The Effect of Critical Language Awareness on EFL Learners’ Writing Ability

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

English Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of Guilan

Abstract

The present study sought to investigate the effect of Critical Language Awareness (CLA) on upper-intermediate EFL learners’ writing ability. Thirty-two EFL learners were selected based on their scores on a placement test and were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. In addition to the placement test, a five-paragraph essay writing test was administered to assess the participants’ writing ability through the use of a standardized rubric consisting of five categories of critical response, development of ideas, structure of response, word choice, and mechanics. The three-stage treatment which was based on the frameworks of Wallace (1992), Fairclough (1989) and Ivanic and Simpson (1992) was offered to the experimental group in twelve sessions. The result of independent samples t-tests did not show any significant effect of the treatment on the participants’ overall writing ability; however, when the categories were considered separately, the result was statistically significant in terms of critical response. The major implication of this study is for writing instructors who need to consider critical attitudes of the EFL learners as an important factor in their instruction.

Keywords


Ali, S. (2011). Critical language awarness in pedagogic context. English Language Teaching, 4(4), 28-35.

Aliakbarian, M. (2002). Culture in ELT programs: An evaluation of the issues of cultures in the Iranian EFL programs in high school level (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Isfahan University, Iran. 

Breuing, M. (2011). Problematizing critical pedagogy. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 3(3), 2-23.

Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy(2nded.). New York: Longman.

Brown, S. P. (2006). The value of enhancing students' critical awareness of discourse (Master's thesis). Retrieved from http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/documents/college-artslaw/cels/essays/writtendiscourse/brownmod4wd.pdf

Chaparro, S. (2014). The communicative burden of making others understand: Why criticallanguage awareness is a must in all ESL (and non-ESL) classrooms. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 29(1), 41-59.

Chastain, K. (1988). Developing second-language skills: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Virginia: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Clark, R. (1992). Principles and practice of CLA in the classroom. In N. Fairclough (Ed.), Critical language awareness (pp. 117-140). London: Pearson Education.

Clark, R., Fairclough, N., Ivanic, R., & Jones, M. M. (1987). CLSL Working Paper Series 1. University of Lancester: Center for Language in Social Life.

Cots, J. M. (2006). Teaching with an attitude: Critical discourse analysis in EFL teaching. ELT Journal, 60(4), 336-345.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power. New York: Longman.

Fairclough, N. (1992a). Critical linguistics. In W. Bright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of linguistics (pp. 314-315). New York: Oxford University Press.

Fairclough, N. (1992b). Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language (2nd  ed.).London: Longman.

Fernandez, P. G. (2005). Linguistic imperialism: A critical study. Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses, 18, 85-110.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: The Continuum International Publishing.

Geuss, R. (1981). The idea of  a critical theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt school.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent Sexism. Personality and Social Psychology, 70(3), 491-512.

Harlan, K. (2000). Foreign language textbooks in the classroom: Bridging the gap between second language acquisition theory and pedagogy. Honors Projects, Paper 5. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/hispstu_honproj/5

Hoodfar, H. (1992). Feminist anthropology and critical pedagogy: The anthropology of classrooms' excluded voices. Canadian Journal of Education, 17(3), 303-320.

Huang, S. Y. (2013). Revising identities as writers and readers through critical language awarness. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 12(3), 65-86.

Hutchinson, T., & Torress, E. (1994). The textbook as agent of change. ELT Journal, 48(4), 315-328.

Icmez, S. (2005). The impact of a critical reading course in the Turkish high school context. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://warap.warwick.ac.uk/40710

Ivanic, R., & Simpson, J. (1992). Who's who in academic writing. In N. Fairclough (Ed), Critical language awarness (pp. 140-173). London: Pearson Education.

Janks, H., & Ivanic, R. (1992). CLA and emancipatory discourse. In N. Fairclough (Ed.), Critical language awareness (pp. 305-331). London: Pearson Education.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching:From method to postmethod.New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Leki, I. (2003). A challange to second language writing professionals: Is writing overrated? In B. Kroll (Ed.), Exploring the dynamics of second language writing(pp. 315-332).Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maftoon, P., & Sabbaghan, S. (2010). Utilizing the analysis of social practices to raise critical language awareness in EFL writing courses. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(6), 815-824.

Meyer, M. (2001). Between theory, method, and politics: Positioning of the approach to CDA. In R. Wodak, & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (pp. 14-31). London: Sage.

Odina, T. A., Velazquez, B. B., Baumgartl, B., Ayala, M. C., Frutos, A. E., Jaurena, I. G., &Munoz, J. A. T. (2007). Racism: What it is and how to deal with it a guide to talking about racism (Vol. 8). (N. Konvalinka, Trans.) Madrid: Navreme.

Pike-Baky, M.,& Blass, L. (2008). Mosaic: Paragraph review & essay development. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education.

Pirozzi, R. (2003 ). Critical reading, critical thinking. New York: Longman.

Richards, J. C., &Renandya, W. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in languageteaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rivers, W. M. (1981). Teaching forign language skills (2nded.). Chicago: The University of Chicago.

Rogers, R. (Ed.). (2004). An introduction to critical discourse analysis in education. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sheldon, L. (1988). Evaluating ELT textbooks and materials. ELT Journal, 42(4),  237-246.

Silva, T., & Matsuda, P. K. (2002). Writing. In N. Schmitt (Ed.), An introduction to applied linguistics (pp. 251-266). New York: Oxford University Press.

Tahriri, A., & Moradpour, P. (2014). Gender representation in Top-Notch series: A critical discourse analysis perspective. International Journal of Research Studies in Psychology, 3(2), 39-52.

Talbot, M. (1992). The construction of gender in a teenager magazine. In N. Fairclough (Ed.), Critical language awareness (pp. 174-200). London: Pearson Education.

Tarnopolsky, O. (2000). Critical language awareness, accuracy of speech, and communication in EFL. TESL Reporter, 33(2), 18-29.

van Dijk, T. A. (1989). Mediating racism: The role of the media in the reproduction of the racism. In R. Wodak (Ed.), Language, power and ideology studies in political discourse (Vol. 7, pp. 199-226). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

van Dijk, T. A. (2001). Multidisciplinary CDA: A plea for diversity. In R. Wodak, & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (pp. 95-120). London: Sage.

Wallace, C. (1992). Critical literacy awarness in the EFL classroom. In N. Fairclough (Ed.), Critical language awareness (pp. 60-92). London: Pearson Education.

Wallace, C. (1999). Critical language awareness: Key principles for a course in critical reading. Language Awareness, 8(2), 98-110.

Wallace, C. (2003). Critical reading in language education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Widdowson, H. G. (2004). Text, context, pretext: Critical issues in discourse analysis. Malden: Blackwell.

Williams, M., & Burden, R. L. (1997). Psychology for language teachers: A social constructivist approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2001). Methods of critical discourse analysis. London:Sage.