Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Writing Related Abstracts

22 A Comparative Genre-Based Study of Research Articles' Method and Results Sections Authored by Iranian and English Native Speakers

Authors: Mohammad Amin Mozaheb, Mahnaz Saeidi, Saeideh Ahangari, Saeideh Ahangari


The present genre-driven study aims at comparing moves and sub-moves deployed by Iranian and English medical writers while writing their research articles in English. To obtain the goals of the study, the researchers randomly selected a number of medical articles and compared them using Nwogu (1997)’s model. The results of relevant statistical tests, Chi-square tests for goodness of fit, used for comparing the two groups of the articles dubbed IrISI (Iranian ISI articles) and EISI (English ISI articles) have shown that no significant difference exists between the two groups of the articles in terms of the moves and sub-moves used in the method and results sections of them. The findings can be beneficial for people interested in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and medical experts. The findings can also increase language awareness and genre awareness among researchers who are interested in publishing their research outcomes in ISI-indexed journals in the Islamic Republic of Iran and some other world countries.

Keywords: Medical Sciences, Language, Writing, scientific writing, ESP, research articles

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21 Dialogue Journals as an EFL Learning Strategy in the Preparatory Year Program: Learners' Attitudes and Perceptions

Authors: Asma Alyahya


This study attempts to elicit the perceptions and attitudes of EFL learners of the Preparatory Year Program at KSU towards dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The descriptive research design used incorporated both qualitative and quantitative instruments to accomplish the objectives of the study. A learners’ attitude questionnaire and follow-up interviews with learners from a randomly selected representative sample of the participants were employed. The participants were 55 female Saudi university students in the Preparatory Year Program at King Saud University. The analysis of the results indicated that the PYP learners had highly positive attitudes towards dialogue journal writing in their EFL classes and positive perceptions of the benefits of the use of dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The results also revealed that dialogue journals are considered an effective EFL learning strategy since they fulfill various needs for both learners and instructors. Interestingly, the analysis of the results also revealed that Saudi university level students tend to write about personal topics in their dialogue journals more than academic ones.

Keywords: Writing, learning strategy, EFL, dialogue journals

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20 Experiencing Negative Thoughts? Write It, Crumple It and Throw It

Authors: Yasmin Othman Mydin


When one experiences problems, this may lead to negative thoughts. These thoughts may occur repetitively. The present study investigates the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioural techniques to reduce negative thoughts. 20 undergraduate university students participated as the sample in these experimental therapy sessions. Ten students received the intervention while the other ten students were in control group. 15 items Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire was administered before and after the intervention to test the effectiveness of the techniques. The behavioural techniques applied were such as, write down the negative thoughts, crumple it and throw it away. While the cognitive technique was to imagine that the thoughts are being taken out of the mind while throwing it away. Paired samples t-test analysis revealed that there were significant reductions (t=4.245,df=9, p .003) in the negative thoughts in the group that received the intervention compared to the control group. This indicates that these techniques are effective to reduce the repetitive negative thoughts.

Keywords: Psychology, Writing, behaviour and cognitive intervention, negative thoughts

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19 The Effects of SMS on the Formal Writings of the Students: A Comparative Study among the Students of Different Departments of IUB

Authors: Sumaira Saleem


This study reveals that the use of SMS effect the formal writing of the students. SMS is in vogue sine the last decade but its detrimental effects are effecting not only to the set norms but also deviant forms of expressions have come into the community to which all are not acquainted and it creates a hurdle in effective communication. It also determines the reasons behind the usage of SMS practices in the formal writings like in assignments and examinations. For this study a questionnaire was designed for faculty and students the data was collected from The Islamia University Bahawalpur and the formal work of the students was also collected to check the manifestation of SMS practices in writings. Data was analysed on excel sheet and the tables and graphs are used to explain the ratios and percentages of SMS usage. The results show that the usage of SMS has very strong effect upon the students writing.

