Advertisement

EFL Writing Instruction in an Egyptian University Classroom: An Emic View

  • Abdelhamid Ahmed
Chapter
  • 830 Downloads

Abstract

In Egypt, little research is done to explore how EFL writing is taught from the participants’ emic views. Based on empirical research, this chapter explores the focuses of EFL writing instruction at university and highlights how writing teachers and their students perceive current teaching practices. Drawing on a social constructionist theoretical framework, a systematic review of the literature, in-depth semi-structured interview, and semi-structured observation, the study sheds light on how EFL writing is taught within an Egyptian essay writing classroom in a pioneering faculty of education. The findings of the study reveal four main focuses: mechanics (grammar and punctuation); content (topics of writing, idioms, and model paragraphs); and structure (essay structure, essay types and coherence). Teachers and students voiced their concerns about the different teaching practices used and observed in class in terms of planning, teaching, feedback and assessment. Implications and suggestions are provided.

Keywords

Student Teacher Common Mistake Topic Sentence Essay Writing Oral Discussion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Ahmed, A. (2004). The effect of the whole language approach on developing some composition writing skills of experimental secondary school students. Unpublished MA thesis, Faculty of Education, Helwan University, Egypt.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed, A. (2010). Students’ problems with cohesion and coherence in EFL essay writing in Egypt: Different perspectives. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), 1(4) p. 213.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, A. (2011). The EFL essay writing difficulties of Egyptian student teachers of English: Implications for essay writing curriculum and instruction. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Hazmi, S., & Scholfield, P. (2007). Enforced revision with checklist and peer feedback in EFL writing: The example of Saudi university students. Scientific Journal of King Faisal University (Humanities and Management Sciences), 8(2) p. 237.Google Scholar
  5. Al-Khatib, M. (2001). The pragmatics of letter-writing. World Englishes, 20(2), 149–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Zayat, M. (2012). The effect of content-based instruction on developing some composition writing skills of preparatory school students. Unpublished MA thesis, Faculty of Education, Helwan University, Egypt.Google Scholar
  7. Atkinson, D. (2003). L2 writing in the post-process era: Introduction. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(2003), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bacha, N. (2002). Developing learners’ academic writing skills in higher education: A study for educational reform. Language & Education, 16(3), 161–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Badger, R., & White, G. (2000). A process genre approach to teaching writing. ELT Journal, 54(2), 153–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bijlani, K., & Rangan, P. (2008). Long distance teaching with social environment across multiple universities. Paper presented at the Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2008, Chesapeake, VA.Google Scholar
  11. Cochran-Smith, M. (2005). Teacher educators as researchers: Multiple perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 219–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Dadour, E. (1998). The effectiveness of tapestry-based program on developing L2 writing productivity of overly perfectionistic students, Damietta Faculty of Education. Paper presented at the 18th CDELT National Symposium on English Language Teaching in Egypt, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.Google Scholar
  15. Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(8), 597–604.Google Scholar
  16. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Derry, S. (1999). A fish called peer learning: Searching for common themes. In A. M. O’Donnell & A. King (Eds.), Cognitive perspectives on peer learning (pp. 197–211). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  18. El-Banna, A. (1987). English language proficiency levels among non-native EFL teachers: An exploratory investigation. ERIC, ED299823.Google Scholar
  19. El-Hibir, B., & Al-Taha, F. (1992). Orthographic errors of Saudi students learning English. Language Learning Journal, 5(1), 85–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. El-Koumy, A. (1999). Effect of instruction in story grammar on the narrative writing of EFL students. ERIC, ED435173.Google Scholar
  21. El-Samaty, M. (2007). Arabic interference in our students’ English writing. In A. Jendli, S. Troudi, & C. Coombe (Eds.), The power of language: Perspectives from Arabia. Dubai: TESOL Arabia Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Fernsten, L. (2008). Writer identity and ESL learners. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(1), 44–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fink, L. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  24. Fox, R. (Ed.) (2000). Up drafts: Case studies in teacher renewal. Urbana, IL: NCTE.Google Scholar
  25. Given, L. (Ed.) (2008). The Sage encyclopaedia of qualitative research methods (volumes 1 & 2). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R. (1996). Theory and practice of writing. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.Google Scholar
  27. Güneyli, A., & Aslan, C. (2009). Evaluation of Turkish prospective teachers’ attitudes towards teaching profession. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1, 313–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hanaoka, O., & Izumi, S. (2012). Noticing and uptake: Addressing pre-articulated covert problems in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 332–347.Google Scholar
