Volume 18 (2011)
Much Writing Begets Good Writing: Some Considerations for Teaching Writing in an Anglophone Creole Context
Writing for academic purposes is, without doubt, an extremely difficult task for many university students in the Anglophone Creole context. The teaching of writing to many of these students is equally challenging because instructors must find effective ways of helping them to become proficient writers of what is, in reality, a second language for them, even though it is not treated in this manner. This paper is a conceptual/theoretical one in which I maintain that the difficulty that many university students in Jamaica encounter in their attempts to write Standard Jamaican English (SJE) is the result of their unfamiliarity with the language in both written and spoken forms. The demands of academic writing are overwhelming for many who are unaware of the differences - syntactic and otherwise - between the SJE and Jamaican Creole (JC). Theories related to language learning in general, and writing in a second language, which SJE is for many, are used to frame the discussions. Additionally, I maintain that students will improve with more practice in writing a wide variety of texts of different genres with more frequency, and recommend a model that combines the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and second language teaching strategies to provide students with the regular practice that will facilitate the development of their linguistic competences in SJE, so as to meet the demands of writing for formal and academic situations.
Keywords: University Students; Writing; English; Language Education; Creole-Speaking Students; Teaching Methods; Jamaica