Monday, March 25, 2013

New Resources: Two Articles by Donna Bain Butler

I am thrilled to offer two articles from contributor Donna Bain Butler today. First is a study by Professors Bain Butler, Wei, and Zhou on "Cultural Influence in Academic English Writing: An International Perspective," published in InterCom. The study looks at two groups of graduate student writers, Thai and Chinese, and tries to "distinguish between academic cultures" and to "identify the strategies they use for composing academic English assignments and abstracts."

Because of the pervasiveness of English language instruction around the world, it should not be surprising that students come to the United States with preconceived notions of what is academic English writing. In fact, as the study finds, the students' varying cultural backgrounds mean their notions of academic writing and the writing process in English may be quite different from one another.

Link to the article:

The second paper by Professor Bain Butler concerns content-based language teaching (CBLT), such as teaching legal writing to foreign-trained lawyers. "Integrating Content and Language Learning" was submitted to the École de langues at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) Meeting on English Language Teaching (MELT), August 21, 2012, and published in the proceedings.

In the Discussion section, Bain Butler expands on three general CBLT principles to develop communicative competence: "(1) increasing sources of information; (2) decreasing complexity of concept, text, or task; and (3) increasing interaction." She also discusses giving L2 writers concrete tools to improve their writing process as well as encouraging L2 writers to evaluate their own writing product.

The paper is a must read for anyone teaching content-based courses to non-native English speakers, especially in an academic (legal) writing setting. In addition to the topics mentioned above, Professor Bain Butler touches on cross-cultural literacy and plagiarism, student-centered teaching, and collaboration between disciplines.

Link to the article [PDF]:

No comments:

Post a Comment