Taking an emic ELF perspective on “good” academic writing in a global context

Yılmaz S., Belcher D.

in: Perspectives on Good Writing in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Christine Pearson Casanave,Robert Kohls, Editor, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (MI), USA , Michigan, pp.167-182, 2023

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (MI), USA 
  • City: Michigan
  • Page Numbers: pp.167-182
  • Editors: Christine Pearson Casanave,Robert Kohls, Editor
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The unprecedented diversity in global scholarly communication today challenges traditional views of its global medium, English academic writing, as being monolithic and possessing a uniform set of standards that identify “good” textual practices (Horner, 2011, 2018). Even in high stakes publishing contexts where powerful gatekeeping mechanisms are commonly observed, the so-called standards are adapted to accommodate the changing dynamics in academia, such as the increased participation of multilingual scholars from non-Anglophone settings and the specific disciplinary conventions of discourse construction (Gnutzmann & Rabe, 2014; Hynninen & Kuteeva, 2017; Solin & Hynninen, 2018). When all these factors are considered, it is not surprising that the wealth of purposes for and functions of writing in English academically leads to a great degree of variation across different genres and registers (Biber & Conrad, 2019). Such a new perspective necessitates an alternative approach to pedagogy that equips both teachers and students with skills to embrace the dynamism and complexity inherent in English academic writing for a global context (Horner, 2011). In this chapter, we focus, through an email interview, on the first author’s, Selahattin’s, perspective as an English-as-a-lingua-franca (ELF) writer and scholar/teacher to showcase the multitude of factors and multicultural experiences that can shape a multilingual professional academic’s views on “good” writing. The final part of the interview focuses on ways of meeting the needs of developing multilingual ELF writers—ways that honor their right to their own language(s), both in a metaphorical and literal sense.