A Meta-Analysis of Studies of Contrastive Rhetoric in Iran

4 April 2018

A Meta-analysis of Studies of Contrastive Rhetoric in Iran Z. Jalali, N Fallah, Supervisor: A. Zare-ee Abstract The present work briefly summarizes the history of research in the area of contrastive rhetoric. It then summarizes the work in the area of contrastive rhetoric done in Iran.

The paper points to the fact that in Iran contrastive rhetoric studies have focused on a) linguistic and rhetorical patterns as reflected in L1 and L2 writings of learners, b) discovering writing behaviors, c) meta-discourse in applied linguistics, d) the impact of EFL learners rhetorical organizations in English text comprehension and that they have found that there is a correlation between L1 writing behaviors and L2 writing behaviors and also in most cases L1 writing is longer and more complex . Furthermore, cultural specific factors influence L2 writings.

Those who write in meaningful context with potential and practical audience in mind are found to be competent writers.

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Besides, sufficient knowledge of discourse patterns and markers will also be helpful in text comprehension and writing quality respectively. Keywords: Contrastive Rhetoric, Iran, Review 1. Introduction Contrastive rhetoric has its origin in hypothesis of linguistic relativity. Benjamin Whorf, a student of Sapir’s, elaborated on the ideas of Sapir, as the following quotation shows: This study shows that the forms of a person’s thoughts are controlled by inexorable laws of patterns of which he is unconscious.

These patterns are the un-perceived intricate systematizations of his own language – shown readily enough by a candid comparison and contrast with other languages, especially those of a different linguistic family. This thinking itself is in a language – in English, in Sanskrit, in Chinese. And every language is a vast pattern-system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained the forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of relationship and phenomena, channels his reasoning, and builds the house of his consciousness (Carroll, 1956).

The first person to mention it was Robert Kaplan in his article ‘Cultural Thought Patterns in Intercultural Education’ in 1966. He reinforced the weak form of relativity which says one’s native language affects his thought. He also said that different languages have their own patterns of writing. According to this model, Kaplan (1966) has distinguished different paragraph patterns unique to each language. For example, he described the structure of English composition as linear which shows the ideas and thoughts of English people.

So these can approve the Whorfian hypothesis that language can have great effect on thought. So the first language can influence the writing of second language. The point that Kaplan (1966) tried to make is that “paragraph developments other than those normally regarded as desirable in English do exist” (p. 14). Although English has a different pattern, as far as Kaplan was concerned, “It is not a better nor a worse system than any other, but it is different. ”(p. 3). Kaplan’s (1966) article has come to be known popularly as the “doodles article”. There are many definitions available for this notion.

As Connor (1996: 5) defines it: “Contrastive rhetoric examines problems in composition encountered by second language writers and attempts to explain them by referring to the rhetorical strategies of the first language”. Also Kaplan wrote: Logic (in the popular rather than the logician’s sense of the word) which is the basis of rhetoric is evolved out of culture; it is not universal. Rhetoric, then, is not universal either, but varies from culture to culture and even from time to time within a given culture. It is affected by canons of taste within a given culture at a given time. 1966, 2) Kaplan believed that the first language cultural patterns of thought and writing interfere with patterns of second language writing. In Connor’s view (1996, p. 5), Language and writing are cultural phenomena. As a direct consequence, each language has rhetorical conventions unique to it. Furthermore… the linguistic and rhetorical conventions of the first language interfere with writing in the second language. These findings can be summarized into two points 1. Rhetorical conventions are language and culture specific 2. The rhetorical conventions of L1 interfere with the writing of L2 .

After decades of research, recently there has been a shift in the field of contrastive rhetoric from purely structural to an interest in “cognitive and sociocultural variables of writing in addition to the linguistic variables” (Connor, 1996, p. 18). Also, it has been expanded from the view of linguistic transfer from L1 to L2 to an interdisciplinary view of cross-cultural study including different fields of study such as applied linguistics, composition and rhetoric studies, anthropology, translation studies and discourse analysis (Connor, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005).

As summarized by Connor (1997), some internal and external forces has caused this change. The internal force which required contrastive rhetoric to goes beyond traditional view of linguistic analysis to consider discursive features, processes and contexts of writing. The external forces resulted from new developments in discourse analysis and changing focuses in first language composition research. 2. Contrastive Rhetorical Studies In Iran In the following table (Table2. 1) the most important themes and features in these studies are briefly presented. Its data have been arranged from the most recently published articles to the oldest ones.

Table 2. 1 : Recent Contrastive Rhetoric studies in Iran Author| year| sample| aim| Instrument ; method| Major finding| Esmail Faghih| 2009| Native speakers of English, Iranians (as non-natives of English),| Contrastive rhetoric of English and Persian written texts: Meta-discourse in applied linguistics research articles| Chi-square tests| Academic writings differs in rhetorical strategies using meta-discourse type because of the participants mother tongues| Abbas Zare-Ee, Mohammad Taghi Farvardin| 2009| 30 students enrolled in an EFL writing class in English Translation at the University of Kashan, Iran. Comparison of university level EFl learners’ linguistic and rhetorical patterns as reflected in their L1 and L2 writing| Composition task| There is a moderate positive correlation between L1 and L2 writing | Zahra Amirian| 2009| English and Persian Research Articles| A Contrastive Intercultural Analysis of the English and Persian Research Articles: The Case of the Discussion Sections| Randomized selection procedure was used for the articles| While there is a kind of universality in the moves across English and Persian Discussion sections, there are some discrepancies in the frequency and sequence of these moves. Hossein Shokouhi1 And Amrollah Talati Baghsiahi| 2009 | Ten English RAs| Metadiscourse functionsin english and persian sociology articles| The ten English RAs we finally selected randomly| Frequency of textual metadiscourse markers is greater than the interpersonal markers in both language samples| Alireza Jalilifar| 2008| 90 Iranian students who were selected from two universities. Discourse Markers in Compositin Writings| Descriptive composition writing| The use of discourse markers effective in enhancing the subjects’ composition writing quality| Ismail baroudy| 2008| Student-writers| To comprehensively specify and cover almost all types of writing behaviours| Questionnaire| Student- writers write in a meaningful context with potential or practical audience in mind. | Dr. S. M. Zia Houseini1 K.