Keywords: Technology, Writing, SMS, effects

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18 Developing a Model of Teaching Writing Based On Reading Approach through Reflection Strategy for EFL Students of STKIP YPUP

Authors: Eny Syatriana, Ardiansyah


The purpose of recent study was to develop a learning model on writing, based on the reading texts which will be read by the students using reflection strategy. The strategy would allow the students to read the text and then they would write back the main idea and to develop the text by using their own sentences. So, the writing practice was begun by reading an interesting text, then the students would develop the text which has been read into their writing. The problem questions are (1) what kind of learning model that can develop the students writing ability? (2) what is the achievement of the students of STKIP YPUP through reflection strategy? (3) is the using of the strategy effective to develop students competence In writing? (4) in what level are the students interest toward the using of a strategy In writing subject? This development research consisted of some steps, they are (1) need analysis (2) model design (3) implementation (4) model evaluation. The need analysis was applied through discussion among the writing lecturers to create a learning model for writing subject. To see the effectiveness of the model, an experiment would be delivered for one class. The instrument and learning material would be validated by the experts. In every steps of material development, there was a learning process, where would be validated by an expert. The research used development design. These Principles and procedures or research design and development .This study, researcher would do need analysis, creating prototype, content validation, and limited empiric experiment to the sample. In each steps, there should be an assessment and revision to the drafts before continue to the next steps. The second year, the prototype would be tested empirically to four classes in STKIP YPUP for English department. Implementing the test greatly was done through the action research and followed by evaluation and validation from the experts.

Keywords: Development, Strategy, Reading, Writing, learning model, reflection

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17 Adopting a Comparative Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching Writing in the Global Classroom

Authors: Madhura Bandyopadhyay


Teaching writing within multicultural and multiethnic communities poses many unique challenges not the least of which is that of intercultural communication. When the writing is in English, pedagogical imperatives often encounter the universalizing tendencies of standardization of both language use and structural parameters which are often at odds with maintaining local practices which preserve cultural pluralism. English often becomes the contact zone within which individual identities of students play out against the standardization imperatives of the larger world. Writing classes can serve as places which become instruments of assimilation of ethnic minorities to a larger globalizing or nationalistic agenda. Hence, for those outside of the standard practices of writing English, adaptability towards a mastery of those practices valued as standard become the focus of teaching taking away from diversity of local English use and other modes of critical thinking. In a very multicultural and multiethnic context such as the US or Singapore, these dynamics become very important. This paper will argue that multiethnic writing classrooms can greatly benefit from taking up a cultural studies approach whereby the students’ lived environments and experiences are analyzed as cultural texts to produce writing. Such an approach eliminates limitations of using both literary texts as foci of discussion as in traditional approaches to teaching writing and the current trend in teaching composition without using texts at all. By bringing in students’ lived experiences into the classroom and analyzing them as cultural compositions stressing the ability to communicate across cultures, cultural competency is valued rather than adaptability while privileging pluralistic experiences as valuable even as universal shared experience are found. Specifically, while teaching writing in English in a multicultural classroom, a cultural studies approach makes both teacher and student aware of the diversity of the English language as it exists in our global context in the students’ experience while making space for diversity in critical thinking, structure and organization of writing effective in an intercultural context.

Keywords: Teaching, English, Writing, Multicultural

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16 The Techno-Pedagogical Pivot: Designing and Implementing a Digital Writing Tool

Authors: Justin D. Olmanson, Katrina S. Kennett, Bill Cope


In the field of education technology, innovation is often tightly coupled to recent technological inventions and emerging technologies. Despite this, some scholars have argued that using established technologies in new pedagogical or curricular ways recasts them and places them once more under the umbrella of emerging education technologies. In this study, we trace how an innovative education technology design emerged, not from a technological breakthrough, but rather via a techno-pedagogical pivot. We describe the design and impact of a digital writing tool created to scaffold student self-evaluation of academic texts. We theorize about and trace how innovation can also emerge from a pivot, namely how leveraging existing practices in new ways can create pedagogically and experientially innovative learning opportunities. After describing the design of Info Writer, we unpack the results of a study based on an implementation the tool, and then theorize and reflect on the way the design process and study findings suggest that pivoting an existing practice can lead to innovative education technology designs.

