Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Native-English Speaking Instructors Teaching Writing in China

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This article presents two separate but related studies on native-English speaking (NES) instructors’ teaching writing practice in Chinese universities. One study is a case study that explores the teaching practice of three NES instructors’ writing instruction in a southern Chinese university as well as students’ responses to their practice. Another study takes on an auto-ethnographic approach, in which the researcher retrospectively examines his own writing instruction as a college NES instructor in China with his new understanding of Bakhtin’s dialogic theory and theories of multi/biliteracy. The pairing of these two studies, methodologically and conceptually, illustrates the NES instructors’ teaching experiences in China from both an outsider and an insider’s perspectives. The findings of the studies indicate that one of the key factors that hinder the effectiveness in teaching writing in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts is the doctrine of ‘native fallacy’ widespread in the EFL field. This is an ethnocentric view of treating English as a hegemonic practice that drives EFL students to reach native-like English proficiency in both their English speaking and writing. The article concludes with a call for a paradigm shift in teaching and learning in the EFL field, which requires fundamental changes in the view of English from ‘native English’ to World Englishes or an international language for today’s globalized community.

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Changing English