Teaching Writing Skills to SSC Students Studying English as a Subject
Keywords:Language, Writing, Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary, Grammar
English language runs like blood in the veins of nations worldwide (Ahmed & Rao, 2012). As a result, the demand for English language has increased to the extent that it requires the citizens of modern societies to be proficient enough in order to be successful in their academic and professional careers (Muhammad,2011). In order to get success and to pursue their studies further, students are required to write with precision and originality and read with an appropriate level of comprehension (Nasir, Naqvi & Bhamani,2013).As a global medium of communication, the importance of English has increased a lot in the present social, political and commercial contexts. With the advancements of IT in various spheres of society, English has become the only language for the world citizens. Because of its international demand and recognition as a world language, English has always been a part of our education system. It is taught as a compulsory subject up to graduation level in Pakistani educational system. Writing is a key skill within the process of learning English language as it offers a way of communicating one’s thoughts and feelings. Pakistani secondary school students require writing skills for a number of educational purposes including writing tasks given by the teachers and taking tests and final examinations (Dar & Khan, 2015). Moreover, for the purpose of developing writing skills, effective reading skills are also required. Reading a variety of genres effectively helps learners to be efficient writers as they learn the sentence structures, vocabulary and style of writing from the texts they read. Thus, both skills are equally important and dependent on each other (Moureau,2015). Despite studying English for over 14 years, majority of students lack required command in English language writing skills to pursue their higher education and professional careers. Moreover, having an asserted focus on English language in Pakistani schools, “The language learners still face difficulties in almost every area: reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar”(Dar & Khan, 2015, p.122). One reason behind this situation is negligible iii implementation of skill-based language teaching at SSC level because the focus of teachers and students is on completion of syllabus and preparation for board examinations instead of skills building. Since the medium of instruction in many Pakistani secondary level schools is English and resource books and other instructional materials are mostly in English language (Khan, 2013), it is necessary for the students to have command in at least reading and writing skills to comprehend and produce learning at a desirable level. With this background in mind, the current research focused on teaching English writing skills and the problems faced while teaching these skills at SSC level schools in Bahawalpur. So, this study aims at exploring the teachers’ as well as students’ point of view to enhance their teaching and learning writing skills respectively. Because, writing skills play an important role in increasing the students’ level of interest, enjoyment and pleasure towards English as a second language learning. This work also attempted to focus on the results of practicing English language writing skills by interviewing teachers and students in some selective schools of Bahawalpur. The researcher adopted the descriptive analytical approach. The population of the study was (40) secondary level teachers and (300) students of Bahawalpur. The sample was chosen randomly (20) teachers and (200) students of Govt. Junior Model Girls High School Bahawalpur and Computer Age Public School Bahawalpur in the academic year 20116-17. The researcher designed two questionnaires for the students and the teachers to measure the attitudes of teachers about learning English language writing skills and the difficulties and challenges faced by them in teaching this skill in the class. The questionnaires were developed according to the purpose of the study. These questionnaires were distributed among the teachers and the students of secondary level in Bahawalpur and their responses were analyzed statistically. On the basis of the findings of the results, it is shown that writing skills play a key role in the development and enhancement of knowledge of second language at secondary level. The findings also revealed the practices of teaching writing skills iv such as provision of model texts and relevant vocabulary items. The major problems while teaching writing skills were lack of pre-writing activities, learners’ deficient command over vocabulary, grammar, spellings and punctuation, lengthy syllabus and limited time. English Language teachers face many problems in teaching writing skills because they have to deal a large number of students from various backgrounds of languages. Teachers used to give written feedback on students’ work to attain the writing learning outcomes. Moreover, at SSC level, examination is based on textbook. Classroom practices used by teachers were based on examination pattern i.e. use of textbook and help books. The researcher recommends that creative writing can be used as a scaffolding strategy by the students in facilitating their learning and can also be used as a pedagogical tool by the teachers to enhance their learning experience as well as maximize the engagement in the classroom.
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