A Comparison and Contrast of Discourse Patterns among Three Groups Essays and the Implications for Teaching English Writing in Chinese Tertiary Education.

| September 17, 2012
Title
A Comparison and Contrast of Discourse Patterns among Three Groups Essays and the Implications for Teaching English Writing in Chinese Tertiary Education.

Keywords: : contrasting analysis, rigid discourse pattern, language and cultural acquisition, cross-culture awareness, topic sentence, ways of developing paragraphs, coherence unity, thesis statement

Authors
Zhi Hong
China Agricultural University (China)

Linda Van Doren
Colorado School of English (USA)

Jianghong
China Agricultural University (China)

Abstract
This paper analyzes discourse patterns among three groups of English learners at the China Agricultural University by means of criteria of English writing conventions, and puts an emphasis on conducting a critical literature review of various research, theories, claims and points of view.
The three groups studied are:
Group A: public school English learners who major in subjects other than English (e.g., agriculturally relevant subjects)
Group B: English majors
Group C: students whose major is business but who are taught in an English setting

The purpose of this research is to find a feasible solution to common problems among Chinese students writing in English such as : fixed discourse patterns, inadequacy of using creative language and lack of a variety of sentence patterns or word choice caused by test-oriented instruction in English writing of Chinese tertiary education.
After comparing and contrasting the features of the discourse patterns among these three groups, the writers challenge the theory of contrastive rhetoric by Kaplan by asserting that a linear discourse pattern, a mixture of a linear plus a spiral structure and a spiral discourse patterns co-exist in Chinese students English writing instead of only one rhetorical pattern in oriental language. The differences may result from cultural factors, different English learning environments, varied language teaching goals and curriculum.
The writers suggest a new approach in teaching English to Chinese students – contrasting approach in the teaching of English writing so as to improve Chinese undergraduates English writing competence from a cross-cultural perspective in a conscious way.

Article to follow[private] [/private]

Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 14 Issue 3