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TEACHING ACADEMIC WRITING THROUGH THE USE OF REFLECTIONS
Mira M. Alameddine* and Sarah Eid
Schools in Lebanon are divided into two types: Anglophone and Francophone. These schools use English and French respectively, as the teaching language of the main subjects. Usually, these schools teach the second foreign language (English or French) as a third or foreign language. For instance, French speaking schools teach English as a third foreign language (EFL). These learners usually go to private universities that use English as the medium of instruction and therefore become in need of learning academic English. English as a Second Language (ESL) learners usually develop their skills of academic writing in formal instructional settings. However, their cognitive development, emotional experiences and their command of the second language (L2) might affect their proficiency in academic writing. Both ESL instructors and learners recognize academic writing as one of the most demanding features of learning English. ESL learners, particularly those coming from French background in Lebanon, find difficulties in writing persuasive and argumentative texts. This is due to the fact that to be able to produce such texts, writers have to understand the linguistic features of persuasive and argumentative texts (Hyland, 2003). In addition, being able to write cohesively according to the conventions of a specific academic context is even harder for L2 learners to accomplish (Flowerdew, 2002). One strategy to facilitate such learning is through active scaffolding process in the early stages of teaching and analyzing (Ahn, 2012). The aim of this study is examining the effects of applying a genre approach, reflection, to develop academic writing in a Lebanese local university. The genre approach has been used with English sophomore level learners during a 45-hour course. Data is collected through essays the learners wrote throughout the course. The evaluation of the essays reveals that the learners’ analytical abilities and their writing products has improved. This improvement gives the learners confidence in their abilities which in turn makes them overcome their fear of writing.[Full Text Article]