Derakhshan2| 2007| Students with shared LI background, i. e. Farsi, studying English Translation at Allameh Tabatabaii University| Finding whether the performances of the Iranian students studying English in an EEL context are consistent in LI and L2 writing tasks and whether there is a cross-linguistic transfer | Michigan test four composition tasks| There is a systematic difference which pointed in the direction of transfer from LI to L2. Soryya Vahidi| 2006| Two groups in two faculties of the University of Tehran| The Impact of EFL Learners’ Rhetorical OrganizationAwareness on English Academic/Expository TextComprehension| Experimental| Relationship between knowledge of text integration and text comprehension| Habib Soleimani| 2001| Iranian EFL and non-EFL students| To find out how the writing performance in the English and Farsi are related, i. e. is writing ability transferable through languages? Compositions, one in English and one in Farsi| Those EFL participants who were able to write a better composition in their first language, wrote a better composition in the second language| Nasser Alikhani| 1997| 80 Iranian students| A contrastive rhetoric of Farsi an Engilish Rhetoric with regard to writing ability, Topic, L2 proficiency, and gender performance| 3compositions of different rhetorical types i. e. classification, argumentation, definition in each language| Those who produce better writing in their mother tongue did not nessecerilily wrote better in Engilish.

L2 proficency proved to be an influencing factor in L2 writing| Samples| Iranian EFL students| Journal Articles| Native speakers and non- native speakers| Two groups in two faculties| | 6| 60%| 2| 20%| 1| 10%| 1| 10%| Instruments| composition| questionnaire| cross language articles| text reading comprehension| | 6| 60%| 1| 10%| 2| 20%| 1| 10%| 3. Table’s Analysis There only ten articles on this topic and they have mostly been published in recent years i. e. 2009 in Iran.

But, still more work should be done to fully capture the whole dimensions of contrastive rhetoric including sociocultural and pragmatic variations in different discourses. This indicates the fact that this topic is new and needs more attention. The focus of most of these researches is on writings of EFL students, which is the main focus of contrastive rhetoric and their writings shows an effect of the students’ L1 writing structures and their cultures. A brief analysis of these tables shows that most of the researches have used the qualitative method with the application of composition.

They have made use of four types of instruments: composition 60%, questionnaire 10%, cross language articles 20%, text reading comprehension 10% and this can be due to different factors such as literacy and macro structures of discourse or may be the practicality of composition in this area. A brief look at the participant section of these tables reveals that they are university students in 70% of the articles. 20% of the article has used journal articles for analysis. About 10% of the articles have focused on English text that has been written by native and non-native speakers.

As it can be interpreted, the foci of these studies are on learners of EFL because they are more available. Besides, the teaching of the culture and familiarizing with particular genre specific to each discourse are the main themes of these articles. This analysis indicates that the authors are mostly interested in improving EFL students’ writing. These studies confirm the overall notions of contrastive rhetoric. They are in line with the idea that more attention needs to be paid to global issues rather than local ones in second language writing.

According to the results of these studies students can produce long complex sentences in their L1 writings, and rarely do they do the same in their L2. But they can utilize discourse markers and patterns to improve their writing. Furthermore, it indicates that the use of rhetorical strategies will be different regarding their mother tongue. Culture specific factors also play an important role in this field. Besides, if students are good at their L1 writings, their performance will be better in their L2 writing too. 4. Analysis of individual studies T able 3. 1. 1. Comparison of university level EFl learners’ linguistic and rhetorical patterns as reflected in their L1 and L2 writing; Abbas Zare-ee, Mohammad Taghi Farvardin; 2009 Author(s) | Abbas Zare-ee, Mohammad Taghi Farvardin| Year of publication| 2009 | Title | comparison of university level EFl learners’ linguistic and rhetorical patterns as reflected in their L1 and L2 writing| Place of publication| Novitas-ROYAL _| Page numbers| 143-155| Research question/objective| 1.

Is there any relationship between Persian-speaking university EFL learners’ holistic writing scores on Persian and English argumentative tasks? 2. Are there any significant differences between the total number of words written by Persian-speaking university EFL learners for an in-class argumentative task in both Persian and English? 3. Are there any significant differences between the total number of sentences written by Persian-speaking university EFL learners for an in-class argumentative task in both Persian and English? . Are there any significant differences between mean number of words per sentence written by Persian-speaking university EFL learners for an in-class argumentative task in both Persian and English? 5. Are there any significant differences between the total number of T-units written by Persian-speaking university EFL learners for an in-class argumentative task in both Persian and English? | Methods| Qualitative , composition task, open ended |

Participants| A total of 30 students enrolled in an EFL writing class (M=9, F=21) participated in the present study and provided the Persian and English writing samples needed for the analyses. This quasi-experimental design for data collection was selected to allow for the control of performance conditions. The participants, aged from 19 to 22, were second-year intermediate learners based on their placement records and institutional proficiency records. They were majoring in English Translation at the University of Kashan, Iran. Results| The results of the study showed that: a) there was a moderate positive correlation (r=0. 47 p;0. 05) between L1 and L2 writing total scores, b) texts written in L1 were significantly longer than those written in L2, c) L1 writing texts were more complex than L2 writing ones in terms of T-units, d) T-units in texts written in L1 were more than those written in L2, and e) the number of spelling errors in L2 writing samples were higher than those of L1 writing samples. | As Summarized in table 3. 1. , Zare-ee and Farvardin (2009) studied the rhetorical organization of 30 EFL students writings and found that a) there was a moderate positive correlation (r=0. 47 p;0. 05) between L1 and L2 writing total scores, b) texts written in L1 were significantly longer than those written in L2, c) L1 writing texts were more complex than L2 writing ones in terms of T-units, d) T-units in texts written in L1 were more than those written in L2, and e) the number of spelling errors in L2 writing samples were higher than those of L1 writing samples. Table 3. 2. 2.

Discourse Markers in Composition Writings: The Case of Iranian Learners of English as a Foreign Language; Alireza Jalilifar; 2008 Author(s) | Alireza Jalilifar| Year of publication| December 2008| Title | Discourse Markers in Composition Writings: The Case of Iranian Learners of English as a Foreign Language| Place of publication| www. ccsenet. org/journal/html| Page numbers| 114-122| Research question/objective| 1. To what extent are DMs used in the compositions of students? 2. What is the relationship between the use of DMs and the composition writing experience of students? Methods| 2. 2 InstrumentsThis study made use of two instruments for the purpose of gathering data. Descriptive composition writing was assigned to students to write on the topics, selected by the researchers. Fraser’s (1999) taxonomy includes three main subclasses. The first are contrastive markers that signal that the explicit interpretation of the second sentence contrasts with an interpretation of the first sentence. The second subcategory is elaborative markers that signal a quasi parallel relationship between the sentences.

