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Text-Based Writing

Full Title : Exploring the Introduction of a Text-based Approach to Writing in the Secondarty English Classroom in Brunei Darussalam

Project Number : UBD/PNC2/2/RG/1(71)

Start Date : January 2007

End Date : December 2009

Project leader : Debbie Ho

Team members : Alex Henry, Mary Nicol, Noor Azam bin OKMB Hj Othman

Brief Outline

Traditionally, language teaching methodology in Brunei classrooms has shown a preference for transmission of forms where instruction is organised and presented in discrete piecemeal fashion – grammar, vocabulary development, reading comprehension and so forth. As such, the assumption is that writing skills will naturally result from explicit instruction on discrete aspects of the language. It is for this reason that teachers tend to spend less time working with students on their writing skills than on reading comprehension or grammar for example. And yet, writing is not constrained to knowing about the language but also requires learners to be aware of how language in a text operates to maximise its communicative purpose. This project aims to initiate a text-based approach to teaching writing at one secondary school in Brunei Darussalam in an effort to promote writing literacy among our learners. Experimental groups of students at the top and bottom ends of the secondary four classrooms will be exposed to whole texts where instruction is focused on the operant structural, textual and grammatical features found in particular text types. In addition to allowing a comparison to be made in the written performance of the control and experimental groups, the project also provides for critical evaluation of an approach already put in place in many ESL/EFL countries elsewhere. The results will highlight particular weaknesses and strengths in student writing at the upper secondary school level in Brunei Darussalam. Insights gained from the research study will help to inform teacher training programmes, English language writing materials and syllabus design in the Bruneian education system.


Report : PDF Copy of final report