Prospective ESL/EFL Teachers Perceptions towards Writing Poetry in a Second Language: Difficulty, Value, Emotion, and Attitude

Fang-Yu Liao


The study aims to explore how 18 M.A. TESOL students, who are prospective or experienced ESL/EFL teachers, perceive poetry writing in a second language. A qualitative interview-based design was utilized. Following Iidas (2012a) analytical framework in examining EFL students perceptions toward writing haiku in English, this current study investigates 18 prospective ESL/EFL teachers perspectives through the lens of difficulty, value, emotion, and attitude. In order to validate the coding of the interviews, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) test was computed among three interview coders including the primary researcher, which yields a great agreement rate at .86. The results indicate that while these prospective ESL/EFL teachers understand writing poetry in a second language involves various difficulties, they acknowledge the values of utilizing poetry writing in second language classrooms. The results also show that writing poetry in a second language contains both positive and negative emotions, but positive ones are more frequently addressed. Most importantly, the data suggests that writing poetry in a second language is considered as an applicable practice in ESL/EFL language classrooms.


Poetry writing; ESL context; perceptions; M.A. TESOL; language teaching

Full Text:



Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., & Sorensen, C. (2010). Introduction to research in education (8th edition). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Burton, P. (2010). Creativity in Hong Kong schools. World Englishes, 29(4), 493-507. doi/10.1111/j.1467-971X.2010.01677.x

Chamcharatsri, P. B. (2013). Poetry writing to express love in Thailand in English: A second language (L2) writing perspective. International Journal of Innovation in English Language, 2(2), 141-157.

Fernsten, L. (2008). Writer identity and ESL learners. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(1), 44-52. doi:10.1598/JAAL.52.1.5

Garvin, R. T. (2013). Researching Chinese History and Culture Through Poetry Writing in an EFL Composition Class. L2 Journal, 5(1), 76-94.

Hanauer, D. (2004). Poetry and the Meaning of Life. Toronto: Pippin.

Hanauer, D. I. (2010). Poetry as Research: Exploring second language poetry writing. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Hanauer, D. I. (2011). Meaningful literacy: Writing poetry in the language classroom. Language Teaching, 45(01), 105115. doi:10.1017/S0261444810000522

Hanauer, D. I. (2014). Appreciating the beauty of second language poetry writing. In D. Disney (Ed.), Exploring second language creative writing: Beyond babel. (pp. 11-22). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

Hanauer, D. I. (2015). Measuring voice in poetry written by second language learners. Written Communication, 32(1), 66-86. doi: 10.1177/0741088314563023

Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. doi: 10.1177/1049732305276687

Iida, A. (2008). Poetry writing as expressive pedagogy in an EFL context: Identifying possible assessment tools for haiku poetry in EFL freshman college writing. Assessing Writing, 13(3), 171-179.

Iida, A. (2012a). Writing haiku in a second language: Perceptions, attitudes, and emotions of second language learners. Sino-US English Teaching, 9(9), 1472-1485.

Iida, A. (2012b). The value of poetry writing: Cross-genre literacy development in a second language. Scientific Study of Literature, 2(1), 60-82. doi: 10.1075/ssol.2.1.04iid

Iida, A. (2016a). Exploring earthquake experiences: A study of second language learners ability to express and communicate deeply traumatic events in poetic form. System, 57, 120-133.

Iida, A. (2016b). Poetic identity in second language writing: Exploring an EFL learners study abroad experience. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(1), 1-14.

Kramsch, C. (2003). The privilege of the nonnative speaker. In C. Blythe (Eds.), The sociolinguistics of foreign language classrooms: Contributions of the native, the near-native and the non-native speaker (pp.252-261). Boston: Heinle.

Liao, F. (2016). Identities in an ESL poetry book: A case study of one Chinese student. The Journal of Literature in Language Teaching, 5(1), 45-61.

Liao, F., & Roy, S. (2017). EFL students perceptions of writing poetry in English: The effect of educational backgrounds and belief towards poetry. The Journal of Literature in Language Teaching, 6(1), 55-72.

McKay, S. (2009). Teaching English as an International Language. New York: Oxford University Press.

Matsuda, A., & Friedrich, P. (2011). English as an international language: A curriculum blueprint. World Englishes, 30(3), 332-344. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-971X.2011.01717.x

Pennycook, A. (1996). Borrowing others words: Text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 201-230.

Tin, B. T. (2010). Language creativity and co-emergence of form and meaning in creative writing tasks. Applied Linguistics, 32(2), 215-235.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN 2149­-1135
Copyright © Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

Ejal Editorial | Create Your Badge

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.