And the third subclass, inferential markers, signal that the following sentence is a conclusion derived from the preceding sentence. Besides, Fraser (1999) distinguishes additional subclasses of discourse markers that specify that the following sentence provides a reason for the content presented in the previous sentence. While Fraser’s first class of DMs involves the relationship between aspects of the explicit message of the second segment and either an implicit or explicit message of the first segment, his second class of DMs are distinguished by focus on topic, and so he calls them topic relating markers. . 3 ProcedureThe experiment was conducted within 8 successive weeks. Without any instruction, each week the participants were given a topic on which to write compositions individually within an hour for eight weeks. The total number ofcompositions delivered to the researcher by junior, senior, and graduate students was 197, 190, and 211 respectively,(598 compositions overall). During and after writing they received no feedback.

Then, to reduce the danger of subjectivity in analyzing the compositions and to increase the reliability of results, two other applied linguistics instructors analyzed twenty compositions and calculated the number and type of DMs. After discussing the tiny differences agreement was reached by the four raters accordingly. Next, the compositions were carefully scrutinized to determine the extent that DMs were functionally appropriate in the context of use. | Participants| 90 Iranian students who were selected from two universities. Results| Results of the study found the use of discourse markers effective in enhancing the subjects’ composition writing quality as the subjects in the graduate group performed far more successfully| In Table 3. 2. 2, we have summarized the findings of Alireza Jalilifar(2008) regarding discourse markers of the composisions of 90 Iranian students. He has found the use of discouse markers effective in enhanceing the subjec’s composition writing quality as the subjects in the graduate group performed far more successfully. Table 3. 2. 3.

Process Writing: Successful and Unsuccessful Writers; Discovering Writing Behaviours; Ismail Baroudy; 2008 Author(s) | Ismail Baroudy| Year of publication| 2008| Title | Process Writing: Successful and Unsuccessful Writers; Discovering Writing Behaviours| Place of publication| International Journal Of English Studies| Page numbers| 43-63| Research question/objective| In this study, a complementary task using a questionnaire worked out to comprehensively specify and cover almost all types of writing behaviors has been inquisitively manipulated.

By analyzing and inspecting the findings elicited from student-writers’ response sheets, successful and unsuccessful writing strategies are then contrastively identified, categorized and demonstrated. Based on the awareness accomplished, writing teachers’ consciousness will be raised and boosted, thus, helping their poor student-writers justifiably quit their debilitative habits and adopt instead, facilitative ones, those competent writers implement while writing. | Methods| questionnaire| Participants| student-writers|

Results| According to the decent scores obtained from independent raters, free writers, barnstormers, revisers, multiple-drafters, recursive thinkers, meaning-seekers, form-neglectors, quick writers, feedback-anticipators, audience detectors, real addressees, content-verbalize, journal keepers, conference attendants, portfolio carriers, editor minders, free-topic selectors and to mention a few are seen to have been categorically rendered competent writers. They do not submit themselves to an inhibited writing by focusing on local rather than global aspects of language.

They write in a meaningful context with potential or practical audience in mind. | Table 3. 2. 3 is on the work of Ismail Baroudy about process writing. He has provided a questionnaire to discover student-writers writing behaviors. He mentions free writers, barnstormers, revisers, multiple-drafters, recursive thinkers, meaning-seekers,…, as successful writers and claims that theirs success is due to the fact that They do not submit themselves to an inhibited writing by focusing on local rather than global aspects of language.

They write in a meaningful context with potential or practical audience in mind. Table 3. 2. 4. Contrastive rhetoric of English and Persian written texts: Meta-discourse in applied linguistics research articles; Esmail Faghih, Sepideh Rahimpour; 2009 Author(s) | Esmail Faghih, Sepideh Rahimpour| Year of publication| February 2009| Title | Contrastive rhetoric of English and Persian written texts: Meta-discourse in applied linguistics research articles| Place of publication| Rice Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. , February 2009, | Page numbers| 92-107| Research question/objective| 1. Is there any significant difference between the type of meta-discourse employed by Iranians and native speakers of English in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English respectively? (a) Is there any significant difference between Iranians and native speakers of English in their use of interactive meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English respectively? b) Is there any significant difference between Iranians and native speakers of English in their use of interactional meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English respectively? 2. Is there any significant difference between the type of meta-discourse employed by Iranians and native speakers of English in their research articles about applied linguistics written in English? (a) Is there any significant difference between Iranians and native speakers of English in their use of interactive meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in English? b) Is there any significant difference between Iranians and native speakers of English in their use of interactional meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in English? 3. Is there any significant difference between the type of meta-discourse employed by Iranians in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English? (a) Is there any significant difference between Iranians in their use of interactive meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English? b) Is there any significant difference between Iranians in their use of interactional meta-discourse in their research articles about applied linguistics written in Persian and in English? | Methods| The following meta discourse sub-types adapted from Hyland’s (2004) model were examined: transitions, frame markers, endophoric markers, evidential, code glosses, hedges, boosters, attitude markers, engagement markers, and self-mentions. ?e first five comprise interactive meta discourse, and the rest comprise interactional meta discourse. A? er the detailed analysis of the meta discourse types in question, ? -square tests were carried out to clarify the probable differences| Participants| English texts written by native speakers of English, English texts written by Iranians (as non-natives of English), and Persian texts written by Iranians| Results| The analysis revealed how academic writings of these groups differed in their rhetorical strategies using meta-discourse type because of their respective mother tongues. However, the different groups were found to use all sub-types of meta-discourse. Yet, some subcategories were used differently by the writers of these two languages.

In addition, interactive meta-discoursal factors (those resources which help to guide the reader through the text such as transitions, frame markers, etc. ) were used significantly more than interactional meta-discoursal factors (those resources involve the reader in the argument such as hedges, boosters, etc. ) by both groups. | As summarized in Table 3. 2. 4, Esmail Faghih, Sepideh Rahimpour have studied Contrastive rhetoric of English and Persian written texts i. e. English texts written by native speakers of English, English texts written by Iranians (as non-natives of English), and Persian texts written by Iranians.

