Teaching writing in ESL classrooms: Study of two Advanced Diploma in Education: English language teaching graduates practices
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
Teaching writing in an ESL/ EFL class remains a challenge for language teachers. Literature from the developed countries documents a number of new approaches that are used successfully in teaching writing. However, research studies conducted in Pakistan have not addressed this area extensively and thus there appears to be a gap. An exploratory case study was designed in order to understand the changes in practices of those teachers of English language who have been through a training programme to teach writing. The study focused on the practices and perception of two Advance Diploma in Education English language Teaching (ADE: ELT) graduates who were teaching writing in private schools in Karachi, Pakistan. Data were gathered through interview, document analysis, and classroom observation. The findings suggest that there appears to be a lot of interest in using writing as a process approach. However, the two teachers used both the process and the product approaches, depending on the nature of the task and the level of support needed by the students. Pre-writing activities are used extensively to encourage development of ideas for writing; however, a greater understanding of its purpose of use is needed. Feedback is detailed and given at various stages of the writing process. Focus of the feedback is not only on grammatical accuracy but also on improvement of ideas, their presentation, and coherence. Findings also show that one of the key factors that facilitated the implementation of new strategies for teaching writing was teachers' confidence in their own knowledge and skills gained from the ADE: ELT programme. Other important facilitating factors included: supportive school leadership, peer support in the school, reflective practice and the teachers' commitment to change. The factors that hinder the implementation of teaching writing as a process include time constraint, the pressure to complete school syllabus, examination and teachers' beliefs. These findings suggest that if teacher education programmes for language teachers provide sufficient time and opportunities for trainee teachers to practice the newly learnt skills, it would give them confidence to implement it in their schools. Also, as is evident from this study, a number of external factors affect the implementation of the new approaches. Teachers should also be prepared to address these issues in order to effectively implement their learning.
Baig, A. (2008). Teaching writing in ESL classrooms: Study of two Advanced Diploma in Education: English language teaching graduates practices (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.