Assessment for improving ESL learners’ writing skills among undergraduate students: A case study of Skyline University College (Published)
The present study seeks to investigate the main difficulties undergraduate students face in academic writing. The participants in the study are 52 randomly selected first year students from the School of Information Technology, Skyline University, Sharjah, UAE. Through assessing samples of the students’ assignments, the researcher will identify the main errors so that he can give constructive feedback and plan revision and remedial activities to help learners overcome those difficulties. In addition to using students’ assignments as an instrument for collecting data, questionnaire will be administered to students to explore types of problems they face in the English composition course, their view on the way English writing class is delivered, and to what extent they find classroom writing tasks relevant to their academic, personal, and professional life. By identifying the common issues UAE students face in writing, the aim is to enhance students ‘s writing skills and design a course book which can be a reference in teaching academic writing course in the UAE high education setting.
One predicament facing an educationist is whether grammar should be taught formally, or allowed to be naturally acquired. A protracted case study was carried out on seven Malay students from the International Islamic University Malaysia to determine the extent to which students acquired English prepositions in the naturalistic setting. Data from students’ interviews and presentations were collected initially, and subsequently at six monthly intervals over three years. An analysis of students’ use of prepositions was carried out. Results showed that although errors persist, most subjects showed improvements in their use of prepositions. These findings imply that grammar should be taught in a way that is compatible with the natural processes of acquisition. Language instructors should also be equipped with special skills to be able to teach prepositions. Learners should also be developmentally ready to acquire prepositions, and changes have to be made in the curriculum for instruction of prepositions.