Theory and Practice in Foreign Language Writing Instruction

Michael D. Hubert, Joshua D. Bonzo


Foreign language (FL) instruction in the United States currently suffers from a lack of consensus regarding the teaching of writing within the FL curricula. Despite a series of advances in second language (L2) writing theory, many university FL instructors continue to use writing to focus almost exclusively on language surface form and do not encourage/require their students to focus on other deeper functions of writing. This case study investigated levels of knowledge of four of the most important L2 writing theories among 10 FL faculty members responsible for first and second-year FL curricula working at 6 U.S. universities. Participants also provided materials they use to teach FL writing and participated in a series of classroom observations which showcased their teaching of writing in the classroom. Results revealed overall very low levels of knowledge and implementation of mainstream L2 writing research among these participants.


Foreign language writing instruction; curriculum; second language writing; case study

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ISSN 2045-4031. University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013.