(EGL) and Contrastive Rhetoric: Reflections from L2 Writing Research

Hosney M. El-daly


This study argues that if we, really, accept English as a global language, and diversity of cultures, we have to better understand the different composing conventions of different cultures; otherwise, written communication among people of different cultures may break down. This argument is theoretically based on a number of premises drawn from Purves’s (1988) extensive research in contrastive rhetoric. With this in mind, the present study attempts to show how Arabic and Spanish speakers narrate in English and, to what extent their native cultures affect their narrative written productions.  In addition, some of the cognitive factors that may shape the subjects’ written productions were discussed. Using Laböv’ sociolinguistic model of narrative structure, this study shows that the narrative texts of both Arabic and Spanish speakers share almost all the structural properties of Laböv’s model.  This finding may lead us to claim that regardless of the subjects’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds, the narrative structural components seem to be somehow universal. This claim needs to be tested with low-level subjects of various languages and cultures.



(EGL), Contrastive Rhetoric, Narrative Writing, Cognitive and Cultural factors

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.6p.154


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