Their analysis revealed how academic writings of these groups differed in their rhetorical strategies using meta-discourse type because of their respective mother tongues. Table 3. 2. 5. A Contrastive Intercultural Analysis of the English and Persian Research Articles: The Case of the Discussion Sections; Zahra Amirian, Mansoor Tavakoli; 2009 Author(s) | Zahra Amirian, Mansoor Tavakoli | Year of publication| 2009| Title | A Contrastive Intercultural Analysis of the English and Persian Research Articles: The Case of the Discussion Sections| Place of publication| The Iranian EFL Journal|

Page numbers| 134-168| Research question/objective| This study was an attempt to reveal the generic structure of research articles written and published by English writers as well as Persian writers with the purpose of identifying culture-specific conventions of this genre. | Methods| For the English corpus based on availability criterion, four journals of applied linguistics were selected. A randomized selection procedure was used for the articles appearing from 2004 to 2008, and among these issues the articles which had clear separation of “Results” and “Discussion” sections in their rubrics were selected.

Through this sampling procedure, 30 research articles were selected for the English corpus. For the Persian corpus again based on availability criterion, four journals of Persian language and linguistics were selected. In addition, for the purpose of identification and easier access, the articles of each corpus were codified. Regarding the first and second research questions, in order to find move schemas, the two corpora were investigated and the obligatory and optional moves as well as their frequencies and sequences were identified.

Then, in order to answer the third and fourth research questions, the qualitative analysis of the two corpora was undertaken to identify some lexico-grammatical features which realize each move. These features included the most typical lexical phrases and syntactic structures such as verb tenses, sentence voices, hedging expressions, and typical collocations which may appear in form of expressions. A word of caution, however, seems essential here. Since this kind of analysis is based on subjective judgment of the researcher, in order to account for the reliability of the study, the corpora were rated by two other raters independently.

At a later stage, the results were compared and the areas of controversy were discussed. However, despite the inevitable discrepancies in the ratings, there was no statistically significant difference among the ratings of the raters| Participants| | Results| The findings revealed that while there is a kind of universality in the moves across English and Persian Discussion sections, there are some discrepancies in the frequency and sequence of these moves. Some culture-specific factors may have given rise to these differences. |

As shown in table 3. 2. 5, Zahra Amirian, Mansoor Tavakoli(2009) has done an analysis of the English and Persian research articles. The findings revealed that while there is a kind of universality in the moves across English and Persian Discussion sections, there are some discrepancies in the frequency and sequence of these moves. Some culture-specific factors may have given rise to these differences. Table 3. 2. 6. The Impact of EFL Learners’ Rhetorical Organization Awareness on English Academic/Expository Text Comprehension; Soryya Vahidi; 2006

Author(s) | Soryya Vahidi| Year of publication| 2006| Title | The Impact of EFL Learners’ Rhetorical Organization Awareness on English Academic/Expository Text Comprehension| Place of publication| Pazhuhesh-e Zabanha-ye Khareji, No. 41, Special Issue, English, 2008, | Page numbers| pp. 145-158| Research question/objective| This study investigates reading comprehension from the discourse point of view. It basically examined discourse knowledge of paragraph structure and the comprehension of academic/expository text.

In this regard, it is assumed that it is the interaction between textual competence, including textual cohesion or rhetorical organization, and the text that can lead to discourse comprehension. | Methods| Two experimental groups and two control groups. Each faculty included one experimental and one control group. | Participants| 155 participants, consisted of two groups in two faculties of the University of Tehran| Results| In terms of one group, there is a relationship between knowledge of text integration and text comprehension.

The findings also revealed that the stage of discourse comprehension requires sufficient knowledge of discourse pattern to enable the readers to use clues for coherence and to focus on markers bringing logical relationship to the comprehension of academic text. However, regarding the results of the other group no significant differences between the experimental group and the control one was observed. | Table 3. 2. 6 is a summarization of Soryya Vahidi (2006) work on ‘The Impact Of Efl Learners’ Rhetorical Organization Awareness On English Academic/Expository Text Comprehension’. She has chosen two experimental groups and two control groups.

She has found that there is a relationship between knowledge of text integration and text comprehension. The findings also revealed that the stage of discourse comprehension requires sufficient knowledge of discourse pattern to enable the readers to use clues for coherence and to focus on markers bringing logical relationship to the comprehension of academic text Table 3. 2. 7. a study of contrastive rhetoric between English and Farsi as demonstrated through EFL and non-EFL students’ essays with regard to writing ability, arrangement, and l2 proficiency; Habib Soleimani; 2001 Author(s) | Habib Soleimani| Year of publication| 2001|

Title | a study of contrastive rhetoric between English and Farsi as demonstrated through EFL andnon-EFL students’ essays with regard to writing ability, arrangement, and l2 proficiency| Place of publication| Teacher Training University Department of Foreign Languages Tehran, Iran| Page numbers| | Research question/objective| To find out how the writing performance in the English and Farsi are related, i. e. is writing ability transferable through languages? 1. Are those who are proficient in their first language writing in the genre of comparison and contrast also proficient in the foreign language writing? . Is there any relationship between English and Persian rhetoric concerning arrangement? 3. Does the level of L2 proficiency (advanced vs. intermediate vs. low-intermediate) of Iranian students play a significant role in L2 manifestation of writing| Methods| EFL major participants wrote two compositions, one in English and one in Farsi in the “comparison and contrast” mode of discourse and “arrangement” canon of writing. Non-EFL major participants also wrote a composition in Farsi in the same mode of discourse as the EFL major participants. 00 English and Farsi compositions of EFL participants which were written in the discourse mode of “comparison and contrast” and “arrangement” canon of writing were assessed by 6 English and 6 Farsi composition raters, once rating the general writing ability of the participants in the “comparison and contrast” mode of discourse, and once rating the “arrangement” canon of writing. The remaining 100 compositions of non-EFL participants were also assessed by 3 other Farsi raters. Three levels of proficiency were also distinguished among the EFL subjects. Participants| 200 Iranian EFL and non-EFL students| Results| The analysis of data revealed that those EFL participants who were able to write a better composition in their first language, wrote a better composition in the second language, provided that they have a good command of L2 proficiency, i. e. L2 proficiency was a determining factor for transfer of writing from LI to L2. The results also indicated that the arrangement canon of writing exists in Farsi as well as in English and more proficient subjects could write a composition in English, which was more, arranged. Table3. 2. 7 represents Habib Soleimani (2001) study on study of contrastive rhetoric between English and Farsi as demonstrated through EFL and non-EFL students’ essays with regard to writing ability, arrangement, and l2 proficiency. 200 Iranian EFL and non-EFL students have participated in this study. The analysis of data revealed that those EFL participants who were able to write a better composition in their first language, wrote a better composition in the second language, provided that they have a good command of L2 proficiency, i. . L2 proficiency was a determining factor for transfer of writing from LI to L2. Table3. 2. 8. Transfer of First Language of Foreign Language Writing: A Contrastive Rhetoric Study of English & Farsi; S. M. Zia Houseini, K. Derakhshan; 2007 Author(s) | S. M. Zia Houseini, K. Derakhshan| Year of publication| 2007| Title| Transfer of First Language of Foreign Language Writing: A Contrastive Rhetoric Study of English & Farsi| Place of publication| www. SID. ir scientific information database | Page numbers| 75-91|

