Ecology of Teaching Academic Writing: A case study of the Effect of Metadiscourse Markers Instruction on Intermediate EFL Learners' Narrative vs. Descriptive Writing
The current study aims at investigating the effect of instruction of metadiscourse on Iranians EFL learners' descriptive and narrative writings in an ecological way that combines explicit and implicit techniques. To this end, initially an Oxford Proficiency Test was administered to 80 female and male self-motivated learners learning writing in a private language school in Tehran, Iran. Then, 42 out of 80 EFL learners were randomly selected and divided into two equal groups as an experimental and a control group. The experimental group received the metadiscourse instruction both on narrative writing and metadiscourse instruction on descriptive writing. The treatment rich in teaching metadiscourse markers was given in 12 sequential sessions about 30 minutes at the beginning of each session, over a period of six weeks. Their writing was observed and a final score was decided for each student writing portfolio. To investigate the means of two groups’ performance on final scores, an independent sample t-test was employed. The findings revealed that metadiscourse instruction did have a statistically significant effect on these intermediate EFL learners’ performance on narrative writing. The results indicated that the descriptive writing performance of the participants was also improved once they were taught via metadiscourse instruction. Furthermore, the analysis of the data revealed that after the metadiscourse instruction, in terms of narrative writings, the experimental group utilized interactional metadiscourses more than interactive metadiscourse. In contrast, concerning the descriptive writing, the learners used interactive metadiscourses more than interactional metadiscourses.
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