L2 writing instruction practices by TESOL trained and non-TESOL trained teachers

James Mckinley, Heath Rose

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The practice of teaching academic EFL writing with no formal training in TESOL or applied linguistics raises some important concerns regarding the impact on students’ writing education. Such a practice occurs in higher education, particularly in expanding circle countries, where the TESOL profession may be unregulated and ‘nativeness’ may be viewed as a qualification to teach English language. While some programs provide non-TESOL-trained teachers with a prescribed curriculum and possibly all materials, others do not, which raises the question: What do teachers do when TESOL training is not required and no curriculum is prescribed? In this yearlong study at a Japanese university, four English writing teachers (two TESOL trained and two not) were observed monthly in their writing classrooms. The teachers and sixteen of their students were interviewed monthly to add further insight into the practices observed. Findings revealed that teachers took very different approaches to the teaching of writing due to the lack of a prescribed curriculum; teachers also expelled different philosophies about teaching English academic writing, with TESOL-trained teachers basing their approaches in theory, and the non-TESOL trained teachers drawing on their own experiences. Despite these differences, all of the classes focused on thesis-based argumentative writing and utilized a process approach. However, the two TESOL-trained teachers focused on structures and forms, while the non-TESOL-trained teachers focused on writing as a tool to facilitate communication and critical thinking practices. These varying approaches resulted in different written output and learner comprehension (or confusion) about English academic writing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Sept 2016
EventSecond Language Research Forum - Columbia University, New York, USA United States
Duration: 22 Sept 201625 Sept 2016
Conference number: 35


ConferenceSecond Language Research Forum
Abbreviated titleSLRF
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CityNew York
Internet address


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