Title

Improving teaching of paragraph writing through participatory action research

Date of Award

8-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The purpose of this Participatory Action Research (PAR) study was to improve the teaching of paragraph writing in an English language class by involving the students in a systematic process of writing paragraphs, using the process writing approach by white & Arndt, 1991. The PAR study was conducted in a lower secondary class at a community based Engtish medium school, where English is taught as a second language (ESL).The methods of PAR happened in the four moments of Action Research (AR), namely; reflection, planning, action and observation adopted from the Spiral model of AR by Kemmis, Mc Taggart and Rettalick (2004). This AR model provided an experience and autonomy of constantly evaluating the teaching strategies and their implementation in the class. The data of the study was collected through classroom teaching sessions, observations, field notes and document analysis to obtain empirical evidences of the existing practices and insights. Moreover, focused group semi-structwed interviews with the students helped in the data generation. Also, a reflective journal was maintained throughout the study to acquire a rich vignette of the research study. The findings processed through data analysis by arranging the data systematically and breaking it into units through coding, in order to make meaning out of the data. The findings revealed that the teaching of paragraph writing was re-conceptualized and applied from the product writing approach to the process writing approach. Moreover, it emerged from the findings that feedback and evaluation acted as a cornerstone in teaching paragraph writing to the students. This study will be an addition to repertoire of knowledge generated by previous researchers and will be beneficial for all contexts, students, teachers and stakeholders who are associated to English writing especially as a Second language (ESL) or a Foreign language (EFL) across the globe

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