Writing in EFL: Exploring students' perspectives in Syrian high school and university contexts

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of English and Foreign Languages, Tezpur University, Assam, India.

Abstract

This paper is a part of a larger study that examines the development of students' English writing skills during the transition from school education to higher education in Syria, where English is a foreign language. The main objective of this paper is exploring teaching practices affect students transition from one level to the next via obtaining students' perceptions about writing, challenges they encounter while writing, and the strategies they use to overcome them. Two separate questionnaires were given to 206 school students from 7 different high schools across Latakia City and 206 first-year students at the Department of English Literature and Language, Tishreen University in Latakia. The main findings indicated that students of both levels were mostly concerned with grammar rather ideas and content, and with the product rather than the process of writing. Moreover, students lacked confidence in their writing ability and mostly depended on ready-made samples and teachers as the main sources of information. The study recommends changing the product-oriented approach to writing instruction currently adopted by school teachers, conducting effective teacher-training programs that include training them to develop students' writing by involving them in the writing process and teaching them how to use writing strategies effectively.

Keywords


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