Reflections on the pedagogical imports of western practices for professionalizing ESL/EFL writing and writing-teacher education
The teaching of writing in English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) has been a challenging task for many teachers due to its multifaceted nature. This paper is a reflection on ESL/EFL writing teaching in three countries, namely China, Singapore, and New Zealand, with particular reference to professionalizing ESL/EFL writing and ESL/EFL writing-teacher education. It first addresses issues facing EFL writing and writing-teacher education that relate to the offering of English at various levels in China. It then moves on to elaborate on how western pedagogical practices have been implemented in Singapore, especially that of a genre-based pedagogy. Nestled in the context of globalization, I focus on New Zealand, positing that globalization has exacerbated the challenge in teaching ESL writing because of large numbers of students who are seeking higher education in western countries in English as the medium of instruction, and yet their first language is not English. I conclude the paper with recommendations that professionalizing L2 writing (even in school settings) is a mission for all those who are in this enterprise. Proper teacher preparation programs for training L2 writing teachers should be in place in order for this to happen. China needs to critically appraise, and learn from, successful experiences such as Singapore and many institutions in the USA and Canada. New Zealand is yet to formalize ESOL writing teacher preparation programs, where English-as-an-L2 writing-teacher education for primary and secondary schools is still not a priority in most teacher-education institutions.
Keywords: Globalization, Singapore, New Zealand, second-language writing, professionalization, writing-teacher education, China
Published online: 06 April 2017
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