The formal features of oral and literate strategies of communication: Their implications for EFL writing revision

Omar F. Atari, Mounir A. Triki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Arab EFL students' compositions exhibit the symptoms of a failure to perceive the differences beween oral/literate strategies of communication (Atari 1984; Kharma 1986), Existing pedagogical practices, lacking a sound theory of EFL writing corrective feedback, are partly responsible for the problem (Horner 1988). A more systematic focus on the formal features of oral versus literate strategies should sensitize students to an appropriate utilization of such strategies in their communication. This could be achieved by introducing these strategies in terms of the following parameters: 1) the process of enunciation, 2) the syntactic level, 3) the use of tense, aspect and modality, 4) the choice of lexical items, and 5) the logical layout. Virtually all texts are more or less mixed and carry varying degrees of oral or literate strategies. However, successful mixing is a conscious manipulation of these features whereas unsuccessful mixing denotes the students1 confusion over them. Some implications for classroom EFL writing revision will be suggested. First, “brainstorming”, to enable the teacher to focus on one discoursal feature. Second, “peer evaluation” among students leading to reformulations of their own first drafts. Finally, “a contrastive analysis exercise” whereby the students compare and contrast the first drafts corrected by them in the light of “brainstorming” and “peer evaluation” with suggested reformulations by their teacher as a final cycle of revision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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