Issues in teaching and learning EFL writing in East Asian contexts: The case of Japan

Sachiko Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Amid growing demand for developing English communication skills in the rapidly globalizing world, the need to facilitate students' acquisition of advanced literacy in English-the ability to accomplish communication by means of writing-has also been pressing even in English as a foreign language (EFL) environments. Accordingly, many EFL countries have implemented English language education reforms, and this is also the case in Japan's Course of Study (COS) guidelines, which have been revised every ten years. The purpose of this study is, then, to gain an updated understanding of the current state of writing instruction in Japanese EFL contexts by exploring to what extent and in what ways writing is taught to and experienced by students in the classroom at both senior high school and university levels. The research team conducted a large scale questionnaire study of Japanese university students (N = 481) to ascertain their previous writing experience in instructional contexts. The findings indicated that goals for writing instruction consistently emphasized grammatical correctness at the expense of content, and teachers' approaches were hardly geared toward helping students to become actual writers who convey meaning in a certain rhetorical context. Future directions for EFL writing instruction are discussed to help students develop their real-world communication skills. It is also emphasized that issues in teaching and learning writing are comparable across East Asian EFL contexts and that writing practitioners in East Asian countries need to cross the border to develop theories and pedagogies that accommodate the unique needs of EFL writers in East Asian contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-187
Number of pages38
JournalAsian EFL Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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