Edited By Michal B. Paradowski
A Text-Based Approach to Teaching Writing in the ESL Classroom
Abstract: The text-based approach to teaching ESL uses a series of complete texts to teaching writing. Instruction is focused on the three dimensions that create meaning in texts: the ideational, interpersonal and textual dimensions. To be effective writers, students must be aware of the structural, interpersonal and textual features of different text types. This paper examines the impact of text-based instruction on ESL writing in a secondary classroom in Brunei Darussalam, a non-native English speaking country in South East Asia. Altogether, forty student pre- and post- instruction written scripts on report writing were used. The scripts were assessed using a systemic functional grammar scoring system and then compared. The scores were then subjected to Wilcoxon matched-pair test, revealing a significant difference between pre- and post- instruction student performance. The results showed an overall improvement in student writing after instruction in both the higher and lower ability student groups.
In many English as Second Language (ESL) classrooms, writing in the target language remains a challenge for many learners. This is to be expected considering that writing requires not only an abstract knowledge of the language (i.e. structural forms) but, equally importantly, the ability to apply what has been learnt to produce a coherent, and meaningful text. Separating writing from other aspects of language learning (such as grammar or vocabulary) may not help students make the necessary transition from what they know to how to use what they know in their writing. In short, students need to be...
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