Enhancing ESL learners' writing using the writing process approach: an action research

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Zeenat Shariff

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Monica Hendricks


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Teaching effective writing has been a challenge to teachers in the ESL context. Writing as part of language skills takes more than teaching spelling, grammar and other writing conventions for students to develop as writers.

The writing process approach involves presenting, writing, revising, editing and publishing the final draft for the reader. It is an effective teaching strategy for enhancing ESL students' writing skills. The study was a classroom based action research which used qualitative methods of data collection. The data was collected using intervirews, classroom observations, document analysis and formal conversations for a period of four weeks.

The participants were students, a teacher and a critical friend. At the reconnaissance stage the findings revealed teacher dominated teaching, with the students responding to questions and guided composition writing.

The aim of the study was to enhance students' writing skills, using the writing process approach. The findings indicate that a free classroom environment, group work and reinforcing basic social skills that promote collaborative writing groups, helps the learners build confidence in writing. The findings further indicate that the teacher plays a key role not as an instructor but as a guide and facilitator in the teaching and learning of writing.

The writing process approach to teaching writing helps to create a positive attitude to writing because of the structure of the approach and how it helps the students become responsible for their own learning. This occurs when students are given time to write, in a conducive envornment where they work collaboratively, and receive feedback promptly during the process.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library