Cross-cultural rhetoric awareness and writing strategies of EFL learners: Implications for writing pedagogy

2014 IJRSLL – Volume 3 Issue 5


Ghanbari, Batoul*
Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran (


This study investigates how differences in rhetoric awareness relate to differences in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) writing strategies employed by learners in a context of an Iranian English language institute. It is hypothesized that learners with extensive exposure to English rhetorical and cultural preferences for essay organization and argument structure resources may have a better command of the nuances of rhetorical structure than those who do not. In order to know if such a difference has any implication for the use of composition strategies, a group of 22 advanced learners in a language institute were asked to take a discourse cloze test designed in a way to measure their awareness of English rhetoric. Upon the completion of the test, two groups (N=10 in each) of English rhetoric aware and rhetoric unaware participants were formed. Later, two learners were randomly selected from each group to verbalize their thoughts when writing an argumentative essay. The analysis of the think aloud protocols along with the following stimulated recall interviews with them revealed noticeable qualitative and quantitative differences in strategy use between the English rhetoric aware and unaware writers. Findings of the study suggest that along with a new turn in contrastive rhetoric studies on the one hand and post-process movement in writing on the other hand, wider perspectives in contrastive rhetoric studies which incorporates process and cognitive views when delineating issues in writing pedagogy should be taken into account.

Keywords: contrastive rhetoric; process approach; writing strategies; rhetoric aware; rhetoric unaware; EFL writing



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