Academic Writing Proficiency: The Role Of Academic Writing Instruction In EFL Preparatory Programs

Mcdonald, Ryan and Murtagh, Hannah (2015) Academic Writing Proficiency: The Role Of Academic Writing Instruction In EFL Preparatory Programs. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (1). ISSN 2303-5528

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Abstract

In studies of writing, linguistic proficiency has been assumed to play an important factor contributing to writing proficiency (Raimes, 1987; Bereiter&Scardamalia, 1987; Hayes 1996). Additional factors such as “cognitive” processes (i.e. planning and reviewing) (Ellis, 2005), memory (McCutchen, 1996, Alamargot&Chanquoi, 2001), and the matter of the quality of writing and lexical fluency (Van Gelderen&Oostdam; 2002, 2004) and error correction (Ferris & Roberts, 2001; Ferris;1999, 2002, 2004) have been among the focus areas. This study examines whether instruction in a university preparatory EFL program increases the quality of writing. A typical criticism from university academic writing classes often argues that short preparatory programs do not produce able, coherent, and proficient writers as preparatory reading and writing programs face the dual challenge of integrated skills instruction as well as covering many of the conventions of academic writing. In an effort to evaluate the effects of teaching academic writing within an EFL preparatory program, this research aims to compare the quality of writing within two groups of students, low level EFL students (pre-intermediate and intermediate levels) after a two-three semester program against students whose initial fluency was significantly higher at the time of university entry (direct-entry students with an IELTS 6.5 equivalency or higher). To this aim, four factors which are readability, lexical density, coherence and grammar complexity in 50 essays have been examined quantitatively. In this presentation, we aim to highlight implications of the findings for academic writing instruction at EFL university settings and for the broader context academic programs in EFL context. Our findings indicate that EFL students graduating from the ELC score well below their direct-entry peers in a number of categories. Keywords: linguistic proficiency, EFL program, instructions, integreted skills

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LT Textbooks
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 11:23
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2798

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