  29. Hassan, B. (2001). The relationship of writing apprehension and self-esteem to the writing quality and quantity of EFL University graduates. ERIC, ED459671.Google Scholar
  30. Hinkel, E. (2009). The effects of essay topics on modal verb uses in L1 and L2 academic writing. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(4), 667–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holliday, A. (1996). Large- and small-class cultures in Egyptian university classrooms: A cultural justification for curriculum change. In H. Coleman (Ed.), Society and the language classroom (pp. 86–104). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hong, W., Xuezhu, C., & Ke, Z. (2007). On the relationship between research productivity and teaching effectiveness at research universities. Frontiers of Education in China, 2(2), 298–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ibrahim, H. (2002). The effect of using the whole language approach on developing the literacy skills of first year English department students at the faculty of education of Al-Azhar University. Unpublished MA thesis, Faculty of Education, Al-Azhar University, Egypt.Google Scholar
  34. Jarzabkowski, L. M. (2002). The social dimensions of teacher collegiality. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 3(2), p. 1.Google Scholar
  35. Johnson, R., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Khalil, A. (1985). Communicative error evaluation: Native speakers’ evaluation and interpretation of written errors of Arab EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly, 19(2), 335–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Knight, S., Wiseman, D., & Cooner, D. (2000). Using collaborative teacher research to determine the impact of professional development school activities on elementary students’ math and writing outcomes. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(1), 26–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kroll, B. (2001). Considerations for teaching an ESL/EFL writing course. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd ed., pp. 219–232). Boston: Heinle.Google Scholar
  39. Lalik, R., & Potts, A. (2001). Social reconstructivism as a framework for literacy teacher education. In C. Roller (Ed.), Learning to teach reading: Setting the research agenda (pp. 119–135). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  40. Lee, H. (2008). The relationship between writers’ perceptions and their performance on a field specific writing test. Assessing Writing, 13(2), 93–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Leki, I. (1991). Twenty-five years of contrastive rhetoric: Text analysis and writing pedagogies. TESOL Quarterly, 25(1), 123–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Matsuda, P. (1999). Composition studies and ESL writing: A disciplinary division of labor. College Composition and Communication, 50, 699–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Matsuda, P. (2003). Process and post-process: A discursive history. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(1), 65–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maxwell, J. (1996). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  45. McMahon, M. (1997, December). Social constructivism and the world wide web – A paradigm for learning. Paper presented at the ASCILITE conference, Perth, Australia.Google Scholar
  46. Mekheimer, M. (2005). Effects of Internet-based instruction, using webquesting and E-mail on developing some essay writing skills in prospective teachers at the faculty of education at Beni Suef. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Beni Suef Faculty of Education, Cairo University, Egypt.Google Scholar
  47. Mitchell, S., Reilly, R., & Logue, M. (2009). Benefits of collaborative action research for the beginning teacher. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(2), 344–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nunan, D. (1999). Second language teaching and learning. Boston: Heinle and Heinle Publishers.Google Scholar
  49. Robson, C. (2006). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researcher (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  50. Sa’adeddin, M. (1989). Text development and Arabic-English negative interference. Applied Linguistics, 10(1), 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shokrpour, N., & Fallahzadeh, M. (2007). A survey of the students and interns’ EFL writing problems in Shiraz University of medical sciences. Asian EFL Journal, 9(1), 147–163.Google Scholar
  52. Silva, T. (1990). Second language composition instruction: Developments, issues and directions in ESL. In B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language writing: Research insights for the classroom (pp. 11–23). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Silverman, D. (2001). Interpreting qualitative data: Methods for analysing talk, text and interaction. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  54. Simm, J., & Ingram, R. (2008). Collaborative action research to develop the use of solution-focused approaches. Educational Psychology in Practice, 24(1), 43–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Uysal, H. (2008). Tracing the culture behind writing: Rhetorical patterns and bidirectional transfer in L1 and L2 essays of Turkish writers in relation to educational context. Journal of Second Language Writing, 17(3), 183–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zheng, Y. (1999). Providing the students with effective feedback in the writing process. Teaching English in China, 36, p. 41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdelhamid Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Core Curriculum Program (CCP)Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations