Cross-cultural understanding through visual representation

  • Kristina Beckman John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
  • Susan Smith Eller College at The University of Arizona
Keywords: second language writing, writing assignments, cross-cultural, visual representation (en_US)
Keywords: escritura en el segundo idioma, asignaturas de escritura, cruce-cultural, representación visual (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

This article analyzes international students’ drawings of their home countries’ essay assignments. These English as a Second Language (ESL) students often have difficulty in meeting the local demands of our Writing Program, which centers on argumentative writing with thesis and support. Any part of an essay deemed irrelevant is censured as “off topic;” some students see this structure as too direct or even impolite. While not all students found visual representation easy, the drawings reveal some basic assumptions about writing embodied in their native cultures’ assignments. We discuss the drawings first for visual rhetorical content, then in the students’ own terms. Last, we consider how our own pedagogy has been shaped.

Abstract (es_ES)

Este artículo analiza los dibujos de los estudiantes internacionales que hicieron de su país natal para su tarea de composición. Estos estudiantes de inglés como segundo idioma a menudo tienen dificultad llenando los requisitos del programa de escritura cuyo enfoque es el discurso argumentativo con tesis y apoyo. Cualquier ensayo considerado irrelevante se censura y se considera estar “fuera del topico”. Algunos estudiantes ven esta estructura demasiado directa e irrespetuosa. Mientras que no todos los estudiantes encuentran fácil la representación visual, los dibujos relevan ciertas características multiculturales básicias incrustadas en la escritura que se reflejan en las asignaturas. Primeramente discutimos los dibujos para el contenido retórico y luego lo discutimos utilizando la perspectiva de los estudiantes. Finalmente, analizamos como se formó nuestra propia pedagogía.


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How to Cite
Beckman, K., & Smith, S. (2006). Cross-cultural understanding through visual representation. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, (8), 137-151.
Published: 2006-01-01
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