Effectiveness of Task-Based Instructional Materials in Developing Writing Skills of BS Fisheries Fre...

Loreto B. Waguey, Esther R. Hufana

  Open Access OPEN ACCESS  Peer Reviewed PEER-REVIEWED

Effectiveness of Task-Based Instructional Materials in Developing Writing Skills of BS Fisheries Freshmen

Loreto B. Waguey1,, Esther R. Hufana2

1Languages Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, South La Union Campus, Agoo, La Union, Philippines Zip Code

2Graduate School, Saint Louis University, Baguio City, Zip Code

Abstract

The study generally aimed to enhance the writing skills of the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries freshman students enrolled in English 102 (Writing in the Discipline) at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU)-Institute of Fisheries (IF). Specifically, it aimed to: 1) determine the writing competency level of the students; 2) identify the learning strategies frequently used by the students; 3) develop task-based instructional materials based on the writing competency level of the students and their frequency of use of learning strategies; 4) determine the effectiveness of the task-based instructional materials in enhancing the writing performance of the students; and 5) determine the relationship between the effectiveness of the task-based instructional materials and the frequency of use of learning strategies. The first year BSF students had low level of competence in writing four types of texts (explanation of a process, recount, essay and paraphrase) and in nine writing skill areas (sentence unity, ability to carry out the task with minimal support, sentence emphasis, paragraph coherence, paragraph unity, paragraph emphasis, accuracy, sentence structure, and language features). The students’ frequency of use of learning strategies was “Medium” or “Sometimes Used” for both direct and indirect strategies. The use of the task-based instructional materials significantly increased the posttest scores of the students in paragraph unity, paragraph coherence, paragraph emphasis, methods of beginning and ending compositions and mechanics. Frequency of use of learning strategies is significantly and positively related with the pretest and posttest scores of the students. Based on the findings, the task-based instructional materials are recommended for use in order to improve students’ writing skills particularly to students who frequently use their learning strategies. Likewise, the development of task-based instructional materials is encouraged in other subjects or disciplines.

Cite this article:

  • Waguey, Loreto B., and Esther R. Hufana. "Effectiveness of Task-Based Instructional Materials in Developing Writing Skills of BS Fisheries Freshmen." American Journal of Educational Research 1.9 (2013): 359-365.
  • Waguey, L. B. , & Hufana, E. R. (2013). Effectiveness of Task-Based Instructional Materials in Developing Writing Skills of BS Fisheries Freshmen. American Journal of Educational Research, 1(9), 359-365.
  • Waguey, Loreto B., and Esther R. Hufana. "Effectiveness of Task-Based Instructional Materials in Developing Writing Skills of BS Fisheries Freshmen." American Journal of Educational Research 1, no. 9 (2013): 359-365.

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1. Introduction

What makes writing difficult? What factors contribute to this difficulty? These questions on writing have been answered by previous researches but still, many students have poor writing abilities. What could be an effective approach to improve students’ writing skills?

Every year in the United States, several young people drop out of high school because they lack both reading and writing skills [1]. ESL/EFL researchers in Asia also observed problems in language and a higher percentage in writing skills of Iranian medical students and interns [2]. Likewise, many students in the Philippines have poor writing abilities as revealed in the results of entrance examinations and board examinations.

It is with this scenario that this research focused on the development of task-based instructional materials to enhance students’ writing skills. Task-based instruction enables learners to do real-world target tasks using language. This approach uses authentic data for classroom activities such as listening to a weather forecast, responding to a party invitation, completing a banking application form, describing a photograph of one’s family and other activities that naturally occur in the world. This approach is successful for language learning because learners learn best by doing [3]. The advantage of using authentic data is that, learners encounter target language items in the kinds of contexts where they naturally occur rather than the contexts that have been concocted by a textbook writer. This will ultimately benefit learners because they will experience the language item in interaction with other closely related grammatical discourse elements [4].

This study would benefit language teachers, administrators and educators in their attempt to improve teaching practices particularly in the development of instructional materials focused on the development of students’ writing skills. Finally, this study could serve as a basis for other researches in the development of acceptable, useful, substantial and appropriate instructional materials with writing tasks that would enhance students’ writing skills.

1.1. Theoretical Framework

Several studies on writing have shown that most students have very low writing proficiency. Chinese undergraduate non-English majors had errors in paragraph development which accounted for the largest percentage, followed by errors in paragraph coherence, errors in paragraph unity, and inconsistency in point of view. Errors on ineffective organization of the ideas, lack of transitional markers and misuse of cohesive markers were also identified. Factors which contributed to students’ inability to achieve paragraph coherence in their English writing were: lack of English writing practice and insufficient knowledge about coherence in paragraph writing [5].

