An Investigation of the Use of Conjunctive Cohesive Devices in Emirati Students’ Argumentative Essays (Published)
This study was conducted to scrutinize the use of conjunctions as cohesive devices in Emirati students’ argumentative essays. The study specifically purported to investigate how solid the correlation is between employing conjunctions and producing high quality written texts. The context was one of Ras AlKhaimah Colleges, and the participants were one teacher and six Female students who were enrolled in the English Foundation Program. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from students’ writing samples evaluation forms and through an in-depth interview with the classroom teacher. The data were analyzed in view of Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) taxonomy of cohesive devices, specifically their classification of conjunctions. In contrast to many studies that emphasized the close connection between using conjunctions and achieving high scores in writing, the findings of this study did not indicte such correlation. The findings also showed that additive conjunctions were found to be the most frequently used type, whereas temporal conjunctions were found to be the least used type. Moreover, two problems were found regarding students’ use of conjunctions: 1) adversative conjunctions seemed problematic, and 2) among the overall array of conjunctions, ‘and’ was particularly overused. Although limited to one school, this study is significant as it disvalidated the long-established belief that the use of conjunctions is an index to a high score in writing.
The Impact of Using Computers on Enhancing EFL Writing Quality: A Case Study of Muheydeen Wahbe Secondary School for Girls – Sudan (Published)
This study investigated the impact of using computers on enhancing EFL writing and learners’ attitudes towards using computers to compose in EFL classrooms. A set of writing tests (two pen-paper based compositions and tow computer-based ones) were administered to thirty pupils from Muheydeen Wahbe Secondary School for Girls to investigate the impact of using computers on enhancing EFL writing quality. The participants also responded to a questionnaire that investigated the use of computers in EFL writing classrooms. The data of the study were analyzed using SPSS. The findings have shown that the participants made use of the facilities provided by the computer; their computer-based writings were significantly better compared to their pen-paper ones in all the aspects of writing such as organization, language use, mechanics and length, except the content. The results have also revealed that the students were highly motivated when computers were used. Given the positive results of the study, it has been recommended that the use of computers in EFL writing classes should be encouraged and that English language teachers should be trained on using computers and technology in EFL classrooms, particularly, in writing classes.
This action research is designed to overcome students’ writing problem and to bring about changes on the quality of students’ writing through the implementation of freewriting technique. Specifically, the research aimed to address two research questions: (1) Is there any improvement on students’ writing quality through the implementation of free writing technique? (2) How is students’ perception toward the implementation of free writing technique? The research was carried out at English Education Study Program, Dayanu Ikhsanuddin University, Indonesia, during academic-year 2015/2016 with 25 participants. The research was carried out in two cycles, and each cycle consists of three steps: planning, action, and observation. Writing tests were applied to collect data on students’ writing performance, and students’ perceptions toward the application of freewriting technique were gathered through interview. The data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results of the research shows that: (1) students’ writing quality is successful to be be improved in two cycles of the implementation of freewriting technique, and (2) and in general, students regard that their writing quality improve since freewriting technique is motivated, and the techique is also effective to reduce their writing anxiety. This implies that freewriting technique is significantly effective to improve students’ writing quality.
This study is designed to investigate the present situations of Kuwaiti undergraduate students of English, and their attitudes towards the writing process. Specifically, the study aimed to address the following research questions: (1) What are the characteristics of the texts produced by Kuwaiti undergraduate students in terms of cohesion and quality? (2) Is there a relationship between cohesive devices’ measures and text evaluation scores? The main objective of the researcher was to concentrate on dealing with the macro level cohesive devices in students’ descriptive English writing. The participants in this study were 128 Kuwaiti college students of English in the first and second year of study at Kuwait University, College of Arts. A mixed methods design of both qualitative and quantitative research methodology was utilized to analyze the participants’ written texts. In addition, the framework of Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) theory of cohesion was used to analyze the written products of the participants. The findings revealed that there was a notable difference in the students’ use of cohesive devices in terms of frequency. Students overused certain types of cohesive devices (reference, conjunction, and lexical) while neglecting to use the others (substitution and ellipsis). The analysis also revealed that the correlation coefficient between writing scores and reference cohesive device is positive and statistically significant, since only the reference cohesive device was highly correlated with score.