Keywords: Education, Design, Technology, Writing, revision

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15 Blogging vs Paper-and-Pencil Writing: Evidences from an Iranian Academic L2 Setting

Authors: Mehran Memari, Bita Asadi


Second language (L2) classrooms in academic contexts usually consist of learners with diverse L2 proficiency levels. One solution for managing such heterogeneous classes and addressing individual needs of students is to improve learner autonomy by using technological innovations such as blogging. The focus of this study is on investigating the effects of blogging on improving the quality of Iranian university students' writings. For this aim, twenty-six Iranian university students participated in the study. Students in the experimental group (n=13) were required to blog daily while the students in the control group (n=13) were asked to write a daily schedule using paper and pencil. After a 3-month period of instruction, the five last writings of the students from both groups were rated by two experienced raters. Also, students' attitudes toward the traditional method and blogging were surveyed using a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. The research results showed evidences in favor of the students who used blogging in their writing program. Also, although students in the experimental group found blogging more demanding than the traditional method, they showed an overall positive attitude toward the use of blogging as a way of improving their writing skills. The findings of the study have implications for the incorporation of computer-assisted learning in L2 academic contexts.

Keywords: Writing, Blogging, computer-assisted learning, paper and pencil

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14 Transcription Skills and Written Composition in Chinese

Authors: Pui-sze Yeung, Connie Suk-han Ho, David Wai-ock Chan, Kevin Kien-hoa Chung


Background: Recent findings have shown that transcription skills play a unique and significant role in Chinese word reading and spelling (i.e. word dictation), and written composition development. The interrelationships among component skills of transcription, word reading, word spelling, and written composition in Chinese have rarely been examined in the literature. Is the contribution of component skills of transcription to Chinese written composition mediated by word level skills (i.e., word reading and spelling)? Methods: The participants in the study were 249 Chinese children in Grade 1, Grade 3, and Grade 5 in Hong Kong. They were administered measures of general reasoning ability, orthographic knowledge, stroke sequence knowledge, word spelling, handwriting fluency, word reading, and Chinese narrative writing. Orthographic knowledge- orthographic knowledge was assessed by a task modeled after the lexical decision subtest of the Hong Kong Test of Specific Learning Difficulties in Reading and Writing (HKT-SpLD). Stroke sequence knowledge: The participants’ performance in producing legitimate stroke sequences was measured by a stroke sequence knowledge task. Handwriting fluency- Handwriting fluency was assessed by a task modeled after the Chinese Handwriting Speed Test. Word spelling: The stimuli of the word spelling task consist of fourteen two-character Chinese words. Word reading: The stimuli of the word reading task consist of 120 two-character Chinese words. Written composition: A narrative writing task was used to assess the participants’ text writing skills. Results: Analysis of covariance results showed that there were significant between-grade differences in the performance of word reading, word spelling, handwriting fluency, and written composition. Preliminary hierarchical multiple regression analysis results showed that orthographic knowledge, word spelling, and handwriting fluency were unique predictors of Chinese written composition even after controlling for age, IQ, and word reading. The interaction effects between grade and each of these three skills (orthographic knowledge, word spelling, and handwriting fluency) were not significant. Path analysis results showed that orthographic knowledge contributed to written composition both directly and indirectly through word spelling, while handwriting fluency contributed to written composition directly and indirectly through both word reading and spelling. Stroke sequence knowledge only contributed to written composition indirectly through word spelling. Conclusions: Preliminary hierarchical regression results were consistent with previous findings about the significant role of transcription skills in Chinese word reading, spelling and written composition development. The fact that orthographic knowledge contributed both directly and indirectly to written composition through word reading and spelling may reflect the impact of the script-sound-meaning convergence of Chinese characters on the composing process. The significant contribution of word spelling and handwriting fluency to Chinese written composition across elementary grades highlighted the difficulty in attaining automaticity of transcription skills in Chinese, which limits the working memory resources available for other composing processes.

Keywords: Writing, orthographic knowledge, transcription skills, word reading

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13 Teachers' and Learners' Experiences of Learners' Writing in English First Additional Language

