Anastasia’s creative writing
My subject reported that she had been writing stories since early childhood. When she lived in South Korea, she created short stories in English. After moving back to Russia in 2003, she joined a literature club where a university Creative Writing teacher assisted her and other children to compose stories in Russian. The participants were given two weeks to write a story, which they later discussed with their peers in class and made some suggestions for improvement. The story could be on any topic. After the in-class discussion, the teacher collected their writings, commented on them, and returned them back to the participants for revision. There were no grades in this class since its purpose was to help young writers to find their own voices and styles in writing rather than to assess their work. Anastasia enjoyed these meetings and wrote prolifically. Her writing in English at that time was represented by fanfiction based on Harry Potter series.
She abandoned writing during the years of studies in the Moscow State University because, as it was mentioned, she felt frustrated throughout the whole program and had neither inspiration, nor motivation for writing. After a productive and enjoyable year in Groningen, the Netherlands, she felt that she wanted to continue writing. Now she uses her both tongues for creating stories. In order to make a choice, she attempts to write first sentences in both languages and then decides what sounds “better”. She is currently working on a collection of children’s fairy-tales in Russian and commenced writing a novel in English based on her on her family history.
The process of data collection consisted of four stages. First, to gather data about An...
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...ng process while choosing a language for writing, I designed a task which required Anastasia to create a short story (at least 200 words) based on a picture (a language-in-use-event, please see Appendix 3). She could write it either in English or in Russian. To ensure that her language choice did not depend on the language of the guidelines, I provided them both in Russian and English. The picture was carefully selected from the website storybird.com and did not contain any captions or cultural references. It portrayed a woman and a cat standing in front of the window. This is a rather neutral image that did not provide any clue about the geographical location in which the story could take place. The excerpt (please see Appendix 3) was written in English and told of a woman (Ann) who was waiting for her mother’s decision as to whether she would stay in the retirement