Students had several problems in writing narrative text namely: difficulties in composing narrative text based on writing criteria, organization of each paragraph, grammar, content, mechanics and low vocabulary [6].

A study in Indonesia showed that students’ capability in writing recount text is good, but they had several problems in organization, use of correct grammar, limited vocabulary, difficulties in arranging sentences, and difficulties in looking for the ideas [7].

With this scenario of students’ incompetence in writing, there is an immediate need for teachers to develop or enhance students’ writing skills. The development and the use of self-made instructional materials is one strategy that can help develop students’ skills in writing. There is a need to develop instructional materials which help students develop confidence in writing because a good hand at writing is apparently an edge in a competitive world where ability and proficiency in English language is called for [8].

Fundamental to task-based teaching is the idea that learners acquire language by using it [3]. When applied to language teaching, this suggests that most class time should be devoted to opportunities for learners to use the language rather than listening to the teacher talk. These opportunities can range from practicing memorized dialogues to completing a table or chart based from listening input. The key point, however, is that the learner (not the teacher) is doing the work. This is not to suggest that there is no place at all for teacher explanation but the teacher-focused work should not dominate class time because learners learn with the use of authentic data. Learners encounter target language items in the kinds of contexts where they naturally occur which ultimately benefit learners because they experience the language item in interaction with other closely related grammatical discourse elements.

One of the reasons for the mismatches between teaching and learning is that learners often find it difficult to see the functional purpose for having different linguistic forms. In the case of active/passive voice for example, it’s not enough to teach learners to master linguistic transformations (such as changing active voice sentences into passives and back again). It is also important to explain to the learners that both forms carry the same meaning and that they are alternative ways of saying the same thing. The challenge in activating this principle is to design tasks that require learners to use inductive and deductive reasoning to develop their own understanding of the relationship between form and function [4].

1.2. Statement of the Problem

This study aimed to develop instructional materials to enhance the writing skills of the BS Fisheries freshman students enrolled in English 102 (Writing in the Discipline) at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), Institute of Fisheries.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:1) What is the writing competency level of the students?; 2) What are the learning strategies frequently used by the students?; 3) What instructional materials can be developed to improve the writing competency of the students?; 4) Are the task-based instructional materials effective in enhancing the writing performance of the students? and 5) What is the relationship between the effectiveness of the task-based instructional materials and the frequency of use of learning strategies?

1.3. Hypotheses of the Study

The following were the hypotheses of the study: 1) The task-based instructional materials significantly enhance the writing skills of the students; and 2) The effectiveness of the task-based instructional materials is related to the students’ frequency of use of learning strategies.

2 Methodology

2.1. Research Design

The descriptive survey was used in determining the writing needs of the students. The one-group pretest- posttest design was used to evaluate the usefulness, appropriateness and effectiveness of the instructional materials in developing the writing skills of the students.

2.2. Population and Locale of the Study

The respondents were the BS Fisheries freshmen enrolled at the DMMMSU-SLUC Institute of Fisheries during the first semester school year 2011-2012 and the English and the content teachers who validated the content and evaluated the appropriateness of the instructional materials prior to their try out.

2.3. Data Collection Procedure

A Modified Written Language Assessment Activity [4] with some modifications was used to gather data on the students’ writing needs. The students’ learning strategies were gathered using the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) [9]. The preparation of the writing tasks adopted the models of Nunan [10] and Willis [11]. The process writing models of White and Arndt [12], and Troia and Graham [13] were also used.

The materials consisted of 12 writing tasks intended to improve the writing skills of the students. These were validated in terms of content and evaluated in terms of appropriateness by the teacher respondents. The instructional materials were improved based on the validation, evaluation, suggestions and comments of the English and the content teachers.

After the development of the instructional materials, the students were pretested and the materials were tried out to the students. After which, a posttest was administered to the students to measure the effect of the instructional materials on their writing skills. The writing tasks were also evaluated by the students in terms of their acceptability and usefulness.

2.4. Data Collection Instruments

A Written Language Assessment Activity [4] with some Modifications) was used to determine the writing needs of the students. The Oxford’s Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) [9] was used to determine the learning strategies frequently used by the students. The questionnaire to validate content and to evaluate appropriateness of instructional materials (with some modifications) [14] was used to gather data on the English and the content teachers’ validation and evaluation of the materials.

A test in writing which served as the pretest and posttest was prepared to measure or determine whether there exists an increase or improvement of scores in the posttest after using the instructional materials. The writing performance of the students in both pretest and posttest was determined by using both specific and summative evaluation (with some modifications) [15].

2.5. Treatment of Data

The data were tabulated and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) program 17.0 version. Specifically, the statistical tools used were as follows: 1) frequency counts which was used to describe the distribution of the student respondents according to categories/groups; 2) percentage which was used to describe the relative proportion of the sub-categories based on the total then multiplied by 100; 3) weighted mean which described the tendency of the respondents’ behavior or attributes; 4) correlation analysis which determined the relationship between the students’ frequency of use of learning strategies and their pretest, posttest and the gain in their posttest scores; and 5) T-test for related samples which tested the effectiveness of the task-based instructional materials in developing the writing skills of students.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Writing Competency Level of BSF Freshmen

The level of writing competency of students is an important input in the development of the task-based instructional materials. Language teachers need to determine the writing competency level of students in order to ensure success of language instruction.


3.1.1. Writing Competency Level of the BSF Freshmen According to Types of Text

Results reveal that generally the first year BSF students had limited writing skills in all the four types of texts as indicated by their low level of competence with a grand weighted mean of 1.85 and a global rating scale of 2. Findings show that along the four types of text, explanation of a process (2.27) registered the highest writing competence, followed by recount (1.82), paraphrase (1.67) and essay (1.63) in descending order. However, result shows that the students are still incompetent even in the text that registered their highest writing competence. Findings indicate that the students’ exposure to the four types of text should be given consideration in the construction of instructional materials to develop their writing skills.


3.1.2. Writing Competency of the Students According to Writing Skill Areas

In general, the first year BSF students have limited writing skills in 9 areas of the writing skills as indicated by their low level of competence with a grand weighted mean of 1.85 and a global rating scale of 2.

Among the writing skill areas, the first three skill areas are sentence coherence which registered the students’ highest writing competence (2.36) followed by sentence unity (2.26), and ability to carry out the task with minimal support (2.16). However, result shows that the students are still incompetent even in the writing skill areas that registered their highest writing competence. The lowest levels of competence in the skill areas in descending order are paragraph emphasis and language features with means of 1.55 each.

These findings indicate that these skill areas should be taken into consideration in the development and construction of instructional materials to enhance writing skills.

3.2. Frequency of Use of Learning Strategies by Freshman BSF Students

Successful learning is the persistent use of a whole host of strategies for language learning. One of the principal goals of an interactive language teacher is to equip students with a sense of what successful learners do to achieve success and to aid them in developing their own individual pathways to success [9]. This requires language teachers to consider students’ learning strategies in order to achieve successful language learning in the classroom.


3.2.1. The Students’ Frequency of Use of Direct Learning Strategies

The students’ frequency of use of direct strategies falls under “Medium” or “Sometimes Used” (SU) with cognitive strategies (75.86%) getting the highest followed by memory strategies (72.41%) and compensation strategies (68.47%) the lowest.

Result shows that 72.41% of the students sometimes used memory strategies and 27.59% had “Low” or “Generally Not Used” (GNU) memory strategies. Finding also shows that none or 0% of the students fall under “Almost Always Used” (AAU) memory strategies and also none or 0% fall under “Not Used” (NU) memory strategies. This indicates that in order to learn, they are dependent on memory strategies. On the other hand, they have not yet maximized their use.

Most of the students employ cognitive strategies in order to learn (75.86%), followed by 17.24% (High) and 6.90% (Low). This indicates that the students approach the learning situation by manipulating or transforming the target language such as skimming to locate the main idea in a text. However, they have not maximized the use of cognitive strategies.

Finding also shows that 68.47% of the students used compensation strategies (“Sometimes Used”), 13.79% had “Usually Used” compensation strategies and 17.24% had “Generally Not Used” compensation strategies. Their use of compensation strategies indicates that the students remedy their inadequate repertoire of grammar and vocabulary by using clues for guessing the meaning of words and for comprehension. Although many of the students used compensation strategies, their frequency of use is not yet maximized which implies that they did not use often their compensation strategies in their previous learning situations and did not have adequate learning opportunities where they could maximize these strategies.


3.2.2. The Students’ Frequency of Use of Indirect Learning Strategies

In terms of metacognitive strategies, result shows that more than half (58.62%) of the students had “Medium” or “Sometimes Used” (SU) strategies; 6.90% “Low” or “Generally Not Used” (GNU) strategies; 27.59% “High” or “Usually Used” strategies; and only 6.90% “High” or “Almost Always Used”(AAU) strategies.The students used metacognitive strategies; however, the frequency of use had not yet been fully utilized. This is an indication that they have to enhance their metacognitive strategies by planning, arranging, focusing, evaluating and directing their own learning process in order to make learning easier, faster and more effective.

Result also reveals that 51.72% had “Medium” or “Sometimes Used” (SU) affective strategies, 17.24% “Generally Not Used” (GNU) affective strategies, and 31.03% “Usually Used” (UU) affective strategies. The above results reveal that the frequency of use of affective strategies has not been fully utilized.

Finding further reveals that 55.17% of the students had “Sometimes Used” (SU) social strategies; 10.34% fall under “Low” or “Generally Not Used” (GNU); 10.34% “High” or “Almost Always Used” (AAU) and 24. 14% “High” or “Usually Used” (UU). These findings manifest the students’ minimum use of social strategies which indicates that they have not maximized the use of social strategies.

In summary, results convey that the students’ current strategy profile reveals that the students used a combination of all the strategies; however, they have not maximized the use of their learning strategies. Further, most of them used direct strategies more than indirect strategies. These findings indicate that the development of instructional materials should offer sufficient tasks/activities for students to use both direct and indirect learning strategies with an emphasis on indirect learning strategies. This means that learners could employ not only one particular strategy in order to learn but they could possibly select and use a combination of strategies to fit the demands of the learning situation. Research showed that the more successful students used combinations of strategies more frequently compared to others. That is, common strategies students used alone were not adequate to move learners to higher proficiency levels. It is the diverse combinations of strategies that promote high achievement and success in language learning [16]. Learners who intentionally select and combine strategies relevant to a given language task show improved proficiency in the target language [17].

It is virtually impossible for students to remember all the information that is made available to them. Thus, it is beneficial to teach students skills which will assist them remember important information. Teachers will now have to take on a different role as instructors of learning strategies by identifying students’ learning strategies, and helping them become more independent learners [18]. The active use of strategies help students to attain higher proficiency since there is a significant relationship between strategy use and language learning success [19].

3.3. Development of Instructional Materials to Address Writing Needs

The instructional materials were prepared based on the following writing competency levels of the students: 1) their limited competence in writing the four types of text (essay, paraphrase, recount and explanation of a process) and 2) their very low competence in the following writing skill areas: sentence structure; language features (the use of appropriate vocabulary, process verbs, action verbs, and modifiers); paragraph emphasis; paragraph unity; paragraph coherence; sentence emphasis; accuracy in grammar(word order, verb endings, use of pronouns, spelling and punctuation); ability to carry out the task with minimal support; and sentence unity. The materials were also prepared on the basis of the identified learning strategies of the students.

3.4. The Students’ Writing Needs in Writing the Four Types of Text

The students exhibited their lowest competence in writing an essay (1.28) followed by paraphrase (1.44), recount (1.44) and explanation of a process. The instructional materials were developed to address the students’ low level of writing competence in the four types of text. Other types of texts were also included in the development of the students’ writing skills.

3.5. The Students’ Level of Writing Competency along the Writing Skill Areas

The instructional materials were developed based on the following writing skill areas: sentence structure (1.52); language features (1.55) such as the use of appropriate vocabulary, process verbs, and modifiers; paragraph emphasis (1.55); paragraph unity (1.64); paragraph coherence (1.70); sentence emphasis (1.78); accuracy in grammar (1.96) such as word order, verb endings, use of pronouns, spelling and punctuation; ability to carry out the task with minimal support (2.16); and sentence unity (2.26). Emphasis, however, was given to the first three areas where the students had their very low level of competence. This was done by explaining how the writing skills could be achieved under language focus and by adding more activities and practices or drills on the said three areas.

3.6. Performance of the Students in their Pretest and Posttest

This part of the study presents the writing performance of students in their pretest and posttest along the writing skill areas.


3.6.1. Pre-test Post-test Scores of Students

Table 1 depicts the pretest and posttest writing performance of the students. Statistical analysis showed that the posttest result is significantly higher than the pretest result at 1% level of significance. The increase in score indicates the effectiveness of the instructional materials in developing the writing skills of the students. The table shows that the mean pretest score of 34.8621 compared to the posttest score of 50.1724 had a difference of 15.31. The mean posttest score is higher by 43.92% compared to the mean pretest score. This result indicates the positive effect of the task-based materials in developing the students’ writing skills.

Table 1. Comparison of the Pretest and Posttest Scores of the Students

Similarly, the study on the effects of Make Sense Writing Strategies (MSWS) on 7th Grade African-American and students with disabilities’ performance on high-stakes showed positive results. The study used a pretest-posttest control group design. Pretest performance of 7th grade students in three middle schools was matched so that all were performing similarly prior to implementation of MSWS in one of the schools. Thus, two schools (A & B) served as comparison, “control” groups and one school (C) was used as the “experimental” group. Results showed that Schools A, B, & C were performing on the state-wide writing assessment at similar levels. Language Arts teachers in School C received MSWS instructional resources and professional development. Posttest performance showed that while the performance in Schools A and B declined, School C made significant improvements during the same time period as evidenced by a 22.86 percentage point gain from the previous year [20].


3.6.2. Writing Performance of the Students along the Writing Skill Areas

Table 2 displays the writing performance of the students along paragraph unity, paragraph coherence, paragraph emphasis, methods of beginning and ending a composition and mechanics. The table shows that the highest difference between the pretest and posttest scores is on paragraph emphasis (4.1035), followed by paragraph unity (4.00), paragraph coherence (3.1725), mechanics (2.2414) and the least, methods of beginning and ending a composition (1.7591).

Table 2. Writing Performance of the Students along the Writing Skill Areas


3.6.3. Performance of the Students in Paragraph Unity

Mean score of the students in paragraph unity is 9.2069 in the pretest scores and 13.2069 in the posttest scores. Statistically, the difference between the students’ average pretest score and their average posttest score is significant at 1% level. This indicates that the task-based instructional materials contributed to enhancement of the writing skills of the students on paragraph unity. Further, the students’ sufficient exposure to the writing tasks provided acquisition of writing skills on paragraph unity such as ability to introduce the issue through a thesis statement, ability to support their main ideas with relevant details, ability to use sentences to develop their issue with one central idea and ability to use additional paragraphs to develop their issue.


3.6.4. Performance of the Students in Paragraph Coherence

There exists a significant difference between the students’ average pretest (7.3103) and their average posttest 10.4828) scores at 5% level of significance. The significant increase (3.1725) of the students’ average posttest score indicates that the writing tasks developed the students’ skills in writing coherent paragraphs, an indication that in the posttest, the students’ writing performance significantly improved. Ideas are logically arranged using appropriate transitional devices and linking words.


3.6.5. Performance of the Students in Paragraph Emphasis

The students’ writing performance under paragraph emphasis significantly increased at 1% level as shown by the difference (4.1035) between their average pretest score (7.931) and average posttest score (12.0345) as indicated by the t-test. The significant increase implies that the writing tasks improved the students’ writing skills on paragraph emphasis. This means that the task-based instructional materials helped the students gain more skills in positioning their main idea either at the beginning or at the end of their paragraphs, in emphasizing their points through repetition, or in arranging details of their paragraph from the least important to the most important or vice versa. Further, the tasks helped students write effective and forceful paragraphs by making the main idea stand out above the minor ideas supporting it and by arranging details so as to create an impressive, meaningful thought group.


3.6.6. Performance of the Students in the Methods of Introducing and Ending a Composition

Statistical analysis showed that there is a significant difference (1.7591) between the students’ writing performance in their mean pretest (3.965) and mean posttest (5.7241) scores at 1% level. This is an indication that their exposure and practice in the writing tasks significantly increased their skill of introducing and concluding their compositions. The significant increment in the students’ performance could be attributed to the activities provided in the writing tasks, that is, by using interesting paragraph beginnings that give the reader an idea to where he is headed and by using conclusions that bring closure to the reader with a strong impact at the end of a composition.


3.6.7. Performance of the Students in Mechanics

Results reveal that there is a significant difference between the students’ mean pretest (6.8276) and posttest (9.069) scores. The significant gain in the posttest score implies that the writing tasks contributed significantly in their writing skills under mechanics. There was an improvement in their spelling, punctuation, grammar and neatness and appearance of their written outputs compared to their pretest scores.

In general, the instructional materials have enhanced the students’ writing skills. In this context, the ultimate rationale of task-based instruction is to enable learners do real-world target tasks using language. Through this approach, learners learn best by doing [3].

On the other hand, writing process gives the student a real purpose in writing. The teacher’s role is to train students in revision skills so that students could become perceptive editors of their own work and their classmates’ work too [21]. Teachers who want to help their students gain confidence in writing should try to follow a writing process that takes the student from insecurity to success [22].

Experiential philosophy stresses learning by doing. In a process approach, teachers focus less on a final product than on the development of successive drafts of a text. Students are encouraged to get their ideas into paper without worrying too much about formal corrections in the initial stages. Then they share their work with their classmates and get their feedback and suggestions before revising for the final product [4].

3.7. Relationship between Frequency of Use of Learning Strategies and the Gain in Posttest Scores

This part of the study presents the relationship between the students’ frequency of use of learning strategies and the gain in the posttest scores.


3.7.1. The Students’ Frequency of Use of Learning Strategies and the Gain in the Posttest Scores

Findings reveal that the mean increase in the posttest scores of the students who generally did not use, never or almost never used (Low) learning strategies is 11 points, while those who sometimes used (Medium) learning strategies increased by 14.55 points. Those who always or almost always used, or usually used (High) their learning strategies gained by 21.80 points. It could be noted that those who always or almost always used learning strategies have the highest increase in their average gain in their posttest scores. The above findings indicate that those who frequently used their learning strategies are more successful in their writing achievement.

Findings also reveal a significantly moderate relationship between the students’ frequency of use of learning strategies and the gain in their posttest scores. This indicates sufficient evidence that the more frequent the students use learning strategies, the more effective the task-based instructional materials in developing students’ writing skills.

It could be observed that the average increase of the scores of the students who generally did not use or never or almost never used (Low) learning strategies is 11 points, while those who sometimes used (Medium) their learning strategies and those who always or almost always used, or usually used (High) learning strategies increased by 14.55 and 21.80 points, respectively.

The above findings corroborate with studies on strategy use in creating and improving achievement in second language. A study on the language learning strategies used by prematriculation students participating in a six-month intensive English programme at the National University of Singapore showed similar results. The study examined the relationship between the students' use of learning strategies and their English proficiency. The study found a strong relationship between strategy use and English proficiency, that is, more use of language learning strategies promotes students’ proficiency in language learning, and the use of some specific strategies positively correlated to improvement of sub-language skills such as oral communication and composition [23].

Students who were better in their language performance generally reported higher levels of overall strategy use and frequent use of a greater number of strategy categories. There is significant relationship between strategy use and language learning success. Thus, active use of strategies helps students to attain higher proficiency [19].

Findings signify that students who frequently used their strategies are those who excelled in their pretest scores. This means the more students actively use their learning strategies, the more they would get higher achievement in their writing performance.

A study that investigated the relationship between language learning strategies and L2 proficiency of 332 university students learning English in Korea using the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) showed that all six categories of language learning strategies as well as total language learning strategies were significantly correlated with the TOEFL scores [24].

Another study that investigated the language learning strategies used by students at different proficiency levels at National Chin-yi University of Technology, Taiwan revealed that higher proficiency EFL students use language learning strategies more often than lower proficiency EFL students [25].

3.8. Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions are forwarded: 1) The BS Fisheries freshman students generally have low writing competency level; 2) The BS Fisheries freshmen’s frequency of use of direct and indirect learning strategies is “Medium” or “Sometimes Used”; 3) Task-based instructional materials are effective tools in enhancing students’ writing skills. The materials follow the principles of writing process which provides ample activities /exercises to enhance students’ writing skills; and 4) The more frequent students use learning strategies, the more effective are the task-based instructional materials in enhancing their writing skills.

3.9. Recommendations

Based from the results and conclusions of the study, the following are hereby recommended: 1) The developed task-based instructional materials are recommended for use particularly for the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries freshman students. Moreover, the task-based instructional materials are very much recommended particularly to students who frequently use learning strategies; 2)Since students’ frequency of use of direct and indirect learning strategies was “Medium” or “Sometimes Used”, it is recommended that enhancement of the students’ ability to frequently use these learning strategies be increased in the instructional materials for more learning opportunities specially for indirect strategies (metacognitive, affective and social) and for direct strategies (memory, cognitive, and compensation). The language teacher should endeavor to create more writing tasks to develop the use of each learning strategy; 3)It is recommended that further research be conducted on other areas on language learning that were not included in this study correlating such areas with writing achievement, learning styles, teaching methods, intelligence quotient, study habits, error treatment and communication strategies of teachers and students; and 4)Task-based instructional materials should also be developed in other sciences or disciplines.

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