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|Title: ||INSTRUCTORS’ AND STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES OF TASK-BASED WRITING IN AN EFL CONTEXT|
|Authors: ||MESERET, TESHOME|
|Advisors: ||Dr. Geremew Lemu|
|Copyright: ||Jul-2012 |
|Date Added: ||12-Dec-2012 |
|Abstract: ||The purpose of this study was to explore EFL instructors' and students’ perceptions
and practices of task-based writing in an Ethiopian University context. The study was
conducted in Haramaya University from 2008 -2011 academic year. The study
employed the case study method. The data for this study were collected through
questionnaires, interviews and observations from a total of 108 students and 23
instructors. Then, the data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.
The findings of the study show the instructors had favourable perceptions about the
contribution of task-based writing to the development of students’ writing ability, but
they lacked confidence to implement task-based writing because of their students’
poor writing. As a result, the instructors preferred to use instructor-fronted
approaches in the classroom. Such an approach denied the students opportunities
of self directed practice during the writing lessons.
Students lack of awareness about task-based learning led them not to tell about the
meaning of task-based writing. This in turn made it difficult to know students’
perceptions of task-based writing. Therefore, some students were given awareness
raising training on how to do task-based writing. After three months, the trained
students showed improved perceptions about the writing tasks and became more
willing to practice writing. Moreover, they valued their contributions in improving their
own writing abilities. This eventually led to some improvement in their writing skill.
On the other hand, the untrained students had no experience about task basedwriting.
As a result, they could not tell whether task-based writing helped them to
improve their writing abilities. The students wrongly perceived task based writing as
exercising writing through discrete language elements. As a result, they were
focusing on grammatical competence. Unlike the views held by many applied
linguists that grammar or structure can be easily learned if students focus on the
communicative skills first, some students seem to believe that if they are good at
using the grammar of the language first, communication will be easy. But, this
tendency of focusing more on grammatical competence did not help the students to
improve their writing ability.
The conclusion made from the study is that the trained students practiced writing
relatively more than the untrained students because of their awareness and
improved perceptions about task-based writing. Therefore, the trained students’
perception matches their practice. On the other hand, there is a mismatch between
the instructors’ perceptions and practices of the writing-tasks. This seems to have
resulted in the students’ inadequate writing skills development.
This study implies that instructors should develop confidence in implementing taskbased
writing. Moreover, they should support and encourage their students to take
part in the writing classes where they learn better and practice writing effectively|
|Appears in:||Thesis - Teaching English as a Foreign Language|
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