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Home Journal Index 2022-4

An Exploratory Study of Fiction Writing's Relationship to Additional-Language Narrative Performance and Ownership

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Justin Nicholes
University of Wisconsin-Stout, USA


Abstract
Narrative competence, the ability to construct and comprehend especially fictional narratives, has long represented an advanced ability for language users (Pavlenko, 2006). This study explored whether additional language (AL) writers, who demonstrated narrative competence in English by composing fictional stories about imagined future scenarios, differed in degree of expressed Englishlanguage ownership (Hanauer & Dolan, 2014; Nicholes, 2017b; Olckers, 2013) from AL writers who performed statements about imagined futures. In this study, seventy (N = 70) AL writers were invited to write fictional accounts of their imagined futures and then report their perceived ownership of English. Writers were grouped by those who accomplished stories and those who composed statements imagining their futures. Mann-Whitney U tests of difference indicated that those AL writers who composed stories, with characters, description, setting, or other story elements, reported statistically significantly more ownership of English both pre-intervention (U = 429, p = .028, r = .26) and post-intervention (U = 403, p = .013, r = .30). Meanwhile, the writing experience did not itself relate to significant changes in reported ownership for the group of participants who wrote either stories or statements. This study indicates that narrative performance may predict or otherwise be associated with AL perceived ownership of English as an additional language and concludes with theoretical and pedagogical implications for fiction writing in the AL classroom. 

 

Keywords
Creative writing, ownership, narrative competence, additional language writing, fiction writing