Helping L2 students overcome negative writing affect
Keywords:WRITING AFFECT, WRITING MOTIVATION, WRITERS’ APPREHENSION, WRITERS’ SELF-EFFICACY, WRITERS' ANXIETY
Affect is an important predictor of writers’ performance. Though writing affect has been researched since the mid-1970s, few works have addressed the ways to motivate students to write and/or help them avoid demotivation. This paper suggests some guidelines that teachers can follow to help L2 students overcome negative writing affect. After briefly highlighting the aspects of negative writing affect and describing its causes, the paper provides five main guidelines for helping demotivated L2 students to write. These guidelines are: improving students’ linguistic knowledge, integrating technological tools in writing instruction, nurturing students’ positive beliefs about writing, optimizing teacher feedback, and orchestrating peer assessment activities. The first two pedagogical guidelines are concerned with fostering students’ positive writing affect indirectly through enabling them to overcome their composing problems and write in a supportive environment, whereas the last three focus on enhancing it directly by nurturing their positive beliefs about and attitudes towards writing. Each guideline is rationalized and described in detail.
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