Writing instruction scenario across borders is complex and variegated. That is the case precisely because as Alan C. Purves (1988) contends, “people learn to write in schools or through some sort of instruction” (p.13) and as Anneli Vahapassi (1988) claims, writing “instruction differences do exist” (p. 62) across borders. For instance, in British and Scottish schools, writing is taught and done to learn and to inform (p. 63) while in India, “[C]omposition is taught in schools, and… the college level, but these contain grammatical descriptions, instructions, and illustrations of parsing, a few remarks on organizing narrative, descriptive, argumentative, and personal essays” (Kachru, p. 111) and in Germany, “[S]tudents in upper-level courses are given writing assignments intended to help them develop a deeper understanding of course materials and to examine authors’ ideas criti¬cally and independently” (Reichelt, p. 94). Instructional differences across borders also manifest in the medium used in teaching and institutional and discursive location of writing.
Against this rich global writing instruction scenario, I will discuss the following questions in my presentation:
1. How and to what extent does writing instruction across borders vary?
2. Can writing variations across cultures and spaces be explained by instructional variations?
3. What does the instructional variation across borders say about the writing preparation of our students in a globalized American composition classroom?
4. What adjustments and/or modifications should we make to our existing curricula, pedagogical approaches and instructional/composition media to cater to the needs of such a globalized classroom and student body?
Kachru, Yamuna (1988). Writers in Hindi and English. In Alan C. Purves (Ed.), Writing
Across Languages and Cultures: Issues in Contrastive Rhetoric, (pp. 109-137). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Purves, Alan C (2008). Writing Across Languages and Cultures: Issues in Contrastive
Rhetoric. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Reichelt, Melinda (2005). WAC Practices at the Secondary Level in Germany. A
National Journal for Writing Across the Curriculum. 16, 89-100.
Vahapassi, Anneli (1988). The Problems of Selection of Writing Tasks in Cross-Cultural
Study. In Alan C. Purves (Ed.), Writing Across Languages and Cultures: Issues in Contrastive Rhetoric, (pp. 51-79). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.