Classrooms filled with glassy-eyed students provide an experiential base for Alice S. Horning’s new comprehensive theory about basic writers.
Horning explores the theory of writing acquisition in detail. Her examination of spoken and written language and redundancy give a theoretical base to her argument that academic discourse is a separate linguistic system characterized by particular psycholinguistic features. She proposes that basic writers learn to write as other learners master a second language because for them, academic written English is a whole new language.
She explores the many connections to be found in second language acquisition research to the teaching and learning of writing and gives special attention to the interlanguage hypothesis, pidginization theory, and the Monitor theory. She also addresses the role of affective factors (feelings, attitudes, emotions, and motivation) in the success or failure of writing students.