While the roots of any personal bias in writing assessment are multifarious, it may be useful to examine the historical tensions and perhaps even distrust between ESL and composition programs as a way to understand one source. Rubin and Williams-James write that many ESL teachers worry about releasing students into classrooms that focus on native English speaker NES students and have little time or expertise to devote to them and that they "figuratively hold their breath as they release their students into that mainstream" p. By the same token, composition programs may be skeptical of the ESL programs charged with preparing students for the rigorous challenges of writing in English composition courses. While today "our professional organizations are recognizing the need to take up [
Critical EAP is appealing pedagogically because of its restive questioning of discourse norms, though at times it is seen by some as reactionary. By focusing on the acquisition of dominant norms, Pragmatic EAP has clear goals, but it often fails to adequately recognize differences in community practices.
The Critical Pragmatic approach is illustrated by activities for postgraduate and research students which centre on the use of personal pronouns. Introduction It is often the case that the practice of academic writing is so poorly understood by both teachers and students alike that for many, it remains shrouded in mystery cf.
In this paper, we attempt to demystify this process, first by examining several approaches in the teaching of English for Academic Purposes EAPand then by discussing an approach that might be the most helpful for a majority of EAP teachers working with graduate and postgraduate learners.
The potential of our solution will be illustrated later in this paper as we consider a number of graduate-level pedagogic activities that focus on personal pronouns in academic writing. Pragmatic EAP, Critical EAP, and Critical Pragmatic EAP While we would concede with Canagarajah that Critical Pedagogy cannot be reified and viewed as a settled body of thought, we have chosen, albeit simplistically, to distinguish between three approaches to the teaching of academic writing: Pragmatic EAP is concerned with teaching students the dominant academic discourse norms, i.
Pragmatic EAP, then, does not question desirability of reinforcing these norms. Rather than obliging the academy to adapt to L2 students' rhetorical styles, Pragmatic EAP expects international students to adapt to the style of the Anglo-American academy. Critical EAP, on the other hand, is concerned with 'critiquing existing educational institutions and practices, and subsequently transforming both education and society' Hall See also Benesch ; Giroux ; Pennycook a, Most of the existing academic practices in Critical EAP are viewed with suspicion: From this standpoint, Pragmatic EAP encourages learners to become passive and accommodating, while a critical pedagogy is founded on a view of learners as intellectuals, as researchers and as active participants in social struggles, not just passively receiving knowledge and advice, but searching for understandings which will be of direct use to them, which will open up new fields of vision and new perspectives, and provide a basis for their own emancipatory and transformatory action.
Critical Pragmatic EAP attempts to reconcile these seemingly diametrically opposed approaches. After considering options, they may choose to carry out demands or challenge them. On the one hand, Critical Pragmatic EAP acknowledges that students should be exposed to dominant discourse norms, in line with Pragmatic EAP; while on the other hand, like Critical EAP, it stresses that students have choices and should be free to adopt or subvert the dominant practices as they wish.
Critical Pragmatic EAP therefore has two objectives: While on the one hand…I need to help students meet the criteria for 'success' as they are defined within particular institutional contexts, as a critical educator I need also to try to change how students understand their possibilities and I need to work towards changing those possibilities.
I am not, therefore, advocating a laissez-faire approach to language forms that encourages students to do as they like, as if English language classrooms existed in some social, cultural and political vacuum. Rather I am suggesting that first, we need to make sure that students have access to those standard forms of the language linked to social and economic prestige; second, we need a good understanding of the status and possibilities presented by different standards; third, we need to focus on those parts of language that are significant in particular discourses; fourth, students need to be aware that those forms represent only one set of particular possibilities; and finally, students also need to be encouraged to find ways of using the language that they feel are expressive of their own needs and desires, to make their own readings of texts, to write, speak and listen in forms of the language that emerge as they strive to find representations of themselves and others that make sense to them, so that they can start to claim and negotiate a voice in English.
The need both to give students access to the dominant discourse conventions and to respect cultural and rhetorical difference is called 'a classic tension in critical approaches to education' Pennycook In work on critical literacy, for example, this tension emerges in the differences between those who primarily emphasise access to the cultures of power, and those who emphasise the exploration of difference.
To summarize, we can place the three approaches to the teaching of EAP on the following cline: While, for instance, we agree with much of what Beneschsays about pedagogy, our concept of Critical EAP is far purer and a less pragmatic form than what Benesch may have in mind.
It will be argued that both pedagogies provide valuable insights, and that by standing midway between purer forms of Critical and Pragmatic EAP, Critical Pragmatism may be able to provide practitioners with the best of both worlds.
Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion—invent the university, that is, or a branch of it, like history or anthropology or economics or English. The student has to learn to speak our language, to speak as we do,[…] to work within fields where the rules governing the presentation of examples or the development of an argument are both distinct and, even to a professional mysterious.
The student has to appropriate or be appropriated by a specialized discourse, and he has to do this as though he were easily and comfortably one with his audience, as though he were a member of the academy or an historian or an anthropologist or an economist; he has to invent the university by assembling and mimicking its language….Mar 03, · Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students.
Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, Summary: “In the discussion that follows, I will demonstrate how we can help students negotiate the structures of writing in terms of the ideological, cultural, and social concerns that matter to them.
Codemeshing in Academic Writing: Identifying Teachable Strategies of Translanguaging SURESH CANAGARAJAH The Pennsylvania State University tiveness and to develop a critical orientation to assessment and instruction.
In this study, I address translanguaging in writ-ing. Composition brings discourse and rhetori-. Brief description of the presentation: The presentation will be an echo from my blog post here srmvision.com and Kress for critical linguistics; Fairclough for critical dis course analysis; and Kumaravadivelu for critical classroom dis course analysis.
2. For a perspective on the need to reconsider these traditional distinc tions, see Nayar 3. The new realizations about linguistic identity create a need for new terminology. Canagarajah, S. (). Critical academic writing and multilingual students.
Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Casanave, C.P. () Controversies in second language writing: Dilemmas and decisions in research and instruction. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. Conference on College Composition and Communication (). 1. Canagarajah, A. Suresh.
(In Press). “Blessed in my own way”: Pedagogical affordances for dialogical voice construction in multilingual student writing.
Journal of Second Language Writing, 24/1 (). 2. Canagarajah, A. Suresh. “In search of a new paradigm for teaching English as an International Language.” TESOL Journal, 5/4 (),