Omani EFL Undergraduate Students’ Knowledge of and Attitudes towards Essay Writing

Jamila Al Siyabi

Abstract


Writing is still understudied regardless of its increasing significance in the academic and professional fields which demand writing proficiency in English from their candidates. However, writing in the EFL context (English as a Foreign Language) is a considerably challenging activity, with which many students struggle. Essay writing is usually a vital element in EFL writing courses and is considered an essential academic requirement. Therefore, utilizing a quantitative approach, this study investigated students’ knowledge of and attitude towards essay writing in an Omani university in relation to their majors and English language proficiency.  Sixty-four male and female students responded to a two-part questionnaire that tested students’ knowledge of essay writing and examined their attitudes towards it.  The study revealed a moderately positive attitude towards essay writing. It also showed a statistically significant moderate positive correlation between their knowledge of and attitude towards essay writing. It revealed that knowledge of essay writing differed significantly based on students’ English proficiency levels but not their majors. The study also showed that students’ attitude towards essay writing could be predicted based on their knowledge of essay writing but not based on their majors and English language proficiency.


Keywords


writing knowledge of essay writing; attitude towards essay writing; language proficiency

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ISSN 2045-4031. University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013.