This lecture offers advice, based on Professor Cumming’s teaching experiences and on various research studies, to guide university professors and instructors to promote their students’ development of writing in English in university courses. All instructors are actually writing instructors and professor Cumming suggests that writing instruction should involve the following three fundamental functions:
1. Design and model tasks (as texts, as composing processes, and as sociocultural practices);
2. Scaffold writing production (scaffolding or guiding students to produce writing successfully);
3. Assess written texts (for diagnostic, formative, normative, and summative purposes).
Professor Alister Cumming is the former Head of the Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies, University of Toronto and is currently a Changjiang Scholar at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He was editor and then Executive Director of Language Learning and the Chair of ETS’ TOEFL Committee of Examiners through the 1990s and 2000s. His research and courses focus on the learning, teaching, and assessment of writing in English as a second/foreign language, the evaluation of programs and curricula for second language education and immigrant settlement, and the development of assessment instruments and procedures in academic, professional and settlement contexts.
Hyland, Ken. Teaching and Researching Writing (Third Edition). New York: Routledge, 2016.