Ken Hyland

May 18, 2021

Second Language Writing

Cambridge University Press 2019

Listen to this interview of Ken Hyland, Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education at the University of East Anglia, UK. We talked about his book Second Language Writing (Cambridge UP, 2019), the importance of reflection to teaching, and about the importance of teaching to research, and about the importance of research to reflection.

Interviewer: "I wonder whether second language writing isn't sometimes identifying itself too closely with language learning, and not–––well, it should be writing in a second language, shouldn't it? You know, put something up front which is what this is really about."

Ken Hyland: "Yeah, I think that one thing that an emphasis on second language writing has given us is the recognition that writing is important. I don't think that there is a university anywhere now that doesn't have a writing center or at least an office where students can go and get consultation about their texts. Writing has been recognized as important, and also in native-English-speaking contexts as well, and in UK universities. And in fact, when we look at writing at advanced levels, like PhDs and writing for publication, language doesn't really come into it anymore. It's a rhetorical issue. And this crude native/nonnative polarization I think breaks down entirely. You know, it's counterproductive, because it demoralizes second-language writers who are trying to get their PhD or publish in journals, and it ignores the very real writing problems experienced by native English speakers, by L1s, you know. So, the L1s get ignored, in favor of the L2s, who get the courses, but everyone's unhappy because it's seen as a language issue rather than as a writing issue."

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Daniel Shea

Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.

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