Paul Kei Matsuda
Contrastive Rhetoric in Context: A Dynamic Model of L2 Writing

Journal of Second Language Writing 6.1 (1997)

The notion of contrastive rhetoric was first proposed as a pedagogical solution to the problem of L2 organization, and the subsequent development in research has generated, among other valuable insights, three explanations for the organizational structures of L2 texts, including linguistic, cultural, and educational explanations. However, the contribution of contrastive rhetoric to the teaching of ESL writing has been limited because of the underlying assumptions that have guided the early pedagogical approaches. This study identifies a static theory of L2 writing (Figure 1) that has been widely used in teaching organizational structures and considers how the pedagogical application of insights from contrastive rhetoric studies have been limited by this theory. To overcome the limitations of the static theory, an alternative, dynamic model of L2 writing (Figure 2) is proposed, and its implications for further research and the teaching of L2 writing are discussed.

Matsuda, P. K. (1997). Contrastive rhetoric in context: A dynamic model of L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 6(1), 45-60. doi:10.1016/S1060-3743(97)90005-9  

Reprinted in: Silva, T., & Matsuda, P. K. (Eds.). (2001). Landmark essays on ESL writing. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Updated on April 28, 2013