Literate talk: Supporting EAL students’ academic writing

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Teaching Writing for Academic Purposes to Multilingual Students Instructional Approaches, 2017, pp. 115 - 129
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This chapter addresses academic writing instruction within the context of school education. Specifically, it addresses the notion of “literate talk” and the insights offered by this concept for teachers of academic writing across different curriculum disciplines. Although the notion of literate talk is perhaps better known within the context of school education, I would argue it is a concept that is equally relevant for those working with adult students who are seeking to develop their abilities with academic writing-whether those students are second language learners or native English speakers. As with a number of other educational metaphors (such as scaffolding), the value of literate talk lies both in its ability to capture something that is recognizable to teachers, and in the theoretical insights it offers. A key argument in the chapter is that theoretical understandings of the notion of literate talk can assist teachers in planning and implementing programs in ways that provide a bridge between students’ everyday oral language and their academic writing.
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