A Study of English Writing by Native Chinese Freshmen : Teaching English Requires the Teaching of Culture(s)

| December 31, 2004
Title
A Study of English Writing by Native Chinese Freshmen : Teaching English Requires the Teaching of Culture(s)

Keywords: No Keyword

Authors
Dr. Yanpu Zhang
ELT Department at Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey

Bio Data
Yanpu Zhang has more than 22 years of research and teaching experience.
She taught in China for 12 years before 1996 at Norman Bethune
University of Medical Science (now known as Jilin Univeristy). She holds BA and MA in applied linguistics from Jilin University and Northeast Normal University respectively and a Ph.d from Australia.

Abstract
This article presents a study of English academic writing by native Chinese speakers. It explores the interactive relationship of topic influence, individual (cultural) stance and text types in different cultural contexts. Specifically, it argues that topic is an essential element in writing. In the data collected, it can be seen that the stance and position a writer takes towards different topics results in differences in text types and reveals the cultural contexts in which the essays were written. The study used texts about three different topics by the university freshmen of two cultural groups, adopting both Martin’s (1985) and Biber’s (1988) theory to examine the thematic components and full linguistic features (as confirmation of Themes analysis) of the texts. The findings have shown that, cross-culturally viewed, there are variations in the text type features across topics and the cultural contexts due to the stances taken. In different topics, the cultural stances and the positioning of the writers have significant effects on the text type structures created. The implications of this study suggest that the teaching of writing requires culture(s) to be an embedded concept in the teaching process.

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Category: Quarterly Journal