Authors: Jane-Francis A. Abongdia, Thandiswa Mpiti


There is an international concern to develop children’s literacy skills. In many parts of the world, the need to become fluent in a second language is essential for gaining meaningful access to education, the labour market and broader social functioning. In spite of these efforts, the problem still continues. The level of English language proficiency is far from satisfactory and these goals are unattainable by others. The issue is more complex in South Africa as learners are immersed in a second language (L2) curriculum. South Africa is a prime example of a country facing the dilemma of how to effectively equip a majority of its population with English as a second language or first additional language (FAL). Given the multilingual nature of South Africa with eleven official languages, and the position and power of English, the study investigates teachers’ and learners’ experiences on isiXhosa and Afrikaans background learners’ writing in English First Additional Language (EFAL). Moreover, possible causes of writing difficulties and teacher’s practices for writing are explored. The theoretical and conceptual framework for the study is provided by studies on constructivist theories and sociocultural theories. In exploring these issues, a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis were adopted. This data is analysed by critical discourse analysis (CDA). The study identified a weak correlation between teachers’ beliefs and their actual teaching practices. Although the teachers believe that writing is as important as listening, speaking, reading, grammar and vocabulary, and that it needs regular practice, the data reveal that they fail to put their beliefs into practice. Moreover, the data revealed that learners were disturbed by their home language because when they do not know a word they would write either the isiXhosa or the Afrikaans equivalent. Code-switching seems to have instilled a sense of “dependence on translations” where some learners would not even try to answer English questions but would wait for the teacher to translate the questions into isiXhosa or Afrikaans before they could attempt to give answers. The findings of the study show a marked improvement in the writing performance of learners who used the process approach in writing. These findings demonstrate the need for assisting teachers to shift away from focusing only on learners’ performance (testing and grading) towards a stronger emphasis on the process of writing. The study concludes that the process approach to writing could enable teachers to focus on the various parts of the writing process which can give more freedom to learners to experiment their language proficiency. It would require that teachers develop a deeper understanding of the process/genre approaches to teaching writing advocated by CAPS. All in all, the study shows that both learners and teachers face numerous challenges relating to writing. This means that more work still needs to be done in this area. The present study argues that teachers teaching EFAL learners should approach writing as a critical and core aspect of learners’ education. Learners should be exposed to intensive writing activities throughout their school years.

Keywords: Writing, constructivism, English second language, language of learning and teaching

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12 The Application of Lesson Study Model in Writing Review Text in Junior High School

Authors: Sulastriningsih Djumingin


This study has some objectives. It aims at describing the ability of the second-grade students to write review text without applying the Lesson Study model at SMPN 18 Makassar. Second, it seeks to describe the ability of the second-grade students to write review text by applying the Lesson Study model at SMPN 18 Makassar. Third, it aims at testing the effectiveness of the Lesson Study model in writing review text at SMPN 18 Makassar. This research was true experimental design with posttest Only group design involving two groups consisting of one class of the control group and one class of the experimental group. The research populations were all the second-grade students at SMPN 18 Makassar amounted to 250 students consisting of 8 classes. The sampling technique was purposive sampling technique. The control class was VIII2 consisting of 30 students, while the experimental class was VIII8 consisting of 30 students. The research instruments were in the form of observation and tests. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques and inferential statistical techniques with t-test types processed using SPSS 21 for windows. The results shows that: (1) of 30 students in control class, there are only 14 (47%) students who get the score more than 7.5, categorized as inadequate; (2) in the experimental class, there are 26 (87%) students who obtain the score of 7.5, categorized as adequate; (3) the Lesson Study models is effective to be applied in writing review text. Based on the comparison of the ability of the control class and experimental class, it indicates that the value of t-count is greater than the value of t-table (2.411> 1.667). It means that the alternative hypothesis (H1) proposed by the researcher is accepted.

Keywords: Writing, Application, lesson study, review text

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11 The Writing Eight Exercise and Its Impact on Kindergartners

Authors: Karima Merchant


The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the Writing Eight Exercise, an exercise from the Brain Integration Therapy, with Kindergartners who are struggling with writing tasks in school. With the help of this exercise, children were able to cross the midline, an invisible line running from our brain to our feet, which separates the body’s right from left. Crossing the midline integrates the brain hemispheres, thus encouraging bilateral movement. The study was spread over 15 weeks where the children were required to do the Writing Eight Exercise 4 times a week. The data collection methods included observations, student work samples and feedback from teachers and parents. Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that the Writing Eight Exercise had a positive impact on students’ approach towards writing tasks, letter formation, and fine motor skills.

Keywords: Writing, crossing the midline, fine motor skills, letter formation

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10 An Analytical Study of Organizational Implication in EFL Writing Experienced by Iranian Students with Learning Difficulties

Authors: Yoones Tavoosy


This present study concentrates on the organizational implication the Iranian students with learning difficulties (LD) experience when they write an English essay. Particularly, the present study aims at exploring students' structural problems in EFL essay writing. A mixed method research design was employed including a questionnaire and a semi-structured in-depth interview. Technical Data Analysis of findings exposed that students experience a number of difficulties in the structure of EFL essay writing. Discussion and implications of these findings are presented respectively.

