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Volume 4 Number 1, Spring 2007, Pages 1-200   


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New Directions in Contrastive Rhetoric: Some implications for Teachers of Writing in Multilingual Contexts

    Setiono Sugiharto


Textbooks used in the teaching of writing in English often expose EFL students to paragraphs and essays, which exclusively adhere to English rhetoric. imposing this sort of rhetorical form as absolutes, teachers of writing require the students to explicitly state the thesis statement in the beginning, followed by the topic development and conclusion. This imposition is motivated by Kaplan's (1966) assertion that students from different cultures need to be made aware of rhetorical conventions of the language they learn in order for them to be able to inculcate the new rhetoric different from their own rhetorical hometowns. Nevertheless, despite its laudable pedagogical intentions to raise student's cultural and rhetorical awareness in English, traditional contrastive rhetoric has been criticized because of many reasons. Regrettably, despite severe attacks directed to traditional rhetoric, teachers of writing in EFL contexts still cling to it and employ it as a framework for teaching writing, and thus are not well informed about new directions that contrastive rhetoric has taken hitherto. This article reviews previous research of contrastive rhetoric, and discusses new directions contrastive rhetoric has taken. it also discusses pedagogical implications of these new directions for literacy pedagogy.