilemma from the students' perspective. From their view, overcoming Horton's problem requires a heavy dose of grammar fused with vocabulary. Writing instructors address the dilemma through their teaching practice, which is often, according to Joy Reid et al. (2008), founded on misunderstandings of academic writers' needs. Reid and her co-authors counter those practices with a research-driven series of perspectives on learning writing. Examining the insights drawn from these views, this paper turns to a solution from the past: the Trivium, which was the classical model for teaching writing from the Classical Age through the Renaissance. The Trivium is but one possible solution for helping ESL writers address the Horton dilemma. (Contains 2 tables.)
Virginia Community Colleges Association and Virginia Community College System. 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-819-4666; Fax: 804-819-4771; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia