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English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v6 n1 p132-150 May 2007

The present study aims to explore the role of Chinese EFL learners' rhetorical strategy use in relation to their achievement in English writing in Taiwan. It has been argued that traditional Chinese text structures (indirect style) continue to influence the contemporary English writing of Chinese students in expository writing text. The manner of Chinese communication style and the origin of traditional Chinese text structures, in particular the four-part qi-cheng-zhuan-he and the eight-legged essay structures were examined. In considering their influence upon the expository writing of Chinese students, it is argued that, although these conventions do influence Chinese students' writing in Chinese to some extent, they are unlikely to exert a great influence upon their writing in English. Data were selected from students in 10 university academic English writing classes in Taiwan (n = 116 in total). English expository writings produced by 40 high- and low-achieving students indicate that they were mainly in contemporary Anglo-American direct rhetorical style rather than in traditional Chinese indirect style. In addition, from interviews with students, the findings show that teachers' writing instruction may be a crucial factor to influence students' writing rhetorical strategy use. (Contains 2 footnotes and 2 tables.)

Descriptors: Expository Writing, Foreign Countries, Role Perception, Text Structure, Rhetorical Invention, Interference (Language), Chinese, English for Academic Purposes, Interviews, Student Surveys, Communication Strategies, Contrastive Linguistics, Discourse Modes, Structural Analysis (Linguistics)

Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail: wmier[at]; Web site:

Autor: Chien, Shih-Chieh


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