Research question/objective| This study aimed at finding whether the performances of the Iranian students studying English in an EEL context are consistent in LI and L2 writing tasks and whether there is a cross-linguistic transfer in this respect. | Methods| The first testing instrument was Michigan test (1966) form E. Based on this test, two levels of EFL proficiency were distinguished—intermediate and low advanced. The second testing instrument included four composition tasks, two in Farsi, and two in English. Two topics (an argumentative and a narration) were chosen to be written in each language.

The compositions were collected within the set time, and rated by three experienced raters. The English compositions were rated by EFL teachers at university level, and the Farsi ones by highly qualified high-school teachers of Persian Literature and Writing. | Participants| From a total pool of 120 students with shared LI background, i. e. Farsi, studying English Translation at Allameh Tabatabaii University, 60 students were selected. To create two groups of low advanced and intermediate level subjects, and to ensure homogeneity, a version of Michigan test was administers to 60 freshmen and 60 senior students.

The mean scores of the groups were calculated and 30 scores around each mean score were selected as our test groups. The subjects aged between 20 and 31, but the mean age was 26. These individuals, all female, took part in the research on a voluntary basis and were offered an assessment of their writing ability as an appreciation of their cooperation. | Results| The results confirmed that such a correlation exists and is significant, indicating that there is a systematic difference which pointed in the direction of transfer from LI to L2. Table 3. 2. 8 is on the work of S. M. Zia Houseini, K. Derakhshan(2007). This study aimed at finding whether the performances of the Iranian students studying English in an EEL context are consistent in LI and L2 writing tasks and whether there is a cross-linguistic transfer in this respect. The result of their study confirmed that there is a cross-linguistic transfer. It also showed that there is significant correlation indicating a systematic difference in the direction of transfer from LI to L2. Table 3. . 9. Meta-discourse functions in English and Persian sociology articles: a study in contrastive rhetoric; Hossein Shokouhi and Amrollah Talati Baghsiahi; 2009 Author(s) | Hossein Shokouhi and Amrollah Talati Baghsiahi| Year of publication| 2009| Title| Meta-discourse functions in English and Persian sociology articles: a study in contrastive rhetoric| Place of publication| Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 45(4) © School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland| Page numbers| pp. 49–568| Research question/objective| This study on contrastive rhetoric reports on meta-discourse functions in sociology articles in Persian and English. All articles were traversed in search of meta-discoursal markers, and the frequency of the occurrence count was not mechanical but functional, due to the multi functionality of some meta-discoursal markers which need to be classified differently according to context in which they occur. Methods| The ten English RAs we finally selected randomly, from among our preliminary selection of thirty articles, had been written by English authors with Anglo-American dominance. | Participants| | Results| It is found that the frequency of textual meta-discourse markers is greater than the interpersonal markers in both language samples. It was further revealed that the Persian writers of sociology texts are less interested in explicitly orienting the readers and some of the main points in an article, especially in the concluding section, are left for the readers to infer. As shown in Table 3. 2. 9, Hossein Shokouhi and Amrollah Talati Baghsiahi(2009) has studied meta-discourse functions in English and Persian sociology articles. They have found that the frequency of textual meta-discourse markers is greater than the interpersonal markers in both language samples. It was further revealed that the Persian writers of sociology texts are less interested in explicitly orienting the readers and some of the main points in an article, especially in the concluding section, are left for the readers to infer.

Table 3. 2. 10. A contrastive rhetoric of Farsi and Engilish Rhetoric with regard to writing ability, Topic, L2 proficiency, and gender performance; Nasser Alikhani; 1997 Author(s) | Nasser Alikhani| Year of publication| 1997| Title| A contrastive rhetoric of Farsi and Engilish Rhetoric with regard to writing ability, Topic, L2 proficiency, and gender performance| Place of publication| MA thesis in University of teacher education , department of foreign languages, Tehran | Page numbers| |

Research question/objective| How the writing performance in both are related in terms of general quality of writing and whether there is a “ go-togetherness” between their writing ability in their mother-tongueIt further investigates the effects of topic, gender and L2 proficiency on the produced texts. | Methods| The participants wrote 3 compositions of different rhetorical types i. e. classification, argumentation, definition in each language. The 480 compositions were then assessed for the overall quality of writing by 3 Farsi and English composition raters. Participants| 80 Iranian students (49 males, 31 females) | Results| The analysis of data revealed that those who produce better writing in their mother tongue did not necessarily write better in English. L2 proficiency proved to be an influencing factor in L2 writing. Although female participants did relatively better in both languages, the difference was not significant enough to give us firm ground to make any generalization. Participants performed significantly better when addressing argumentation and definition rhetorical types than classification. |

As summarized in Table 3. 2. 10, Nasser Alikhani(1997) has written his thesis on ‘ A contrastive rhetoric of Farsi and Engilish Rhetoric with regard to writing ability, Topic, L2 proficiency, and gender performance’. The analysis of data revealed that those who produce better writing in their mother tongue did not necessarily write better in English. L2 proficiency proved to be an influencing factor in L2 writing. Although female participants did relatively better in both languages, the difference was not significant enough to give us firm ground to make any generalization.

Participants performed significantly better when addressing argumentation and definition rhetorical types than classification. 4. Discussion and Conclusion Contrastive rhetoric is a field of study in which the effect of the culture and writing patterns of first language is investigated in writing in second language. It is assumed that the first language influences on how the writer organizes his/ her written discourse and also the script and schemes and the topic and the audiences that he/ she chooses.

This paper is a review of the studies done in this field in Iran . These articles suggest some research questions and topics for researchers interested in this area : a) text-based teaching approach in practice, which includes explicit classroom analysis of text organization and integrates the teaching of reading and writing, b) explicit teaching of text structure and moving away from “lexically based strategies” common in teaching reading comprehension skills here in Iran.

