Reluctance to Write Among Students in the Context of an Academic Writing Course in an Ethiopian University

| March 24, 2012
Reluctance to Write Among Students in the Context of an Academic Writing Course in an Ethiopian University

Keywords: Reluctance to write; Ethiopia; academic writing

Kedir Assefa Tessema
Tagesse Abo Melketo, Ethiopia

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This paper presents an investigation into reluctance to write among university students as observed in an academic writing course. Twenty university students and five of their instructors were involved in the study as research subjects and data generators. Classroom observations, focus group discussions, and interviews were used to generate data, to identify and classify core reluctance behaviors and to explore the students and their instructors beliefs about the reasons for the students’ reluctance to write. The major findings of the study include that reluctance to write among students falls into two major categories, namely complete avoidance reluctance and partial avoidance reluctance which each had various manifestations. Instructors perception of the reason for the student reluctance behaviors largely point to students lack of requisite skills and preparedness to engage, while students perception of their reluctance behaviour largely point to their instructors failure to engage them actively. Both students and instructor converge on one factor: the experiences and backgrounds students bring into the classrooms being responsible for their reluctance to engage themselves in writing activities. The findings of this study have far reaching implications for writing instructors in general and English writing instructors in particular. The most important implication, however, is for designing writing tasks and adopting classroom procedures. It is evident from the findings that care must be taken to cater for the engagement tendencies and patterns of both the reluctant and non-reluctant students. At same time, it is essential to periodically bring into writing classrooms input materials that enhance students self- motivation, acceptance of rigorous procedures, and persistence during writing tasks
[private] See page: 142-176

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 14 Issue 1