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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4294

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. vi 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
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4294
Appears in:Thesis - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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