The Impact of Canadian Social Discourses on L2 Writing Pedagogy in Ontario

Amir Kalan


This paper attempts to illustrate the impact of Canadian social, political, and academic discourses on second language writing pedagogy in Ontario schools. Building upon the views that regard teacher knowledge as teachers’ sociocultural interactions and lived experiences, and not merely intellectual capabilities gained within teacher preparation, this article proposes that the impact of dominant social discourses on classroom practice might be more profound than teachers’ creativity and initiative. This idea is demonstrated by examining the findings of a grounded theory study of frequently employed strategies that can deal with intercultural rhetoric in EAL (English as an additional language) academic writing. Guided by Foucauldian critical discourse analysis, this article approaches the experiences of five Ontario EAL teachers with intercultural rhetoric in order to show the significance of the influence of dominant Canadian social discourses on their practice. This report, in particular, explores possible connections between the popularity of strategies that employ students’ first languages in EAL academic writing and dominant social, political, and academic discourses in Canada over the past 50 years. This paper, finally, poses questions about the future of EAL writing pedagogy as anti-multiculturalism discourses gain more dominance in Canada.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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