Introspection into Academic Paragraph Writing Problems: A Case Study of International Training Program (ITP 44) at EFLU, Hyderabad, India
Keywords:Academic writing, introspection, paragraph
This study was conducted on forty fourth round Intermediate level International Training Program (lTP44) Students of the English and Foreign Language University at Hyderabad, India in 2013. The objective was to investigate the academic paragraph writing problems of the participating students and identify the root causes. Accordingly, all participants were considered as the study population due to size and country representation. Data was collected using students' questionnaire, analysis of the students' paragraph and interview with the teacher. Data collected was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative approach. Hence, it was identified that the students' have problems of spelling, punctuations particularly in using comma, diction(word choice) and grammar particularly in using articles, prepositions and tenses. They also have problems of formality, objectiveness, complexity as well as sentence level problems like wordiness, awkward beginning, and fragmentation. Some of them also have run on and misplaced (dangling) modifier problems. Paragraph level qualities like coherence, completeness, unity and Cohesion are also lacking. Late starting of learning English and more importantly very late starting of learning about and practicing writing in English, the role of English as instructional medium in their respective countries, late exposure to performance type writing underlie the students' academic paragraph writing problems. Frequent use of mother tongue in English language classroom, the less value assigned to teaching English in general and teaching writing in particular, inadequacy of paragraphs writing exercises on their previous English language teaching text books and the resulting inadequacy of writing practices and the students' poor command over the English language are also identified as factor responsible for the problems. Previous English language teachers' lack of English language proficiency and motivation of teaching also underline the writing failures of some of the students.
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