Improving academic writing through expressive writing
This study focuses on expressive writing to develop higher education students’ ability to write academic texts. Very often first year students not only find themselves in a new social environment, but they also have to get used to a new teaching environment. This study looks at academic literacy pedagogy as it is manifested in the understanding and experiences by tertiary L2 students engaging in the practice of expressive writing. The study was conducted among a group of fourteen students at a tertiary institution in the Western Cape and the aim was to develop strategies that could assist L2 students with English language writing tasks. Within a qualitative research framework students’ personal and expressive writing was analysed as an entry into academic writing. The degree to which this writing approximates academic writing is discussed. It is argued that classroom interaction and writing that centre on daily living and personal experiences (expressive writing) can support academic writing by providing practice in composing, developing, and analysing ideas.
Keywords: Literacy Pedagogy, Expressive Writing, Qualitative Study, Academic Writing, Academic Literacy