Keywords: Writing, learning difficulties, Iranian students, organizational implication

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9 Learners' Perceptions about Teacher Written Feedback in the School of Foreign Languages, Anadolu University

Authors: Gaye Senbag


In English language teaching, feedback is considered as one of the main components of writing instruction. Teachers put a lot of time and effort in order to provide learners with written feedback for effective language learning. At Anadolu University School of Foreign Languages (AUSFL) students are given written feedback for their each piece of writing through online platforms such as Edmodo and Turnitin, and traditional methods. However, little is known regarding how learners value and respond to teacher-provided feedback. As the perceptions of the students remarkably affect their learning, this study examines how they perceive the effectiveness of feedback provided by the teacher. Aiming to analyse it, 30 intermediate level (B1+ CEFR level) students were given a questionnaire, which includes Likert scale questions. The results will be discussed in detail.

Keywords: Writing, Feedback, perceptions, English Language Teaching (ELT)

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8 A Comparison of the First Language Vocabulary Used by Indonesian Year 4 Students and the Vocabulary Taught to Them in English Language Textbooks

Authors: Fitria Ningsih


This study concerns on the process of making corpus obtained from Indonesian year 4 students’ free writing compared to the vocabulary taught in English language textbooks. 369 students’ sample writings from 19 public elementary schools in Malang, East Java, Indonesia and 5 selected English textbooks were analyzed through corpus in linguistics method using AdTAT -the Adelaide Text Analysis Tool- program. The findings produced wordlists of the top 100 words most frequently used by students and the top 100 words given in English textbooks. There was a 45% match between the two lists. Furthermore, the classifications of the top 100 most frequent words from the two corpora based on part of speech found that both the Indonesian and English languages employed a similar use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions. Moreover, to see the contextualizing the vocabulary of learning materials towards the students’ need, a depth-analysis dealing with the content and the cultural views from the vocabulary taught in the textbooks was discussed through the criteria developed from the checklist. Lastly, further suggestions are addressed to language teachers to understand the students’ background such as recognizing the basic words students acquire before teaching them new vocabulary in order to achieve successful learning of the target language.

Keywords: Linguistics, English, textbooks, Writing, corpus, Frequency, vocabulary, Indonesian, wordlists

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7 Reimagining Writing as a Healing Art: A Case Study on Emotional Intelligence

Authors: Shawnrece Campbell


Emotional intelligence as an essential job skill is growing in popularity among human resource professionals and hiring managers. Companies value those who have high emotional intelligence because of their personal competences (self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation) and social competences (empathy, social skills). In implementing any training system to teach emotional intelligence, the best methodologies for acquiring and/or improving these competences should be taken into consideration. This study focuses on how students perceived the art of writing as a tool for self-improvement. During this session, participants will engage in a brief activity designed to help students develop emotional intelligence. As a part of the discussion, participants will learn the results of a junior-level literary seminar conducted to better understand students’ thoughts and views about the effectiveness of writing as a tool for emotional healing. An analysis of qualitative textual data is presented. The outcomes indicated that students found using writing as a tool for emotional intelligence development as highly effective. The findings also revealed that students have positive perceptions of using writing as a self-healing art that leads to increased emotional intelligence and believe that writing courses of this nature enhance students’ appreciation of the value of the liberal arts.

Keywords: Writing, Healing, soft skills, emotional intelligence quotient

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6 Influence of Spelling Errors on English Language Performance among Learners with Dysgraphia in Public Primary Schools in Embu County, Kenya

