Exploring Discourse and Creativity in Facebook Creative Writing by Non-Native Speakers

Exploring Discourse and Creativity in Facebook Creative Writing by Non-Native Speakers

Reima Al-Jarf (King Saud University, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5622-0.ch001

Abstract

Facebook and other social media sites have been used by young Arabs for many purposes such as exchanging ideas and information, reporting breaking news, posting special events, launching political campaigns, announcing family gatherings, and sending seasons' greetings. Another emerging type of timeline posts is creative writing in English. Some Arab Facebook users post lines of verse, short anecdotes or points of view, express emotions, personal experiences, and/or inspirational stories or sayings written in literary style. A sample of Facebook creative writing pages/clubs and creative timeline posts was collected and analyzed to find out the forms and themes of creative writing texts. A sample of Facebook Arab creative writers was also surveyed to find out the reasons for their creative writing activities in English. This chapter describes the data collection and analysis procedures and reports results quantitatively and qualitatively. Implications for developing creative writing skills in foreign/second language learners using Facebook and other social media are given.
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Introduction

Writing in a foreign/second language (L2) is a difficult task for many students, because they are inhibited, afraid of making mistakes, have insufficient grammar and vocabulary knowledge, or because they are incapable of generating ideas. To enhance students’ writing skills, in general, and creative writing, in particular, researchers and teachers have utilized several instructional strategies and practices, such as using wordless picture books (Henry, 2003), plot scaffolding (O’Day, 2006), collaborative creative writing activities, assignments and projects (Vass, 2002; Feuer, 2011; Bremner, Peirson-Smith and Bhatia, 2014; Arshavskaya, 2015), the integration of cooperative learning and journalizing (Bartscher, Lawler, Ramirez and Schinault, 2001; and Racco, 2010;), learning about photography and using it as inspiration for students’ creative writing (Haines, 2015), the cluster method (Sahbaz and Duran, 2011), the integration of creative and critical written responses to literary texts in different genres (Racco, 2010; Wilson, 2011), incorporating journal and/or personal letter writing from the perspective of people that have been marginalized in the students’ dominant culture (Stillar, 2013), developing a creative writing instructional program based on speaking activities (Bayat, 2016), using a semiotic analysis theory-based writing activity in which cartoon caricatures are selected as visual texts for analysis (Sarar Kuzu, 2016), using nonfiction mentor texts to assist students in writing their own creative informational texts about animals (Dollins, 2016), inviting students to write poetry across the curriculum (Bintz, 2017), and analyzing song lyrics containing vivid details, using a graphic organizer, and a kinesthetic activity to help students devise similes and metaphors and construct vivid sensory details in their fiction and creative nonfiction writing (Del Nero, 2017).

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