Opposition and accommodation: An examination of Turkish teachers' attitudes toward Western approaches to the teaching of writing

Arlene Clachar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on cross-cultural tensions in Western writing pedagogy as reflected in Turkish teachers' oppositional and accommodative attitudes and how those attitudes play out in classroom interactions. Oppositional attitudes toward Western approaches to the teaching of writing seem to rest on the perceived disjunction between Western writing pedagogy, which prescribes students' ability to criticize, analyze, question, and evaluate theories, data, assertions, etc., in their essays, and Turkish literary practices, which value appreciation over criticism, description over analysis, reproduction over questioning, and justification for differing interpretations over evaluation of them. Teachers' accommodative attitudes appear to be grounded in Turkey's geopolitics: Turkey is a secular state and more than 70 years of republican history has endorsed a secular constitution demonstrating that Turkey's official policy is more (with some reservation) in favor of Western European connections. Given this state of affairs, some teachers underscore the importance of exposing students to the rigors of Western scholarship. Oppositional attitudes are reflected in teachers' control over the organization, distribution, and evolution of knowledge in writing conferences, a stance at odds ivith the process-centered and rhetorical approaches to the teaching of writing that the Turkish teachers had been encouraged to use. Accommodative attitudes are reflected in jointly-produced interactions more consistent with the philosophical and instructional tenets of Western writing pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-97
Number of pages32
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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