ESL Tertiary Students’ Writing Problems and Needs: Suggested Elements for an Additional Online Writing Program (IQ-Write) for the BEL 311 Course

By Noriah Ismail, Supyan Hussin and Saadiyah Darus.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is important to note that many ESL tertiary students face a lot of problems in writing. Their inability to write well not only affects their grade in their English proficiency class, but their overall course grade as well. In light of this issue, it is important to analyze the students’ writing problems and needs in order to provide a suitable writing module which can enhance their writing ability. This study investigates ESL Tertiary students’ writing problems and needs in the BEL 311 English proficiency course at MARA University of Technology, Johor. In addition, the study also looks at the students’ and lecturers’ suggestions of the important elements for the proposed supplementary online writing program IQ-Write for the course. In this study, 60 Part Three Diploma students taking the BEL 311 course were given a set of questionnaires and four lecturers who have taught the course for more than 5 years were interviewed. Results indicate that the students face a lot of difficulties and problems which include their inability to be inquisitive and critical when writing, the lack of practice time being allocated in class, as well as the dull and ineffective writing module and activities conducted in class. Thus, they feel that an additional online writing program (IQ-Write) should be developed and be made to cater to the students’ writing needs in order to help increase their interest and performance in academic writing.

Keywords: ESL, Needs Analysis, Online Writing Program

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 784.092KB).

Dr. Noriah Ismail

Senior Lecturer, Academy of Language Studies, MARA University of Technology, Segamat, Johor, Malaysia

Noriah Ismail is a senior lecturer at University of Technology MARA. Her research interests include CALL and ESL writing.

Assoc. Prof. Supyan Hussin

Senior Lecturer, Centre of General Studies, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Supyan Hussin is an Associate Professor at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He is also the Head of E-Community Research Center, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. His area of specialization is language education and technology.

Assoc. Prof. Saadiyah Darus

Senior Lecturer, School of Language Studies & Linguistics,Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Saadiyah Darus is an Associate Professor at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She was a Chief Editor, GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies (2006–2012). Her areas of interest include CALL and Online Writing Assessments.


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