The Professional Divide Between Writing & Language Studies in the US: History, Epistemology, and Implications for DKU

Date and Time: Friday, Nov.3rd 2023 11:00am -noon

Location: AB 2101

Speaker: Dr. Tyler J. Carter w/an addendum by Laura Davies (LCC)

Abstract: Is there a difference between teaching writing as a language and teaching writing as a process? The short answer is yes, there is and this difference matters. In this presentation I will contrast the socio-historical development of (English) writing and language instruction in the United States via a discussion of the development of the audio-lingual approach to language instruction, US higher education reform in the 1960’s, and the development of the process approach to writing. Essentially, I argue, the contrasting epistemological commitments of language and writing studies, perhaps best exemplified by language standards and expressivist writing; in conjunction with the pressures of professionalization, has prevented the consolidation of knowledge across these closely related fields. Broadly, this work has curricular and pedagogical implications for writing instruction as well as implications for the ways our professional commitments shape our teaching and research. As an addendum to this presentation, Laura Davies will discuss how this material relates to the British system of writing and language and why all of this has particular importance within the context of LCC and DKU.