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Spalding, E., Wang, J., Lin, E., and Hu, G. (2009). Analyzing voice in the writing of Chinese teachers of English. Research in the Teaching of English, 44(1), 23-51.
This study explored how voice developed in the English writing of 57 Chinese teachers of English who participated in a three-week writing workshop during a summer institute in a large, urban school district in southeastern China. Teachers from grades three through twelve wrote daily in English in a workshop environment. Primary data sources were pre- and post-workshop writing samples. Supporting data included various teacher writings completed in the course of the workshop, daily written reflections, a final essay exam, anonymous course evaluations, and biographical and professional surveys. The pre- and post-workshop writing samples were assessed using the 6 + 1 Trait® analytical model of scoring writing (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2006). Scoring showed that the teachers’ writing improved significantly in the course
of the institute, but the greatest gain was made in the trait of “voice”—the distinctive, individual way in which a writer speaks to a reader. This finding will be considered in light of the current direction of educational reform in China and of current debates over the value of teaching voice in diverse writing contexts. The study had implications for the teaching of writing to English language learners and for the professional development of teachers of writing, including those who teach English as a Foreign Language.
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