Authors: Madrine King'endo


This study dealt with the influence of spelling errors on English language performance among learners with dysgraphia in public primary schools in West Embu, Embu County, Kenya. The study purposed to investigate the influence of spelling errors on the English language performance among the class three pupils with dysgraphia in public primary schools. The objectives of the study were to identify the spelling errors that learners with dysgraphia make when writing English words and classify the spelling errors they make. Further, the study will establish how the spelling errors affect the performance of the language among the study participants, and suggest the remediation strategies that teachers could use to address the errors. The study could provide the stakeholders with relevant information in writing skills that could help in developing a responsive curriculum to accommodate the teaching and learning needs of learners with dysgraphia, and probably ensure training of teachers in teacher training colleges is tailored within the writing needs of the pupils with dysgraphia. The study was carried out in Embu county because the researcher did not find any study in related literature review concerning the influence of spelling errors on English language performance among learners with dysgraphia in public primary schools done in the area. Moreover, besides being relatively populated enough for a sample population of the study, the area was fairly cosmopolitan to allow a generalization of the study findings. The study assumed the sampled schools will had class three pupils with dysgraphia who exhibited written spelling errors. The study was guided by two spelling approaches: the connectionist stimulation of spelling process and orthographic autonomy hypothesis with a view to explain how participants with learning disabilities spell written words. Data were collected through interviews, pupils’ exercise books, and progress records, and a spelling test made by the researcher based on the spelling scope set for class three pupils by the ministry of education in the primary education syllabus. The study relied on random sampling techniques in identifying general and specific participants. Since the study used children in schools as participants, voluntary consent was sought from themselves, their teachers and the school head teachers who were their caretakers in a school setting.

Keywords: Language, Performance, Writing, Dysgraphia

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5 Improving Graduate Student Writing Skills: Best Practices and Outcomes

Authors: Jamie Sundvall, Lisa Jennings


A decline in writing skills and abilities of students entering graduate school has become a focus for university systems within the United States. This decline has become a national trend that requires reflection on the intervention strategies used to address the deficit and unintended consequences as outcomes in the profession. Social work faculty is challenged to increase written scholarship within the academic setting. However, when a large number of students in each course have writing deficits, there is a shift from focus on content, ability to demonstrate competency, and application of core social work concepts. This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of online faculty who support increasing scholarship through writing and are following best practices preparing students academically to see improvements in written presentation in classroom work. This study outlines best practices to improve written academic presentation, especially in an online setting. The research also highlights how a student’s ability to show competency and application of concepts may be overlooked in the online setting. This can lead to new social workers who are prepared academically, but may unable to effectively advocate and document thought presentation in their writing. The intended progression of writing across all levels of higher education moves from summary, to application, and into abstract problem solving. Initial findings indicate that it is important to reflect on practices used to address writing deficits in terms of academic writing, competency, and application. It is equally important to reflect on how these methods of intervention impact a student post-graduation. Specifically, for faculty, it is valuable to assess a social worker’s ability to engage in continuity of documentation and advocacy at micro, mezzo, macro, and international levels of practice.

Keywords: Intervention, Writing, Scholarship, professional impact

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4 Effects of Pre-Task Activities on the Writing Performance of Second Language Learners

Authors: Wajiha Fatima


Based on Rod Ellis’s (2002) the methodology of task-based teaching, this study explored the effects of pre-task activities on the Job Application letter of 102 ESL students (who were female and undergraduate learners). For this purpose, students were divided among three groups (Group A, Group B, and Group C), kept in control and experimental settings as well. Pre-task phase motivates the learners to perform the actual task. Ellis reportedly discussed four pre-task phases: (1) performing a similar task; (2) providing a model; (3) non-task preparation activities and (4) strategic planning. They were taught through above given three pre-task activities. Accordingly, the learners in control setting were supposed to write without any teaching aid while learners in an experimental situation were provided three different pre-task activities in each group. In order to compare the scores of the pre-test and post-test of the three groups, sample paired t-test was utilized. The obtained results of the written job application by the female students revealed that pre-task activities improved their performance in writing. On the other hand, the comparison of the three pre-task activities revealed that 'providing a model' outperformed the other two activities. For this purpose, ANOVA was utilized.

Keywords: Writing, Second Language Learners, task based language teaching, pre-task activities

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3 Post-Secondary Faculty Treatment of Non-Native English-Speaking Student Writing Errors in Academic Subject Courses

Authors: Laura E. Monroe


As more non-native English-speaking students enroll in English-medium universities, even more faculty will instruct students who are unprepared for the rigors of post-secondary academic writing in English. Many faculty members lack training and knowledge regarding the assessment of non-native English-speaking students’ writing, as well as the ability to provide effective feedback. This quantitative study investigated the possible attitudinal factors, including demographics, which might affect faculty preparedness and grading practices for both native and non-native English-speaking students’ academic writing and plagiarism, as well as the reasons faculty do not deduct points from both populations’ writing errors. Structural equation modeling and SPSS Statistics were employed to analyze the results of a faculty questionnaire disseminated to individuals who had taught non-native English-speaking students in academic subject courses. The findings from this study illustrated that faculty’s native language, years taught, and institution type were significant factors in not deducting points for academic writing errors and plagiarism, and the major reasons for not deducting points for errors were that faculty had too many students to grade, not enough training in assessing student written errors and plagiarism and that the errors and plagiarism would have taken too long to explain. The practical implications gleaned from these results can be applied to most departments in English-medium post-secondary institutions regarding faculty preparedness and training in student academic writing errors and plagiarism, and recommendations for future research are given for similar types of preparation and guidance for post-secondary faculty, regardless of degree path or academic subject.

Keywords: Assessment, Writing, faculty, non-native English-speaking students

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2 Women Writing Group as a Mean for Personal and Social Change

Authors: Michal Almagor, Rivka Tuval-Mashiach


This presentation will explore the main processes identified in women writing group, as an interdisciplinary field with personal and social effects. It is based on the initial findings of a Ph.D. research focus on the intersection of group processes with the element of writing, in the context of gender. Writing as a therapeutic mean has been recognized and found to be highly effective. Additionally, a substantial amount of research reveals the psychological impact of group processes. However, the combination of writing and groups as a therapeutic tool was hardly investigated; this is the contribution of this research. In the following qualitative-phenomenological study, the experiences of eight women participating in a 10-sessions structured writing group were investigated. We used the meetings transcripts, semi-structured interviews, and the texts to analyze and understand the experience of participating in the group. The two significant findings revealed were spiral intersubjectivity and archaic level of semiotic language. We realized that the content and the process are interwoven; participants are writing, reading and discussing their texts in a group setting that enhanced self-dialogue between the participants and their own narratives and texts, as well as dialogue with others. This process includes working through otherness within and between while discovering and creating a multiplicity of narratives. A movement of increasing shared circles from the personal to the group and to the social-cultural environment was identified, forming what we termed as spiral intersubjectivity. An additional layer of findings was revealed while we listened to the resonance of the group-texts, and discourse; during this process, we could trace the semiotic level in addition to the symbolic one. We were witness to the dominant presence of the body, and primal sensuality, expressed by rhythm, sound and movements, signs of pre-verbal language. Those findings led us to a new understanding of the semiotic function as a way to express the fullness of women experience and the enabling role of writing in reviving what was repressed. The poetic language serves as a bridge between the symbolic and the semiotic. Re-reading the group materials, exposed another layer of expression, an old-new language. This approach suggests a feminine expression of subjective experience with personal and social importance. It is a subversive move, encouraging women to write themselves, as a craft that every woman can use, giving voice to the silent and hidden, and experiencing the power of performing 'my story'. We suggest that women writing group is an efficient, powerful yet welcoming way to raise the awareness of researchers and clinicians, and more importantly of the participants, to the uniqueness of the feminine experience, and to gender-sensitive curative approaches.

Keywords: Writing, Group, Intersubjectivity, semiotic

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1 How Do L1 Teachers Assess Haitian Immigrant High School Students in Chile?

Authors: Gloria Toledo, Andrea Lizasoain, Leonardo Mena


Immigration has largely increased in Chile in the last 20 years. About 6.6% of our population is foreign, from which 14.3% is Haitian. Haitians are between 15 and 29 years old and have come to Chile escaping from a social crisis. They believe that education and work will help them do better in life. Therefore, rates of Haitian students in the Chilean school system have also increased: there were 3,121 Haitian students enrolled in 2017. This is a challenge for the public school, which takes in young people who must face schooling, social immersion and learning of a second language simultaneously. The linguistic barrier affects both students’ and teachers’ adaptation process, which has an impact on the students’ academic performance and consequent acquisition of Spanish. In order to explore students’ academic performance and interlanguage development, we examined how L1 teachers assess Haitian high school students’ written production in Spanish. With this purpose, teachers were asked to use a specially designed grid to assess correction, accommodation, lexical and analytical complexity, organization and fluency of both Haitian and Chilean students. Parallelly, texts were approached from an error analysis perspective. Results from grids and error analysis were then compared. On the one hand, it has been found that teachers give very little feedback to students apart from scores and grades, which does not contribute to the development of the second language. On the other hand, error analysis has yielded that Haitian students are in a dynamic process of the acquisition of Spanish, which could be enhanced if L1 teacher were aware of the process of interlanguage developmen.

Keywords: Grid, Assessment, Immigration, Writing, Error Analysis, Spanish aquisition

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