Academic Writing Needs of TESOL Postgraduate Students in the Saudi Context

Bayan Ibrahim AlHashemi, Muneerah Shuraim AlSubaeie, Nadia Ahmad Shukri

Abstract


Data from previous academic literature reveals that Saudi postgraduate students face a great deal of challenges in academic writing. Some of these challenges are related to the choice of terminology, planning skills, outlining and some other ones. Such data call for significant curriculum developments in postgraduate programs. However, at the heart of any curriculum design is the deliberate analysis of students’ lacks, needs and wants. Once these items are determined, curriculum designers and teachers are required to set clear and relevant learning objectives and chose appropriate teaching materials and means of assessment (Otilia, 2015). Using a five-point Likert scale, the current study aims at investigating postgraduate students’ academic writing needs at the English Language Institute (ELI) of King Abdul-Aziz University. This investigation involves the written tasks students are required to perform, the learning sources they use, and their overall writing needs as perceived by the students themselves as well as by their teachers. The results of the study reveal that among the various academic writing needs of postgraduate students, the use of correct punctuation, spelling, proper writing mechanics and plagiarism-free content should were given the highest priority as perceived by their teachers. Students, on the other hand, indicated that the overall academic writing ability, proper representation of ideas, use of proper mechanical conventions and choice of field-related words are among the skills they need the most in order to succeed. Based on these results, a group of recommendations and implications were drawn and directed to the Postgraduate Unit.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v5i2.12235

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