The aspects of written discourse addressed in this collection of nine papers are represented in terms of the defining informational constraints on their standard use, and the associated pragma-discoursal impact on the message. Each of the first seven papers individually addresses a core feature of written discourse of challenge to the high–intermediate English as a Foreign Language learner, by examining how s/he tackles the very particular information-packaging directives that govern it. These seven papers cover a range of such features, from the micro- to the macro-level, including, reference framing, the marking of time and temporal passage, key intersentential relations and discoursal developments, and the signaling of genre. The eighth paper attempts a more general assessment of the information-design challenge that these facets of composing collectively constitute, and the last paper identifies, and accounts for, a common learning strategy that the typical foreign language context gives rise to. As a whole, the collection is a comprehensive but also deeply probing, first-of-its-kind pragma-discoursal study of how second-language writing is learned in a foreign language environment.
Asha Tickoo is Associate Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Gothenburg. Her areas of specialty are Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, and Second Language Acquisition. She uses discourse-pragmatic principles to analyse the structure of written language, and examines the prose of both skilled and unskilled writers, often in comparative ways. While she is interested in the formal study of written language, one of her major goals is also to show that rigorous discourse-pragmatic analysis of language data is a rich resource of information for language pedagogy.