Writer-Based and Reader-Based Prose in the Author’s Development as a Newspaper Columnist

Mallika Vasugi Govindarajoo, Shorouk Aboudahr, Jayakaran Mukundan


The purpose of this study was to explore the researcher’s development as a columnist, particularly from the perspectives of Writer-Based and Reader-Based prose, and to identify the topics that have been recurrent themes during the 20-year period of education column writing. An in-depth examination of the researcher’s 210 published column articles (Teacher Talk, The Star. 2002-2021) was carried out with an analysis of content to compare the extent of Reader-Based Prose and Writer-Based Prose as well as topics or issues pertaining to teachers that have been consistently featured throughout the 20 years.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants for the purpose of triangulation. The study revealed that over the period of 20 years, there was a gradual but definite shift towards greater Reader-Based Prose and stronger writer’s ‘presence’ in the column articles. Although elements of Writer-Based Prose were present in particular instances, there was a stronger pattern of Reader-Based Prose in the researcher’s writing, especially in articles written after 2005. Readers could identify with the characters and settings and draw personal meanings from the issues highlighted in the articles th us providing credence to Reader Response Theory. The issues or topics that featured most in the articles and that were most often repeated throughout the 20-year period were teachers’ perceptions of policies and professional issues and special school events. The same topics were the main emerging themes during the interviews thus providing confirmation that most issues experienced by Malaysian school teachers have remained the same over the past twenty years.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v13n8p63

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'sciedupress.com' 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. If you have any questions, please contact: wjel@sciedupress.com