Title

Exploring the strategies used by English language teachers to teach paragraph writing skill at grade 4 in a private school in Karachi

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

This qualitative study aimed at exploring the strategies used by English language teachers at primary level to teach paragraph writing skill in the context of Karachi, Pakistan. The data were gathered using semi-structured interviews, observations, document analysis and focus group discussions. Analysis of the data showed that paragraph writing is a challenging task for students. However, the teachers are trying their best to make paragraph writing easier by using a variety of teaching strategies. These strategies included brain storming, mind mapping, providing check list, vocabulary lists, reading for writing, using Venn-Diagrams, and modeling. The study participants revealed that professional development has helped them polish their teaching skills, particularly teaching writing skills. However, the participants stated that they faced some challenges on their way to teach paragraph writing like, lack of vocabulary, spelling and punctuation errors, mixed ability students in the class, gap between written and verbal expression of the students, and grammatical errors. These hindrances make writing a difficult task for students. The study also found that teachers opt for a strategy which was mentioned in their pacing guide. On the basis of the strategy mentioned in the pacing guide document, teachers develop their lesson plans. It was found that the students have a sound understanding about the paragraph, its structure and parts. They also try to jot down their ideas with the help of the strategy used by the teachers. However, for struggling students, paragraph writing is a challenging task. This study encourages teachers to find the factors that result in the low motivational level of students towards writing. Also the study suggests teachers to incorporate more innovative and mnemonic strategies for teaching paragraph writing such as the PLEASE strategy.

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