Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Effect of an Extensive Reading Program on the Writing Performance of Saudi EFL University Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Effect of an Extensive Reading Program on the Writing Performance of Saudi EFL University Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study aims at investigating the effect on an extensive reading program on the writing performance of Saudi EFL university students. The sample of the study consisted of 48 students randomly chosen from King Saud University- College of languages and Translation- and assigned to experimental and control groups of 24 students each. Data of the study were collected within two months period via a pre-posttest design for equivalent groups. The control group was taught by the regular teacher with the direct administration of the researchers, however, the experiment group was taught by the researchers. The researchers assessed the effect of the extensive reading program on the writing performance of the Saudi EFL university students. Results showed that the experiment group outperformed the control group on the measure. This indicated that the extensive reading program may have a significant positive effect on learners' writing performance.

Keywords: Extensive reading program, Writing performance, Saudi EFL University students, Reading skill, Writing skill

1. Introduction and Background

Reading is an important language skill and highly complicated act that everyone must learn it. Reading is not solely a single skill but a combination of many skills and processes in which the readers interact with printed words and texts for content and pleasure. Through reading, one can teach writing, speaking, vocabulary items, grammar, spelling, and other language aspects. Moreover, Zainal and Husin (2011) pointed out that reading involves many complex skills that have to come together in order for the reader to be successful. For instance, proficient readers recognize the purpose for reading, approach the reading with the purpose in mind, use strategies that have proven successful to them in the past when reading similar texts for similar purposes, monitor their comprehension of the text in light of the purpose for reading, and if needed adjust their strategy use.

Zainal and Husin (2011) also stressed that writing is the learned process of shaping experiences into text, allowing the writer to discover, develop, clarify and communicate thoughts and feelings. It requires the development of thinking skills. According to Applebee (1984) and Emig (1977) writing is the externalization and remarking of thinking, and to consider writing as separate from the intentions and beliefs of the writer is not to address composition as a reflective tool for making meaning.

Writing is a powerful means of communication by which students learn better to express themselves. Teaching and learning to write in any language is essential area that influences students performance and language learning. Moreover, learning to write in English as a foreign language has been an essential professional educational issue that serves various educational purposes and meets certain learning needs upon which the foreign language learners' progress depends. English writing plays fundamental intercultural and traditional roles in business, work places, and governmental activities across the world geography (Parks, 2000; Thatcher, 2000). Writing has been called the core of education and has been described as an important path of language learning. Leki (2003) believes that writing plays a major gate-keeping role in professional advancement. In general, learning to write is considered a proof that one has indeed learned a language. Furthermore, EFL learners are challenged because of their incomplete command of grammar and vocabulary with which they express their thoughts and ideas. They tend to struggle with fluent written expressions because of their limited vocabulary and insufficient knowledge of grammatical structures (Al-Meni, 2008). Therefore, many EFL educators have continuously sought beneficial ways to facilitate the writing process and improve learners' writing performance, and using extensive reading programs may provide that.

Tsai (2006) stressed the importance of connecting reading and writing in college EFL courses. …

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