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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Emotionality and Second Language Writers: Expressing Fear through Narrative in Thai and in English

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Writing to express emotions can be a challenging task for second language (L2) writers, especially because it tends to be a process that is less addressed in language classrooms.  This paper aims to expand thinking on L2 literacy and writing by exploring how L2 writers can express emotion (fear) through narratives both in their first language (L1) and second language (L2). With a small number of participants, the study reports that narrative writing can be helpful in creating venues for L2 writers to become aware of linguistic and cultural aspects of their first (Thai) and second (English) languages. By providing personally significant writing prompts, L2 writers can reflect on their personal experiences and gain understanding about themselves linguistically, culturally, and emotionally. The paper concludes with pedagogical suggestions for how writing teachers can introduce both positive and negative emotions in L2 classrooms.


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