Contrastive Rhetoric Across Cultures

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Contrastive Rhetoric Across Cultures
A convectional approach to contrastive rhetoric as developed by Robert Kaplan, who hypothesized on his contrastive rhetoric’s through "Cultural Thought Patterns in International Education” has focused on cultural differences in rhetorical patterns among various languages. Irrespective of its commendable educational objective to raise students as well as teacher’s rhetorical and cultural awareness in writing the second language, contrastive rhetoric views students as culturally deficit and holds a static binary between other languages and English (Kaplan, 1966). About Kaplan, he is Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistic and past director of the American Language Institute at the University of Southern California.
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From the article, Kaplan analyzesses differences between teaching of reading and composition writing to native and non-native America students. Basically, his interest was focused in the inference of a first language that was culturally bound to the pattern and thought on writing in a second language. He mentioned “because a student can write an adequate essay in his native language...[does not mean he can] write an adequate essay in a second language” (13) affirming that different languages had their own specific and culturally bound conventions and patterns of writing and thus differed greatly. In conclusion, Kaplan came up with a graphical representation of the pattern of discourse of five major languages (English, Semitic, Oriental, Russian, and Romance) under the statement that developing one’s ideas in texts differed in disparate languages. Studying this, Kaplan pursued that L2 students can improve their logical thinking better in writing essay with the base of L1 English speaker through a proper teaching. His findings suggest that outside lingual logic in English writing should confine to those of native English speaker. Apart from conceptualizing the principle of contrastive rhetoric, Kaplan also explored then patterns of thought from disparate cultures. From…show more content…
This contrastive rhetoric seems interesting but most of contrastive rhetoric is limited since most rhetoric exclusively focuses on text structures and even treats rhetoric of different languages narrowly and monolithically. For instance, Kaplan mentioned that contrastive rhetoric mainly consists of paragraphs organized to start with a topic sentence. However, research has extended beyond text analysis and explored contrast in reading as well as writing and even finished texts (Connor,
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