The Effects of Proficiency on the Writing Process of Jordanian Efl University Students

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ISSN-L: 2223-9553, ISSN: 2223-9944

Part-II: Educational Sciences

Vol. 3, No. 2, September 2012

THE EFFECTS OF PROFICIENCY ON THE WRITING PROCESS OF JORDANIAN EFL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS Al-Sawalha, Abdulla Musa Salem Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang, MALAYSIA. musa2000ca@yahoo.co.uk Chow, Thomas Voon Foo Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang, MALAYSIA. tomichow@usm.my

ABSTRACT
Up to date, very few studies have explored writing processes in the context of EFL. The purpose of the study was to investigate how writing proficiency affects the writing process of a selected group of English language and literature students at Yarmouk University in Jordan. (60) English language and literature students at Yarmouk University in Jordan were asked to complete a questionnaire of writing strategies. Significant results were found in this study. First, writing processes were seldom used among students at Yarmouk University in Jordan. Second, English proficiency affected the writing processes used among students at Yarmouk University in Jordan. The respondents, like most Jordanian university students, usually fail to express complex ideas in their writing as they lack the appropriate vocabulary, both general and technical, as is evident in the respondents’ answers. The lack of appropriate vocabulary on the part of the respondents in turn affects their writing process itself as the findings reveal that these low proficiency respondents did not plan, edit or revised their written essays. Keywords: Writing processes, writing proficiency, EFL, Jordanian Students, Writing, and Yarmouk University.

INTRODUCTION For the past few decades, the focus in language learning and acquisition has been learner-centered rather than teacher-centered (Reiss, 1985; Wenden, 1991). The learners themselves must take the initiative to work on their own with the teachers facilitating their study. In this regard, Tamada (1996) maintains that research in language learning has started to emphasize on teaching methodology and the kind of strategies being implemented to achieve the objectives. The emphasis is influenced by the notion that success in academic studies is dependent on language skills. Consequently, this has led to more studies focusing on the acquisition of academic language skills, especially that of ESL/EFL graduate students (Block & Cameron, 2002; Alfers & Dison, 2000). The focus on ESL/EFL is expected since many of these students would become teachers or instructors in English related fields in the near future. Where ESL/EFL language acquisition is concerned, the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are subsets of ‘Academic Literacy’ skills and all undergraduate students must master them while the graduates would still need them after they have graduated and embarked on their careers. With a sufficient degree of proficiency in academic literacy skills, all the graduates and undergraduates would definitely be able to meet all the needs and demands of their academic life and their working life later on (Lea & Strierer, 2000). According to Neeley (2001), academic literacy is the specific language demands of reading, writing and oral participation which are vitally needed by students in certain disciplines as related to the field of study. Normally all students need language skills to prepare and produce satisfactory solutions or responses to tasks and assignments in their study and eventually be able to meet the needs of their future careers (Neeley, 2001). In all learning institutions academic writing is of utmost importance in the curriculum at any time of the learning or assessment period. In a research on student writing at university level, Fukao & Fujii (2001) discovered that writing is very important in determining the success of mastering the curriculum since writing can display the extent of a student’s learning progress. As for language instructors, a student’s writing will help to determine...
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