Critical Pedagogy for Foreign-Language Writing

Although critical pedagogy has been widely discussed in the Americas, little research has been done to recontextualize it in foreign language (FL) writing and explore its actual impact on the learners’ sense of self. Hence, I consider in this article the possibility of transforming FL writing education by using a reconceptualized critical pedagogy. It first adapts from existing literature to develop a new framework for critical pedagogy for FL writing, emphasizing four interrelated components, i.e., relationship, identity, power and agency. It then describes the implementation of such a pedagogy in a creative writing classroom by a teacher researcher in an FL environment. Evidence such as students’ written reflections, writing samples and teacher’s fieldnotes suggests that this new critical pedagogy can help FL learners develop agentive ways with writing, which entails more increased confidence in writing, greater mastery of writing and healthier writing dispositions. My intention is not to provide a template for future work, but rather to generate discussion and localized explorations that facilitate rich understandings of both self and other through employing critical pedagogy for FL writing education.