Publication details [#1679]

Wan, Wan. 2014. Constructing and developing ESL students' beliefs about writing through metaphor: An exploratory study. Journal of Second Language Writing 23 : 53–73. 21 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Elsevier Inc


On the basis of a one-year longitudinal study, this research gathers and analyzes the beliefs about ESL academic writing of a group of 7 MA Chinese female students by means of a metaphor elicitation technique (e.g. ‘Writing is….because…’). This study reveals students’ metaphorical perceptions related to the different steps of the writing process, viz. generating ideas for writing (“writing is like making a jigsaw puzzle”), searching for resources at the pre-writing stage (“writing is a mining”), the revising stage (“cleaning the dust in a house”), drafting conclusions (“an election campaign speech”). This method is extremely useful for on the one hand, teachers who are able to diagnose their students’ writing problems (‘writing as learning to swim’ and ‘learning the basic swimming skills as learning the writing conventions’) and on the other hand, students who adopt different approaches to solve their writing difficulties (“writing is a tour” metaphor).