However, as already mentioned, what seems to be taken into consideration is that besides rhetorical awareness, other variables such as cultural differences in rhetorical preferences should be also taken into account. Future research can also devote more attention to issues like organizational patterns, sociocultural factors, transfer, and gender differences in L1 and L2 writing of Persian EFL learners to enable Iranian EFL learners and teacher to improve EFL writing instruction. More research is still required to investigate the effects of first language in learning to write in a foreign language.

The similarities and differences involved in composing written texts in first and foreign languages and the impact of first language on foreign language remain intriguing proposals in need of further study and rightly call for more attention on the part of researchers. Exploration of these issues should help to clarify the notion of transfer in writing and its relationship to the composing processes of non-native language writers and the quality of then-writings, which should lead to a better understanding of a judicious role of the first language in foreign language writing.

We hope that this collection adds to the body of knowledge in this area and helps those who are interested to work in the field of contrastive rhetoric. These recent studies in the field of contrastive rhetoric in Iran shows that academic writings differ in rhetorical strategies using meta-discourse type because of the participants mother tongues and there is a moderate positive correlation between L1 and L2 writing. They also reveal that although there is a kind of universality in the moves across English and Persian Discussion sections, there are some discrepancies in the frequency and sequence of these moves.

In fact, discourse markers are effective in enhancing the subjects’ composition writing quality and there is also a Relationship between knowledge of text integration and text comprehension. Some studies show that those EFL participants, who were able to write a better composition in their first language, wrote a better composition in the second language but this idea was a contradiction to studies which indicated that those who produce better writing in their mother tongue did not nessecerily wrote better in English. So, L2 proficiency proved to be an influencing factor in L2 writing. 5. References Alikhani, N. 1997). A contrastive rhetoric of Farsi an Engilish Rhetoric with regard to writing ability, Topic, L2 proficiency, and gender performance. MA thesis in University of teacher education, department of foreign languages, Tehran. Amirian, Z. Tavakoli, M. (2009). A Contrastive Intercultural Analysis of the English and Persian Research Articles: The Case of the Discussion Sections The Iranian EFL Journal, 134-168 Atkinson, D. (2004). Contrasting rhetorics/contrasting cultures: why contrastive rhetoric needs a better conceptualization of culture . Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 277–289 Baroudy, I. (2008).

Process Writing: Successful and Unsuccessful Writers; Discovering Writing Behaviors. International Journal Of English Studies, 43-63 Carrol, J. B. (Ed. ). (1956). Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. New York: John-Wiley. Chang, M. Yang ,Ch. ( 2004). Teaching Writing Contrastively: Contrastive Rhetoric in the Teaching of Writing. Sino-US English Teaching, ISSN1539-8072,USA, Aug. 2004, Volume 1, No. 8 (Serial No. 8) Cheng ,A. (2006). Analyzing and enacting academic criticism: The case of an L2 graduate learner of academic writing, Journal of Second Language Writing ,279–306 Connor, U. 2005). Comment by Ulla Connor. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14(2), 132-136. Connor, U. (1987). Research frontiers in writing analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 21, 677-696. Connor, U. (1996). Contrastive rhetoric: Cross-cultural aspects of second-language writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Connor, U. (1996). Contrastive rhetoric: cross-cultural aspects of second-language writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Connor, U. (1997). Contrastive Rhetoric: Cross-Cultural Aspects of Second-Language Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Connor, U. (2002). New directions in contrastive rhetoric.

TESOL Quarterly, 36, 493–510. Connor, U. (2003). Changing currents in contrastive rhetoric: Implications for teaching and research. In B. Connor, U. (2003). Changing currents in contrastive rhetoric: implications for teaching and research. Connor, U. (2004). Intercultural rhetoric research: Beyond texts. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 3, 291-304. Connor, U. , ; McCagg, P. (1987). A contrastive study of English expository prose paraphrases. Faghih, E. ; Rahimpour, S. (2009). Contrastive rhetoric of English and Persian written texts: Meta-discourse in applied linguistics research articles.

Rice Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 1, February 2009, 92-107 Grabe, W. , ; Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Theory ; practice of writing. London: Addison Wesley Longman Ltd. Jalilifar, A. (2008). Discourse Markers in Composition Writings: The Case of Iranian Learners of English as a Foreign Language. www. ccsenet. org/journal/html 114-122 Kaplan, R. B. (1966). Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education. Language Learning, 16, 1-20. Kaplan, R. B. (2000). Response to “On the future of second language writing,” Terry Santos (Ed. ), et al. Journal of Second Language Writing, 9(3), 311-314. Kaplan, R. B. , ; Baldauf, R.

B. (2005). Editing contributed scholarly articles from a language management perspective. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14(1), 47-62. Kaplan, R. B. , ; Grabe, W. (2002). A modern history of written discourse analysis. Journal of Second Language Writing, 11(3), 191-223. Kroll , B. (ed. ),(2003). Exploring the dynamics of second language writing (pp. 218–242). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kubota R. ( 1998). An investigation of L1-L2 transfer in writing among Japanese university students: Implications for contrastive rhetoric. Journal of Second Language Writing, Volume 7, Number 1, January 1998 , pp. 9-100(32) Kubotaa, R. ; Lehnerb, Al. (2004). Toward critical contrastive rhetoric, Journal of Second Language Writing, 7–27 Leki, I. (1991). Twenty-Five Years of Contrastive Rhetoric: Text Analysis and Writing Pedagogies. TESOL Quarterly, vol. 25, No. 1, (spring 1991), pp. 123-143. Matalene, C. ( 1985). Contrastive Rhetoric: An American Writing Teacher in China. College English, v47 n8 p789-808 Dec 1985 Moreno, A. I. ; Suarez, L. (2008). A framework for comparing evaluation resources across academic texts. TextandTalk, 28(6): 749-769. Petric, B. ( 2005) . Contrastive Rhetoric in the Writing Classroom: A Case Study.

English for Specific Purposes, v24 n2 p213-228 2005 Shokouhi, H. ; Talati Baghsiahi, A. (2009). Meta-discourse functions in English and Persian sociology articles: a study in contrastive rhetoric. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 45(4) © School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. Soleimani, H. (2001). A study of contrastive rhetoric between English and Farsi as demonstrated through EFL and non-EFL students’ essays with regard to writing ability, arrangement, and l2 proficiency. Teacher Training University Department of Foreign Languages Tehran, Iran U. Connor & R.

