Writing in the Foreign Language Classroom: The Effects of Prompts on the Iranian Learners of English

Soroush Bahrebar, Ali Mohammadi Darabad

Abstract


The present study intended to inspect whether different prompts (bare, vocabulary, and prose model) could exert different effects on the overall quality of the Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ writing performances or not, and in case of effect, which of the prompts was efficacious toward the enhancement of the participants’ overall writing quality. Forty male and female Iranian intermediate students learning English as a foreign language were selected via administering the Preliminary English Test (PET) and were each given three different writing prompts (bare, vocabulary, and prose model) during three consecutive weeks to write. The writing tasks involved the descriptive mode of discourse. Each task was presented in the context of a reply to an imaginary pen pal from England, Jack. A close examination of the results manifested the fact that the prose model elicited the best overall writing quality in the descriptive discourse mode when evaluated holistically. The bare prompt typically resulted in the poorest writing. The vocabulary prompt elicited writing samples that usually were of higher overall quality than those obtained with a bare prompt, but of lower quality than samples obtained with a prose model prompt.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v1i3.3492

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