Title

Improving students' writing skills using mind - mapping technique at primary level in a private school in Karachi

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

In most of the Pakistani schools, it has been seen that there are inadequate practices for English language teaching and learning, particularly as relates to writing skills (Khan & Khan, 2016). Developing English Language writing skills requires teachers to be familiar with writing strategies that can facilitate students (Khan, 2011). In Pakistani schools, it seems that English language writing skills are neglected in classroom teaching because the English language teachers are not acquainted with the “new practices of teaching English language in general, and teaching of writing skills in particular” (Siddique, 2007, p. 20). The need to enhance effective writing skills in learners, therefore, requires introduction/ exposure to various writing strategies to teach writing skills in an interesting way (Omar, 2016). This study was conducted in the context of Karachi, Pakistan, to explore how mind-mapping technique can be used to help improve students’ writing skills of grade 3. It was a qualitative action research study carried out to design an action so as to attempt to bring a change. The data were collected in three main phases: reconnaissance phase, intervention phase and post-intervention phase. Data collection tools were pre and post-test, observations, focus group discussion, semi-structured interview and field notes. In the light of data analysis of the reconnaissance phase, there were several problems identified as they related to students’ ability to generate, organize and independently write on a given topic. One of the important tools to support learners in this regard is to use pre-writing strategies in writing tasks (Buzan, 2002). In addition, pre-writing strategies can help to boost students’ motivation and engagement with writing and develop them as independent writers (Keen, 2017). Based on the reconnaissance findings, I planned an intervention and conducted three teaching cycles on teaching students mind mapping and how to use their mind map to produce independent texts. The study outcomes suggest that students’ exposure to a pre-writing strategy such as mind-mapping technique did help to improve students’ writing skills. The study participants were able to think, generate and organize their information about a given topic. Study outcomes also reveal that the use of mind maps seemed to boost students’ motivation, their engagement with writing seemed to increase and they were able to function as independent writers. Therefore, this suggests that using a pre-writing strategy such as mind-mapping technique can support learners in improving their writing skills.

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