English Language Teaching World Online
Over the past decade, as the long institutionalized process writing pedagogy has been increasingly questioned, many teachers have found it a challenge to create viable classroom teaching philosophies and practices. As Richard Fulkerson (2005) has noted, there is currently a wide lack of consensus about how to teach writing. In this environment, it is not surprising that teachers sometimes tend to rely on commonsensical formulae to ground their instruction. In fact, this tendency toward formulaic teaching has been common in the field of writing instruction for a very long time, although it may have taken different forms. To give an example from the now distant (dead?) so-called “current-traditional” or product rhetoric, a number of Aristotelian topoi, which were originally used in classical rhetoric to interrogate topics in order to generate ideas for speeches, became formalized into “modes of discourse,” that is, as text types such as “the comparison/contrast paragraph/essay,” “the cause-effect paragraph/essay” or “the paragraph/essay developed by examples.” Many textbooks and composition courses were centered on applying these formulae to the classroom. This went on for decades, and indeed even to this day one can find textbooks (e.g., The Bedford Reader, 2006) and self-help books (and undoubtedly some teachers) advocating this approach to composition instruction.
Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods
MARTIN, James Edward.
Formulaic Writing Advice: A False Panacea. (2011). English Language Teaching World Online. 3,. Research Collection Centre for English Communication.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/cec_research/3