Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Applied Research in Education
Confidence: Effect on Engagement and Participation of At-Risk EFL Students in Learning to Write
Carole Vinick Rosbruch
Teaching writing to at-risk for academic failure high school English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students (at-risk students) is difficult, yet necessary, as English is the most commonly used and widely spoken language in the world today. English is a part of mainstream global commerce, technology, economics, medicine, academics, entertainment and travel. The at-risk students in the study are at a level at least two years behind the average EFL student of the same age and class. Most of the students in the study are not only at an entry level of language learning, but for any number and combination of reasons, many students also feel demotivated while other students suffer from amotivation with regards to EFL and learning how to write. The aim of this study was to see if the building of the confidence of these at-risk learners would be able to be used as a motivational tool to engage students to want to actively participate in the learning of how to write in English. Data was collected via interviews, journals and questionnaires related to the students’ stated levels of confidence, or perceived levels of confidence with regards to writing. The results in this article show that weekly quizzes with progress tracking, scaffolding, classroom management and consistency, in conjunction with processed-based writing, can be used to build the students’ confidence level with regards to EFL writing and in turn, be used as a motivational tool to engage students to want to actively participate and learn how to write in English.
keywords: at-risk, EFL, confidence, writing, high school.