Monday, May 23, 2011

Research: Different Cultures and the Meaning of Writing

Question: Does the term “writing” have different meanings in different cultures?

Answer: Yes. And it will be helpful if we take  the trouble to define what we mean by “writing,” before we can discuss it.

Quote: “Previous research in writing has suggested a set of categories for describing the discrete acts involved in the activity of writing: terms such as planning, drafting, revising, and editing are the most common ones used.” P. 175.

Comment: There are cultures and cultures. For example, the culture of early elementary school in America in which “writing” is interpreted as “handwriting.” And then there is the culture of foreign countries. When I was a student at Syracuse University, two students from India had been trained to memorize a piece of information and then were required to write it. That was what “writing” meant to those students, not the writing process. Yes, I think it is important to define what we mean by “writing” before attempting to discuss how to teach it. RayS.

Title: “Viewpoints: Cultures, Text Models, and the Activity of writing.” Alan C. Purves and William C. Purves. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1986), pp. 174- 197.

No comments: