Investigation of University Students’ Writing Problems: Two Public Universities in South West Ethiopia in Focus

  • Mandefro Fenta Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Asnakech Demissie Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Alemayehu Negash Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
Keywords: Writing skill, writing error, error types in writing.

Abstract

Communication through writing demands various skills and sub-skills. However, it appears that university students in the Ethiopian context do not have various major writing skills and sub-skills as it is required. As a result, they face different problems when they write in English. Thus, the main objective of this study was to assess the writing problems of university students who learned at Jimma and Mizan-Tepi universities in 2015/16 academic year. The participants of the study were first year students who learned at the two universities. The necessary data for the study were gathered through writing tests at sentence and paragraph levels. The collected data were analyzed using textual analysis. The study showed that the students could not identify the basic elements of a sentence like the verb, complement and object. The majority of them could not identify and correct various sentence errors as well. The study also showed that nearly no student could pinpoint his/her writing problems and suggest possible solutions to his/her writing problems. Finally, recommendations have been suggested based on the major findings of the study.

References

Carroll, R. T. (1990). Student Success Guide Writing Skills. The Skeptic’s Dictionary at www.skepdic.com

Clark, I.L. Concepts in composition Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publisher.2003.

Denscombe, M. The Good Research Guide for Small Scale Social Research Projects (3rd edition). McGraw Hill: Open University Press.2007.

Duiga, G. Essay Writing for English Tests.Australia: Academic English Press.2002.

Emig, J. (1977). Writing as a model of learning. In McDonald, C.R. and McDonald, R. L.(editors). TeachingWriting Landmarks and Horizons. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press.2002.

Gupta, D. and Getachew Seyoum (2011). The Influence of Motivation and Attitude on Writing Strategy Use of Undergraduate EFL Students: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspective. In Robertson, P. and Nunn R. (editors). The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly Vol. 13, Issue 2. June 2011

Hamer, J. How to Teach Writing. Longman. 2004.

Harmer, J. The practice of English Language Teaching (3rd edition). Longman.2001.

Kruse, O., Getting Started: Academic writing in first year university Education. In Bjorg, L., Brauer, G., Rienecker, L. and Jorgensen, P.S. (editors) Teaching Academic Writing in European Higher Education. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishing. 2003.

Richards, J. C. and Schmidt, R. Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (4thedition). London: Pearson. 2010.

Sorenson, S.Webster’s New World Student Writing Handbook (5thedition) Wiley: Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2010.

Sova, D. Writing clearly: A self-Teaching Guide. New Jersey: John Wiley and sons Inc.2004.

Tekle Ferede, Endalfer Melese and Ebabu Tefere. A descriptive Survey on Teacher’s Perception of EFL Writing and Their Practice of Teaching Writing: Preparatory Schools in Jimma Zone in Focus. Ethiop. J. Educ. and Sc. Vol. 8 No.1 2012.

Vaus, D.D. Research Design in Social Research. London: Sage publishers Ltd.2001.

Published
2018-12-03
Section
Articles