Topic: Some commentators brand academic writing skills lectures as being insensitive and inconsiderate of students’ linguistic background.

Does student linguistic background play an important role in determining ones academic ability? Should every academic writing skills lecture consider student background? It has been proven that academic writing skills are indeed needed and to be applied by students in order to improve language and writing ability. Academic writing is based on ‘’analysis-the process of breaking down ideas to increase one’s understanding. It uses deductive reasoning, semiformal voice, and third person point-of-view.’’(Jones, n.d). One of the biggest obstacles faced by students in their academic career academic writing. This essay will go into depth as to show that academic writing skills lectures are sensitive and considerate of students’ linguistic background.

Academic writing lectures have different structures that they have put in place in order to address every student difficulties. But some other things they cannot address due to that, the students are many and you can not only focus on one student. Students came from different linguistic background, we get that, which is why students are taught before handed tasks. Several of studies show that students tend to be under-prepared for university studies (Cliff and Hanslo 200:274). That is why universities have put structures in place to help those students those structures being (tutors, writing skills centres and tutor centres). Students will always want to blame everything on their backgrounds forgetting that also these lectures have their own backgrounds.

Lectures can only do as much, also students have to put in the work, why does this have to be an issue now. When in fact they have been taught from primary level how to write and communicate without imposing their background. Academic writing lectures go through all of the students work and analyse them at professional level and show all the areas where the students need to improve. With that said I don’t think those actions portray a person who is insensitive and inconsiderate. Every student here (south Africa) have been taught in English whether it was first or second language bottom line is you have been taught before. Why do we need to play the card ‘English is not my mother tongue’ when it comes to writing a well thought out work.

In conclusion we cannot always blame academic lectures for student’s inability to work hard and look past their backgrounds. If students and commentators continue branding lectures as being insensitive to their background, students will never get it right and they will struggle when they go into the industry because after all they are going to have write well put together reports are they still going to say the employers are inconsiderate of their linguistic background.


Cliff, A. and Hanslo, M. (2009). The design and use of alternate assessment of academic literacy as selection mechanisms in higher education. Southern African Linguistics and applied language studies, 27 (3), pp.265-276.

Jones, R. (n.d). Academic writing: looking at the big picture. [Internet]. Available from: writing.htm [Accessed 10 August 2016].

Jurecic, A. (2006). Is Teaching Writing still possible? New Jersey Writing Alliance, pp.1-13. Available from: [Accessed on 13 August 2016].


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