Learning to Write, Writing to Learn
Writing is a highly complex task that integrates cognitive processing, deployment of linguistic skills, and an awareness of the social context in which written communication unfolds. Writing instruction in the context of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language is particularly challenging since students are learning at the same time lexical and grammatical constructions as well as generic conventions. In response to these challenges, I adopted the genre-text-grammar model of language teaching to design a website for developing the writing proficiency of Chinese language learners in their transition from the intermediate to the advanced level. For each text selected, the website maps out its three layers—structure, grammar, and cohesion—and helps students to recognize and use these codes of writing effectively and efficiently. In this talk, I will start with this project’s theoretical framework, then move on to the process of website development, where I will use sample texts to demonstrate how it works. I will conclude with an assessment plan and the potential application of this website across different levels of Chinese language courses at Princeton and beyond.