“How to encourage and support EFL learner writers to go for publication”

Presenter: Rick Mitcham


In this presentation I argue that EFL learner writers have the potential to achieve more than current EFL textbooks on academic writing give them credit for. It is my contention that EFL learner writers can produce writing that is not only competent but also original and worthy of publication. To assist EFL learner writers achieve this goal, I make four suggestions. Firstly, we can raise EFL learner writers’ aspirations by encouraging them to follow the example of influential EFL writers such as Joseph Conrad. Secondly, we can support EFL learner writers by lightening their ‘cognitive loads’; while having learner writers still write in English, we can permit them to conduct their reading and research in their first language. Thirdly, we can offer an effective way of thinking about and producing writing that is worthy of publication through, to borrow Eric Hayot’s apt phrase, ‘a good theory of writing’. Finally, we can offer EFL learner writers a practical route to publication through journals such as the one that I established called Academe: First Forays into Academic Writing. I end the presentation by considering the potentially radical implications for the Anglophone world of inspiring and supporting EFL learner writers go for publication.

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