A critical review of foreign language writing research on pedagogical approaches

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A critical review of foreign language writing research on pedagogical approaches

The crucially important debate regarding what types of educational interventions are likely to reverse the underachievement of many bilingual students has degenerated into the adversarial discourse of courtroom lawyers with each side trying to "spin" the interpretation of research to fit its strongly held beliefs.

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From the time of my initial publications on this topic, I have argued that the research on bilingual education both in North America and from around the world is highly consistent in what it shows. I have also suggested that the research data can be largely accounted for by three theoretical principles that permit accurate predictions regarding student outcomes from any well-implemented bilingual program.

I am therefore disturbed to see what I have written sometimes misunderstood and misapplied by advocates of bilingual education and almost invariably distorted beyond recognition by opponents of bilingual education. I have also argued e.

Cummins, a, that bilingual education by itself is no panacea. The reasons why some groups of culturally diverse students experience long-term persistent underachievement have much more to do with issues of status and power than with linguistic factors in isolation.

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture

Thus, educational interventions that challenge the low status that has been assigned to a linguistic or cultural group are much more likely to be successful than those that reinforce this low status.

It follows that a major criterion for judging the likely efficacy of any form of bilingual education or all-English program is the extent to which it generates a sense of empowerment among culturally diverse students and communities by challenging the devaluation of students' identities in the wider society.

a critical review of foreign language writing research on pedagogical approaches

In principle, the incorporation of students' primary language into the instructional program should operate to challenge the devaluation of the community in the wider society, and thus contribute to students' academic engagement. Strong promotion of students' primary language literacy skills not only develops a conceptual foundation for academic growth but also communicates clearly to students the value of the cultural and linguistic resources they bring to school.

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However, only a small proportion of bilingual programs specifically two-way bilingual immersion and developmental [late-exit] programs aspire to develop students' first language literacy skills and it is therefore primarily these programs that would be expected to succeed in reversing the underachievement of bilingual students.

In this paper I restate what my own empirical research and that of many others is clearly saying and also outline the theoretical principles that permit us to explain these findings and predict the outcomes of various types of programs for bilingual students.

Then I attempt to move beyond the divisive discourse of courtroom lawyers to search for areas of agreement in the perspectives and interpretations of both opponents and advocates of bilingual education.

I believe that there are many such areas of agreement and focusing on them might provide a starting point for reconstructing a viable research-based approach to reversing a legacy of school failure. Research Findings on Language Learning and Bilingual Education The research is unambiguous in relation to three issues: This is frequently exacerbated by the temptation for teachers to encourage students to give up their first language and switch to English as their primary language of communication; however, the research evidence suggests that this retards rather than expedites academic progress in English Cummins, a; Dolson, The major implication of these data is that we should be looking for interventions that will sustain bilingual students' long-term academic progress rather than expecting any short-term "quick-fix" solution to students' academic underachievement in English.

The Positive Effects of Additive Bilingualism There are well over empirical studies carried out during the past 30 or so years that have reported a positive association between additive bilingualism and students' linguistic, cognitive, or academic growth. The term "additive bilingualism" refers to the form of bilingualism that results when students add a second language to their intellectual tool-kit while continuing to develop conceptually and academically in their first language.

The educational implication of these research studies is that the development of literacy in two or more languages entails linguistic and academic benefits for individual students in addition to preparing them for a working environment in both domestic and international contexts that is increasingly characterized by diversity and where knowledge of additional languages represents a significant human resource.

Interdependence of First and Second Languages The interdependence principle has been stated as follows Cummins, a: To the extent that instruction in Lx is effective in promoting proficiency in Lx, transfer of this proficiency to Ly will occur provided there is adequate exposure to Ly either in school or environment and adequate motivation to learn Ly.

Consider the following research data that support this principle: In virtually every bilingual program that has ever been evaluated, whether intended for linguistic majority or minority students, spending instructional time teaching through the minority language entails no academic costs for students' academic development in the majority language.

This is borne out in the review of research carried out by Rossell and Baker as well as by the 30 chapters describing an extremely large number of bilingual programs in countries around the globe in the volume edited by Cummins and Corson It is worth noting, as Genesee points out, that these findings also apply to the relationships among very dissimilar languages in addition to languages that are more closely related, although the strength of relationship is often reduced e.

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Fitzgerald's comprehensive review of U. This supports a prominent current view that native-language development can enhance ESL reading.

a critical review of foreign language writing research on pedagogical approaches

Furthermore, the relationship between first and second language literacy skills suggests that effective development of primary language literacy skills can provide a conceptual foundation for long-term growth in English literacy skills. Misconceptions and Distortions The research data are very specific in what they are saying:González-Bueno M., & Pérez L.

C. Electronic mail in foreign language writing: A study of grammatical and lexical accuracy, and quantity of language. Foreign Language Annals, 33 (2), – I think this is one of the most important issues in education today, and one that needs to be talked about. As the new school year is beginning, it is critical to have good classroom management.

Research About WebQuests. There are many graduate students world wide conducting thesis and dissertation research on the effectiveness of WebQuests. “ A Critical Review of Foreign Language Writing Research on Pedagogical Approaches.” The Modern Language Journal – doi: / [Crossref], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]) posited that ESL and Foreign Language writing in American universities are quite distinct from each other.

In this course, learners are introduced to second or foreign language theories and practices for teaching and assessing English. Learners will also be introduced to basic studies in second language acquisition and their pedagogical implications. Language education refers to the process and practice of acquiring a second or foreign language.

It is primarily a branch of applied linguistics, however can be considered an interdisciplinary field. There are four main learning categories for language education: communicative competencies, proficiencies, cross-cultural experiences, and multiple literacies.

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