Chinese Academic Writing
Ever since ancient Greece, language and rhetoric have long been valued in the long-standing Western tradition as tools to express thoughts and communicate issues concerning language. In the realm of English writing, therefore, there have been considerable reference books on grammar and rhetoric in the Western world. By comparison, such books are rare in Chinese writing education.
Writing lays a foundation for cognitive thinking and logical analysis, so it should work with other fields of scholarship in addition to Chinese language and literature. In the writing education in Sweden, for example, language instructors are not the only teachers who are responsible for cultivating students’ writing abilities. Students there practice writing in not only composition classes but also every aspect of their lives so as to connect writing with reading, discussing, and thinking. In Japan, even though the importance of English cannot be more emphasized in their language education, some have realized that improving Japanese, their mother tongue, should be the cornerstone on which to enhance students’ analytical thinking abilities. With that realization come all sorts of widely popular language training publications and writing training software. Also, more and more Japanese people have taken Japanese language proficiency test of various levels. Sweden and Japan have shown that native language education should never be overlooked despite the effort to enhance English proficiency. Specifically, writing is such a manifestation of high thinking ability that it should be enhanced via native language education.
In view of the importance of writing training in native language in higher education and the lack of Chinese writing education, AWEC intends to train students’ writing abilities via linguistic and applied linguistic knowledge (e.g. rhetoric) and further help them build logical, critical, and integrative thinking skills, in the hope of demystifying the misconception that writing is a mere output of sheer talent and excessive drilling. Taking into consideration Taiwanese students’ learning backgrounds and writing needs, AWEC develops a series of professional Chinese writing courses that aim to build them a good writing foundation through systematic teaching and learning.