In what ways can the process writing approach contribute to the successful development of EFL learners’ writing ability?
Abstract: The purpose of this research synthesis is to investigate and compare studies of the process writing approach to teaching writing to find out if the method can be considered a suitable approach to use within upper-secondary education in Sweden to prepare students for academia. Communicative competence is advocated by the Swedish curriculum in English and therefore students should learn how to write (GY11). In particular, this research synthesis will answer the following question: In what ways can the process writing approach contribute to the successful development of EFL upper-secondary school learners’ writing ability? Furthermore, it also investigates the approach effectiveness in developing learners’ critical thinking skills and how the method increases learners’ confidence in writing by reducing anxiety over writing assignments. This research synthesis is based on articles retrieved from three main databases, where key search terms as well as inclusion and exclusion criteria where used to collect and select relevant material. Different aspects of the process writing approach was investigated in relation to the research questions, and the results show that the activities within the process approach allow students to utilise prior knowledge in the writing process, and thereby activate and develop their cognitive abilities. As such, the process allows student not only to develop their critical thinking skills, but also to reduce anxiety over written assignments. Furthermore, as the process writing approach is found to meet many of the aims and goals of the English syllabus, it offers a deliberate instructional method to be used in the tuition of upper-secondary students of English in Sweden. This is relevant for both teacher candidates and teachers to make well-informed choices of instructional method for teaching writing.
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