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Action research into the use of a writing process approach in Nigerian schools to teach English as a second language

Obi-Okoye, Amandianeze Felix (1989) Action research into the use of a writing process approach in Nigerian schools to teach English as a second language. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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110 Million Nigerians speak nearly 400 mutually unintelligible ethnic languages. Although English is the only common language, it is nobody's first language. Textbook writers and teachers have generally underestimated the problems involved in teaching and learning English as a second language (TESL) in multilingual situations. Traditional Nigerian texts over-emphasize surface linguistic features and tend to ignore the development of children's ideas/meaning.

The present study set out to investigate the usefulness of adapting a Writing Process Approach (WPA) to TESL for Nigerian school children. In contrast to traditional Nigerian approaches, the WPA employs natural language learning techniques; prewriting, multiple draft-writing and post-writing strategies; immediate response to achievement and error, individualized and small group conferencing; peer tutorship; and formative evaluation.

The dissertation reports and analyses a piece of action research which included theory-development and 15 months of field-trialling aimed at adapting the WPA to TESL in schools in Anambra State. To introduce co-operating teachers to the WPA, a Teacher's Writing Manual was developed, and in-service orientation workshops were organised. After initial trialling with 60 teachers, using classroom observation, questionnaire and interview techniques, progressive focussing enabled detailed case-studies of 11 teachers to be developed.

The study confirmed the value of using the WPA in TESL for Nigerians, and generated several recommendations for its further adaptation and adoption in that country. Cooperating teachers were prompted by it to modify their teaching behaviour and showed a resolve to continue using it. Students who had formerly disliked writing improved in attitude and performance, and the Federal Ministry of Education, universities and teacher educators expressed interest in implementing it. On the evidence available, it would be profitable to test the applicability of the findings of the study to other countries as well as Nigeria.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Hill, Brian and Tripp, David
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