The Impact of Using Hyland's Mitigation Strategies on EFL Learners' Writing Ability: A socio-cultural perspective

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Department of English, Qeshm Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qeshm, Iran

Abstract

This research chiefly focused on the application of mitigation strategies and traditional form of feedback in writing development of the fifth semester University students majoring in TEFL and English Translation fields based on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory in general and the notion of “Zone of Proximal Development” in particular. To that end, this study relied on a pre-posttest experimental design which was mediated by different written types of feedback such as mitigation strategies vs. error correction to find out if any gains in writing development of participants could be achieved. It is to be noted that participants of this inquiry were 125 fifth semester university students who were chosen and assigned to four experimental and one control groups. The materials of this study consisted of a textbook called Writing Power by Nancy White (2002) that the teacher taught during the course of instruction; a standard writing test of IELTS (2007) as a pretest; another standard writing test of IELTS (2007) as a posttest. The results showed that although homogeneity among the groups was observed on the pretest, writing scores of those groups which received corrective feedback and paired comments outscored those of the other groups. On the other hand, the interrogative forms and personal attributions had the least increase from the pretest to the posttest. Hence, it is recommended that some teacher training courses regarding the appropriate use of these strategies be held in educational settings in a way that teachers can apply these techniques in the best possible ways in their writing classes.

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