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Conference papers

Raising awareness of L2 writer identity through intercultural exchange

Abstract : The relationship between writing competence and identity has been increasingly investigated in the research literature. Writing competence entails more than simply the words that are communicated through the act of writing, but also represents the writer’s identity in terms of her or his relationship with (similar) others, how she or he is connected to others, what power relations regulate the relationship between the individual and the group, etc. One particular difficulty encountered by L2 writers is the need to construct a writer’s identity in another language that is not exactly like the one they are used to working with in their L1, and of which they may not even be aware. Raising awareness of their own cultural assumptions as writers is as important in shaping writer competence as helping them to see differences between their cultural L1 writer identity and that of the L2. An international writing research project of the scope described in this study is well-suited to addressing this need. In this presentation, we will present results from an ongoing international collaborative project between undergraduate and graduate writers from two universities: Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. A previous phase of the study examined the effects of intercultural peer review on the writing strategies of second year students at the two universities. In the current phase, we will study the effects of the exchange between advanced undergraduate students (U. Mich) and graduate students in technical communication (UBP) on the development of their notions of audience, especially as it pertains to their awareness of the constraints of writing for international audiences. The intercultural peer review is a strong tool for learning about one’s writer identity and about constructing appropriate voice. Although peer review is not typically used in the NNE writing classroom in French universities and students had little to no experience with the technique, the intercultural peer review allowed them to gain a better understanding of how to construct their voices for an international audience. In particular, it was interesting to observe the individual carry-through in the expression of voice as a result of collaborative work on raising rhetorical and genre awareness. Because voice is both socially and culturally situated, students were brought to reflect on their multiple identities (social, cultural and personal) and how these identities come to be portrayed in their own and others’ writing.
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Contributor : Dacia Dressen-Hammouda Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 9, 2015 - 6:16:41 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 11:40:02 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01128519, version 1



Dacia Dressen-Hammouda. Raising awareness of L2 writer identity through intercultural exchange. Writing Research Across Borders II Conference, Feb 2011, Fairfax, VA, United States. ⟨hal-01128519⟩



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