May JALT Event in Fukuoka
The executive committees of KOTESOL and Fukuoka JALT Chapter are proud to announce that Dr. Rodney E. Tyson is the recipient of Fukuoka JALT's "KOTESOL-Vetted Speaker Award", which was set up to bring noted presenters from Korea to Japan.
(To find out more about this award, please read the full text announcement.)


KOTESOL-Vetted Speaker Presentation:
Academic Writing and the Process Approach


Dr. Rodney E. Tyson


Sunday, May 17, 1998


2:00 to 5:00


Aso Foreign Language Travel College
Hakataekiminami 2-12-24
(10 minutes from Hakata Station on foot
- see the map in English or see the map in Japanese for details)


Free for JALT members; 1000 yen for non-members


Bill Pellowe, e-mail
Kevin O'Leary, phone (0942) 32-0101, fax 31-0372

During the past two decades or so, the process approach has become accepted as the most effective approach to teaching academic writing in many Western universities, both to native English-speakers and to ESL students (e.g., Caudery, 1995; Lindemann, 1987). In addition, some recent research suggests that many of the techniques and activities associated with the process approach, including group writing assignments, peer-editing, and multiple revisions, "serve to demystify the task of writing in a foreign language" as well as provide students with "valuable opportunities to learn from each other" (White & Caminero, 1995, p. 323). Still, the literature on teaching writing in Asian settings, including at the university level in Korea and Japan, indicates that both students and instructors often strongly resist using the process approach in favor of a more traditional approach that emphasizes grammar and explicit error correction (e.g., Brock, 1994; Jones, 1995; Kong, 1996; Pennington, Brock, & Yue, 1995).

The speaker will begin by presenting some relevant findings from his ongoing research into student attitudes toward a number of "process-oriented" techniques used in academic writing classes at two Korean universities over the past three years. (Parts of this research have been presented at two Asian TESOL conferences. See references.) Data will be presented from questionnaires, student reflective writing, and ethnographic description suggesting that some of these techniques, including use of multiple drafts, peer-editing, an emphasis on the "publication" of students' work, and instructor comments on early drafts that focus more on content and organization than grammatical correctness, helped students to produce better compositions as well as increase their motivation and self-confidence. In addition, it will be shown how use of the process approach can mean less work overall for the instructor as it transfers the main responsibility for learning to the students. The speaker will conclude this initial presentation with a list of general suggestions for implementing aspects of the process approach at all levels of university academic writing classes in a way that it is culturally-appropriate for Asian students. (This part of the presentation, excluding follow-up comments and questions, should take about 30-40 minutes.)

For most of the remainder of the afternoon, the audience will be divided into groups for discussion and completion of tasks provided by the speaker. Discussion questions will be designed to encourage participants to express their opinions, both positive and negative, about the use of the process approach in their individual teaching situations. Task materials will be provided, in the form of handouts and overhead transparencies, mainly from actual examples of writing produced by students in the speaker's classes (e.g., prewriting, first drafts, peer-editing, self-editing, final drafts). Participants will be encouraged to suggest ways for dealing with typical problems encountered in teaching academic writing at the university level (e.g., motivating students to write, responding to student writing, teaching various stages of the writing process). At a few points, groups will be asked to summarize their discussions for the entire audience in order to facilitate the sharing of ideas and to foster even more discussion. The main themes for the group discussions will be the following:

Usefulness/Applicability of the process approach:
Can the process approach work in your particular teaching situation? Why or why not? How can it be implemented? What resistance/problems would you probably face? If you have used the process approach or any of the techniques associated with it, what were the results?
Responding to students' writing:
Groups will be asked to make comments/corrections on one or more actual examples of student writing. Different groups may be asked to respond to different types of concerns (e.g., grammar only, content only, form only) and then compare results among groups and with the speaker's actual responses to the students' compositions.
Teaching students to peer- and self-edit:
These are tasks that are not easy and do not come naturally even to native speakers, yet are often included as exercises in writing textbooks and assigned to students without preparation. Groups will be asked to suggest way to "teach" students to perform these two important parts of the process approach. The speaker will share examples from his own experience and research.

The speaker will conclude with a very brief summary of the entire presentation, including responses to unanswered questions raised during group discussions.

Dr. Rodney E. Tyson, MATESOL and PhD (Second Language Acquisition and Teaching), is an Assistant Professor at Daejin University, Republic of Korea (South Korea). He has been teaching in Korea for 10 years.


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