AWEJ Volume.4 Number.1, 2013 pp. 224-238
The Effect of Explicit Instruction in Expository Text Structure on the Writing Performance of
Arab EFL University Students
Department of English, Faculty of Arts
The Islamic University of Gaza
This action research study investigates the relationship between explicit instruction in the organizational patterns of comparison/contrast texts, regarded as a major type of expository English, and EFL writing performance. The study also examines whether students’ metacognitive and cognitive knowledge of the text structures of comparison/contrast texts improves their in-class writing performance. 22 Palestinian EFL university students enrolled in an academic writing course participated in the study. The study spanned over three weeks during which the subjects received nine hours of explicit instruction in the organizational structures of compare/contrast texts. Data gained from pre- and post-test mean scores point to a direct correlation between explicit instruction in text structure and improved writing performance. The interviews with student participants provided evidence that students felt more comfortable and confident about writing when they are explicitly taught the organizational structures of expository texts. The pedagogical implications of this study are of significant value to EFL writing teachers and curricula developers who should make explicit instruction in text structure an integral part of EFL writing courses.
Key Words: text structure, comparison/contrast, explicit instruction, EFL Arab students, writing performance