Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effects of Brainstorming Strategy on Writing Skill of Iranian Efl Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effects of Brainstorming Strategy on Writing Skill of Iranian Efl Learners

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Writing according to Rao (1997) has always been regarded as an important skill in all EFL settings. It stimulates learners 'thinking, make them concentrate, find a way to organize their ideas and at the end promote the language ability which is the main and ultimate goal.

Bello (1997, cited in Ibnian, 2011) views writing a s an important skill for EFL learners since it is a productive language skill, it plays an important role in promoting language acquisition .He says as Learners experiment with words, sentences and large chunks of writing in order to communicate their ideas, so this help them to improve their vocabulary and grammar. He further believes that the main reason that learners in the past decade had more problem than today can be attributed to lack of attention given to writing. In fact writing is a useful way and important way for thinking. So improving learners writing skill could be the one of the most important skills that EFL learners need to be developing throughout their schooling. Rao(2007) mentions that why learners find composition in foreign language difficult , he claims writing process need to utilize many cognitive and linguistics strategies which they have not enough information. Teachers also complain that they cannot find an efficient way to awaken learners' imagination or help them to activate the ir creative mind. Colantone(1998, cited in Ibnian,2011)states that those teachers who follow the traditional method for teaching composition ,they emphasized on final product rather than on the processes of writing. In fact the three main stages of writing pre-writing while -writing and post- writing can expand learner's thinking skills. The reason behind is, they make them busy with connecting, analyzing and evaluating ideas, as a result make the learner's thinking skills sharper. Academic writing needs conscious effort and practice writing compositions. In this regard as Myles (2002) states that students face some problems including social and cognitive challenges which are related to second language learning. Process approach is the theoretical basis in L2 writing pedagogy. So teachers should take into account that the strategy development and language skill development of learners are very important. He says learner strategies can be effective but they need to be internalized. For example, writing for job interview process, performing under timed test conditions, learners' affective states can influence cognition. Emotional and cognitive factors have influence on L2 performance.

Magno(2009)mentions that when learners are asked to write a composition in second language, they use particular approaches to learning. Individuals use a variety of learning strategies when they want to write ESL/EFL tasks. Some strategies they use are planning, idea generating, self-evaluating, self-monitoring and reflecting. Writers thought about the subject deeply no matter the task is interesting for them or not, they seek for further information which Magno(2009) refers as Deep Approach. It is used in the composing or writing process. Writers perceive task then start to organize their thoughts and planning.

2. Theoretical and research background

This study is based on cognitive theory in ESL/EFL acquisition research. It tries to investigate how brainstorming technique activate student's thinking. It seems group brainstorming has a positive role on students idea generation. Therefore, some theories and models along with some related studies are detailed in this section.

Writing is the most difficult skill among four English skills, the reason according to Langan(1987, cited in Nik, 2010) is that, Writing is more abstract and more complex. Gunning (1998; langan, 1987, cited in Nik, 2010) refers writing as a ''hard work'' so students meet difficulties during writing. They believe that in order to write effectively, one needs to ga in some skills and conventions such as grammatical rules and writing readiness to help himself/herself to become a proficient and effective writer, on the other hand teachers themselves face great challenge in teaching these skills and conventions so that students may at times find them confusing and difficult to understand, as a result this problem would affect on writing particularly on a second language such as English. …

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