Janet Emig

Janet Emig

Writing is an integral part of the learning process. Emig states that writing represents a unique mode of learning – not merely valuable, not merely special, but unique (122).

According to Emig, Writing is originating and creating a unique verbal construct that is graphically recorded(123). She provides a distinction between Writing, Reading and Listening. “Reading is creating or recreating but not originating a verbal construct that is graphically recorded while listening is creating or recreating but not originating in a verbal construct that is not graphically recorded. Talking is creating and originating a verbal construct that is not graphically recorded except for the circuitous routing of a transcribed tape”(123).

Thus, writing is unique as it is creating and originating as well as graphically recorded. Much importance is given to writing as it is considered one of the better learning processes than other forms which are Reading, Listening and Talking. In Thought and Language , Vygotsky notes that written speech is a separate linguistic function differing from oral speech in both structure and mode of functioning (Emig 123).

Emig gives writing much more prestige as she states that writing is learned behavior, provides its own context, results in visible graphic product, tends to be more responsible and committed act, and finally writing is often our representation of the worlds made visible, embodying both process and product, writing is a form and source of learning(124).

Therefore, according to the excerpt , writing is one of the better modes of learning as compared to Reading, Listening and Talking. Although writing is a process which is slow, the slow pace allows for a greater capacity of learning and allows us to connect to the past, present and future . David Russell and David Foster have given much importance to writing and enhancing the quality of writing by looking at the linguistic aspects of writing such as lexical and grammatical structure.

Emig states that , Writing , in other words , connects the three major tenses to our experience to make meaning, and, the two major modes by which these three aspects are united are the process of analysis and synthesis(127).

Finally writing is epigenetic, with the complex evolutionary development of thought steadily and graphically visible and available throughout as a record of journey, from jottings and notes to full discursive formulations(Emig:127). Thus, writing , being a process, a slower process, enhances learning, therefore , it is a better mode of learning.

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