B. Kaplan (Eds. ), Writing across languages: Analysis of L2 text. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. 73-86. Vahidi, S. (2006). The Impact of EFL Learners’ Rhetorical Organization Awareness on English Academic/Expository Text Comprehension. Pazhuhesh-e Zabanha-ye Khareji, No. 41, Special Issue, English, 2008, 145-158 Xing ,M. ; Wang, J . ; Spencer, K. ( 2008). Raising Students’ Awareness Of Cross-Cultural Contrastive Rhetoric In English Writing Via An E- Learning Course. Language Learning & Technology, June 2008, Volume 12, Number 2 pp. 71-93 Zare-Ee, A. & Farvardin, M. T. (2009).

Comparison of university level EFl learners’ linguistic and rhetorical patterns as reflected in their L1 and L2 writing. Novitas-ROYAL, Vol (), 143-155. Zia Houseini S. M. & Derakhshan K. (2007). Transfer of First Language of Foreign Language Writing: A Contrastive Rhetoric Study of English & Farsi. www. SID. ir , 75-91 6. Appendices: International Studies of Contrastive analysis 6. 1 Contrasting rhetorics/contrasting cultures: why contrastive rhetoric needs a better conceptualization of culture Dwight Atkinson _ Graduate College of Education, Temple University Japan, 2-8-12 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047, Japan

Abstract This paper deals with an underdeveloped notion in the EAP sub-discipline of contrastive rhetoric: culture. It argues that a better conceptualization of contrastive rhetoric needs to include a better conceptualization of culture. After engaging with the complex question ‘‘What is culture? ’’ the paper moves on to consider four sets of current issues regarding the concept of culture: (1) received culture versus postmodern culture versus cultural studies culture; (2) culture as product versus culture as process; (3) culture in the head versus culture in the world; and (4) big culture versus small culture.

The paper then ends with a call for greater attention to the culture concept in contrastive rhetoric studies. Keywords: EAP; Contrastive rhetoric; Culture; Postmodern; Identity; Globalization 1. Introduction Let me begin with a short personal narrative which, in the present context, is also an embarrassing public confession: in my 15 years of speaking at academic conferences and 13 years of publishing in academic journals, I have done my best to avoid a concept of central interest in EAP: contrastive rhetoric (hereafter CR). . 2 Toward critical contrastive rhetoric Ryuko Kubotaa,*, Al Lehnerb aThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education, bAkita International University, Yuwa-machi, Akita 010-1211, Japan Abstract A traditional approach to contrastive rhetoric has emphasized cultural difference in rhetorical patterns among various languages.

Despite its laudable pedagogical intentions to raise teachers’ and students’ cultural and rhetorical awareness in second language writing, traditional contrastive rhetoric has perpetuated static binaries between English and other languages and viewed students as culturally lacking. Various criticisms that have challenged assumptions behind traditional contrastive rhetoric as well as a critical scrutiny of pedagogical issues, including the politics of explicit teaching of linguistic forms, indicate a need for establishing alternative conceptual frameworks.

Such frameworks seek to critically understand politics of cultural difference and explore situated pedagogy that challenges essentialism. By incorporating poststructuralist, postcolonial, and postmodern critiques of language and culture, critical contrastive rhetoric reconceptualizes cultural difference in rhetoric from such perspectives as relations of power, discursive construction of knowledge, colonial construction of cultural dichotomies, and rhetorical plurality brought about by diaspora and cultural hybridity.

When put into practice, critical contrastive rhetoric affirms multiplicity of languages, rhetorical forms, and students’ identities, while problematizing the discursive construction of rhetoric and identities, and thus allowing writing teachers to recognize the complex web of rhetoric, culture, power, and discourse in responding to student writing. Keywords: Cultural difference; Written discourse; Critical pedagogy; Critical literacy; 6. 3 An investigation of L1–L2 transfer in writing among Japanese university students: Implications for contrastive rhetoric

This article is not included in your organization’s subscription. However, you may be able to access this article under your organization’s agreement with Elsevier. Ryuko Kubota, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA Available online 12 April 2002. Abstract Many studies of contrastive rhetoric have confirmed that Japanese writers prefer an inductive style which is negatively transferred to ESL writing, whereas one study found similarities in rhetorical patterns used by good Japanese and English L1 writers.

This study investigated whether individual Japanese students use the same discourse pattern in L1 and ESL writing and how each individual’s use of similar/dissimilar patterns affects the quality of ESL essays. University students in Japan wrote one essay in Japanese and another in English. A total of 22 students wrote on an expository topic, and 24 students wrote on a persuasive topic. Each participant was interviewed later about their writing and views on rhetorical styles. Both Japanese and ESL essays were evaluated in terms of organization and ESL essays were also rated in terms of language use.

The location of the main idea and the macro-level rhetorical pattern were coded for each essay. Results showed that about half of the writers used similar patterns in L1 and L2. Results also revealed a positive correlation between Japanese and ESL organization scores, but no negative transfer of culturally unique rhetorical patterns. The data suggest that L1 writing ability, English proficiency and composing experience in English affect the quality of ESL essays. 6. 4 Contrastive rhetoric in the writing classroom: a case study Bojana Petric?

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary Abstract This note explores the role of contrastive rhetoric in writing pedagogy in the context of a monolingual class, in this case a group of students from the Russian Federation studying at an English medium university in Central Europe. The study compares students_ argumentative essays written before and after a short writing course, which aimed to address cultural differences in writing in a non-prescriptive, exploratory, manner. The comparison focuses on, in this case, a culturally based textual element: the thesis statement.

The analysis reveals that the essays written after the course display higher occurrence of thesis statements, more uniformity in the position of the thesis statements and less variation in the thesis statement sentence structure and lexical choices. The implications for the role of contrastive rhetoric in writing pedagogy are discussed. 6. 5 Raising Students’ Awareness Of Cross-Cultural Contrastive Rhetoric In English Writing Via An Elearning Course Minjie Xing, University of Manchester Jinghui Wang, Harbin Institute of Technology Kenneth Spencer, University of Hull

This study investigated the potential impact of e-learning on raising overseas students’ cultural awareness and explored the possibility of creating an interactive learning environment for them to improve their English academic writing. The study was based on a comparison of Chinese and English rhetoric in academic writing, including a comparison of Chinese students’ writings in Chinese with native English speakers’ writings in English and Chinese students’ writings in English with the help of an e-course and Chinese students’ writings in English without the help of an e-course.

