“I Need My Instructor to Like Sit with Me”: Addressing Culture in L2 Writing Instruction


  • Subrata Bhowmik University of Calgary
  • Anita Chaudhuri University of British Columbia




Culture, L2 Writing, English for Academic Purposes, EAP, L2 Writing Pedagogy, Intercultural Rhetoric


One of the objectives of examining culture vis-à-vis additional language (L2) writing is to conceptualize an effective L2 writing pedagogy (Matsuda & Atkinson, 2008). Kaplan’s (1966) analysis of English as an additional language (EAL) texts was a pioneering endeavour in this regard, although due to ensuing controversy surrounding his claims, the desired goals of his effort were never achieved, leaving a gap in culture studies of L2 writing (Abasi, 2012; Belcher, 2014). This article reports on an investigation of student views on what instructors can do to help overcome cultural challenges L2 writers encounter in an English for academic purposes (EAP) context. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys, this qualitative case study examined 27 students at a Canadian university. Data analysis yielded six categories of instructor support: (a) providing explicit feedback on writing; (b) providing English text structures; (c) using exemplars; (d) creating opportunities for in-class writing and reviews; (e) explaining cultural differences between first language (L1) and L2 writing; and (f) providing more writing practice. The findings underline the importance of instructors’ roles in unpacking various cultural underpinnings in L2 writing. Also, they support the (re)conceptualization of L2 writing pedagogy that integrates empirical evidence into instruction. The implications for L2 writing instruction are discussed.

Author Biographies

Subrata Bhowmik, University of Calgary

Subrata Bhowmik is a senior instructor at the Werklund School of Education of the University of Calgary. His academic interests include L2 writing and sociocultural approaches to L2 learning.

Anita Chaudhuri, University of British Columbia

Anita Chaudhuri is an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus. She specializes in writing studies and is interested in the identity construction of language learners, their development in writing, and communication.




How to Cite

Bhowmik, S., & Chaudhuri, A. (2021). “I Need My Instructor to Like Sit with Me”: Addressing Culture in L2 Writing Instruction. BC TEAL Journal, 6(1), 11–28. https://doi.org/10.14288/bctj.v6i1.387