Chan Mei Yuit & Yap Ngee Thai (2010) Encouraging participation in public discourse through online writing in ESL instruction, 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies Vol 16 (2) 2010
In recent years, writing instructors have started to adopt pedagogies that integrate classroom writing with happenings outside the classroom (see Weisser, 2001; Flower, 2008; Mathieu, 2005). The goal of writing instruction is no longer limited to competence in terms of language, style and techniques, but is expanded to encompass civic literacy. This orientation of writing especially at university level intertwines with the aim of higher education to produce individuals who are empowered to contribute towards a better world through participation in public discourse. In a study conducted at Universiti Putra Malaysia, 1,400 students were required to write publicly in an online forum on issues that affect the lives of the students and the community in which they belong. This paper presents the results of the study and discusses the contribution of a public orientation in ESL writing instruction in fostering ability and motivation to participate in public discourse among university students.
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