Five features of contrastive rhetoric were used as criteria for the comparison. The experimental results show that the group using the e-course was successful in learning about defined aspects of English rhetoric in academic writing, reaching a level of performance that equalled that of native English speakers. Data analysis also revealed that e-learning resources helped students to compare rhetorical styles across cultures and that the interactive learning environment was effective in improving overseas students’ English academic writing. . 6 Analyzing and enacting academic criticism: The case of an L2 graduate learner of academic writing An Cheng * Department of English, Oklahoma State University, 205 Morrill, Stillwater, OK 74078, United States Abstract Academic criticism is defined in this paper as a statement which reflects a discrepancy between the stance of a researcher/author, on the one hand, and that of another researcher or the discourse community as a whole, on the other (Salager-Meyer & Alcaraz Ariza, 2003).

Despite researchers’ awareness of the potential difficulty academic criticism poses for many L2 student writers, very few studies have explored learners’ analysis of academic criticism in their reading, their enactment of it in their writing, or the factors influencing their analysis and enactment of this defining feature of academic writing. To address these issues, I analyzed the reading and writing tasks of an L2 graduate student in an English academic writing class.

My analysis of the data indicates that, when analyzing discipline-specific samples of research articles, the learner noticed the irregular presence of criticism in his field, highlighted indirect criticism as a discipline-specific practice, and analyzed the linguistic formulations of academic criticism. In his writing, he recontextualized the indirect criticism practices he previously noticed, but, interestingly, also built direct criticisms into his texts.

The learner’s learning profile points to his rhetorical awareness, disciplinary engagement, and the instructional context as among the strong influences on his engagement with academic criticism. The analysis of the data suggests the need for a more nuanced view of the influences of national culture on students’ academic literacy learning in general and their engagement with academic criticism in particular. Keywords: Academic criticism; Academic writing; Disciplinary culture; Rhetorical awareness; Learner characteristics 6. 7 A Framework For Comparing Evaluation Resources Across Academic Texts

Moreno, A. I. & Suarez, L. (2008b). Abstract The use of evaluation resources has proven to be an especially difficult area in English for Academic Purposes. Our aim is to propose a methodological framework for identifying recurrent differences in the use of evaluation resources in academic texts across English and other languages. We argue that for comparisons to be meaningful, studies of independent but comparable successful texts should contrast propositions that are similar in terms of their pragmatic or discourse function.

We narrow the focus of the proposal down to the academic book review genre in one particular academic discipline and argue for the contrast of propositions functioning as critical acts on similar THINGS, the academic books under review. We reason that for fruitful comparisons it would be necessary to distinguish between evaluation resources occurring on the propositional, metadiscoursal and rhetorical planes. We discuss the types of evaluation resources that occur on these three planes in a corpus of 20 recent literary academic book reviews in English.

We conclude that applying this framework to the quantitative analysis of comparable texts and propositions across languages would help to establish the extent to which the use of evaluation resources varies as a function of the language in a useful way. Keywords: English for Academic Purposes, Academic Writing, Academic Book Reviews, Evaluation, Metadiscourse, Cross-cultural Studies 6. 8 Teaching Writing Contrastively: Contrastive Rhetoric in the Teaching of Writing Mei Chang* Chunyan Yang ** Harbin Institute of Technology Abstract

Writing fluently and expressively in English is a necessary skill for communication, as well as a required skill for Chinese students at the tertiary level. Since college students have already been trained on their Chinese writing skills for a considerable length of time and are able to write in Chinese quite successfully, the application of contrastive rhetoric in the teaching of English writing is very effective. This paper explores the possibility of teaching English writing to Chinese students at the tertiary level and proposes an approach to this teaching model.

Key words: contrastive rhetoric teaching writing Chinese students at the tertiary level 6. 9 Contrastive Rhetoric: An American Writing Teacher in China Carolyn Matalene A recent delegation of American businessmen, trying to establish trade contacts in China, presented their hosts with generous gifts of cheddar cheese. The Americans were clearly unaware that the Chinese consider cheese disgusting and inedible, not fit for consumption. Such missteps and social blunders are all too common in Chinese-American interactions.

Well-meaning people of good will all too often offend or confuse each other, and the causes are generally more complex than differences in taste. Rather, they are the result of speakers coming from entirely different cultures and approaching each other with entirely different systems of rhetoric. If we define rhetoric as a way of thinking about the relationships that exist among speaker, subject matter, purpose, and audience, then we might think of rhetoric as the verbal equivalent of ecology, the study of the relationships that exist between an organism and its environment.

Both rhetoric and ecology are disciplines that emphasize the inescapable and, to a great extent, decisive influence of local conditions. The relativity of rhetorical theories, if not of rhetorical products, is, however, all too easily forgotten, and seldom are conclusions about rhetoric qualified as to their range of application. The current battle of the books, for example, about the value of classical versus modern rhetoric is being argued in terms that imply rhetorical universals, as though the enthymeme were part of our genetic code or the discovery process were universally valued.

But as Robert Oliver has reminded us, “The standards of rhetoric in the West which have had a unitary development since their identification by Aristotle are not universals. They are expressions of Western culture, applicable within the context of Western cultural values” (3). Rhetoric, like ecology, is about relationships, and different cultures define and value different relationships. Examining the rhetorical practices of a culture other than our own, that is, engaging in the study known as contrastive rhetoric, can provide us with a clearer understanding of the culture we study and can . 10 Twenty-Five Years of Contrastive Rhetoric: Text Analysis and Writing Pedagogies ILONA LEKI University of Tennessee Contrastive rhetoric studies with implications for the ESL writing classroom began with Robert Kaplan’s 1966 study of some 600 L2 student essays. This work was exploratory and, to a degree, more intuitive than scientific, but valuable in establishing contrastive rhetoric as a new field of inquiry. It has also created controversy.

Kaplan’s diagrams of rhetorical patterns have been widely reprinted, appearing even in ESL composition textbooks. Indeed, it is in L2 writing classes that contrastive rhetoric work has the greatest potential practical application. The diagrams, with their implications in regard to patterns of written discourse, readily place contrastive rhetoric into the current traditional approach to teaching ESL writing (Silva, 1990), but contrastive rhetoric has not found much favor with those who adopt a process orientation to teaching writing.

Proponents of process approaches maintain that contrastive rhetoric research examines the pr

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