Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
How’s My Writing? A Triangulation Study of Arabic EFL Learners’ Academic Writing Output
Maria Gregoria Robles Concepcion
No one is born having an innate ability to write. Writing is a skill that needs to be learned and harnessed. This study was conducted to determine the knowledge of the students in academic writing in four aspects and to characterize their writing skills. Considering 30 students, the researcher obtained the data through an assessment test, inter-rater, and content analysis of essays. Results revealed that 43% of the students were having confusion on the types of essays; 28% having difficulty identifying appropriate connectors; 23% struggled with proper diction; and 18% having trouble with spelling. Moreover, the inter-rater results revealed that students’ writing abilities are approaching competence; had significant lapses in organization and accuracy; had unclear and inappropriate diction; had less effective paraphrases and summaries; had copied statements from other papers; had vaguely connected ideas; had frequent errors in spellings, punctuations, capitalizations, sentence structure which somehow resulted to the confusion of meanings. Further, the content analysis showed that the use of punctuation and spelling of English words were the most common errors committed; pluralization, capitalization, and lack of coherence were also observed. The inabilities of the students in the English language shows that they need more exposure and enhancement. It indicates that they haven’t mastered yet the syntax of the target language. It confirms the proposition that in order for the learners to have good writing results, their cognitive skills should be developed. Moreover, the first effect of the first language may be lessened if students expose themselves in various English language environment.
Keywords: Arabic adult learners; content analysis; EFL; essays; writing skills.