Investigating Malaysian ESL Students' Writing Problems on Conventions, Punctuation, and Language Use at Secondary School Level

Neda Ghabool, Mariann Edwina A/P Mariadass, Seyyed Hossein Kashef


This study aimed at investigating the challenges in three aspects of writing development process, namely conventions, punctuation, and language use (proper use of grammar) in secondary school level from students and teachers experiences. The data was collected from 30 ESL students as the student participants of this research, from the upper and lower secondary school, Form 1 to Form 5, and 10 teacher participants teaching English language for upper and lower secondary levels with different teaching experiences. A questionnaire and an essay examination were utilized as the instruments of the study. The findings revealed that Malaysian ESL students have problems in writing tasks, especially in language use (grammar) and punctuation. The first language interference was also very tangible in their writings. The study suggests some practical methods in order to cope with writing difficulties.


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