Writing Instruction in an EFL Context: Learning to Write or Writing to Learn Language?

Subrata Bhowmik

University of Calgary

sbhowmik@ucalgary.ca

DOI: https://doi.org/10.36832/beltaj.2021.0501.03

Abstract

Writing is an important skill to function effectively in a foreign language. In an EFL context, writing is all the more important as a high percentage of students learn English for academic and professional purposes that require advanced writing skills. In the most recent scholarship of L2 writing, arguments have emerged regarding whether the focus of writing instruction should be to teach students how to write effectively in the target language, or how they should use writing to learn the language. Eliciting the main tenets around both these theoretical orientations, the current paper examines writing instruction in EFL contexts and makes the case that the learn-to-write and write-to-learn language approaches are not mutually exclusive. The paper further posits that learner needs should pivot L2 writing instruction in EFL contexts, and that approaches to L2 writing instruction need to be flexible and adaptable.

Keywords: L2 Writing; Learn-to-Write; Write-to-Learn Language; EFL; L2 Learning