student profile: Miss Rula Mahdi


Thesis work

Thesis title: The Effect of a Task-Based Writing Program on Developing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Students´┐Ż Critical Thinking Skills and Writing Skills

Supervisors: Huizhong SHEN

Thesis abstract:

This research seeks to investigate the effect of a task-based designed writing program on developing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) student’s critical thinking skills and writing skills. It is hypothesized that a task-based writing program would support Jordanian university EFL students with an opportunity to increase their higher-order critical thinking skills and writing skills. The conceptual orientation of this study is guided by research and theories of: second writing pedagogy (Usó -Juan et al., 2006); critical thinking and task-based learning (Skehan, 1996; Scriven & Paul, 2003; Ellis, 2005; Paul & Elder, 2006; Long, 2014). The research will conduct a quasi-experimental study examining how a task-based writing program can help foster the development of students’ critical thinking skills and writing skills of a group of Jordanian university EFL learners in a university writing course in Amman- Jordan.The research will address the following questions: 1. Does the task-based writing program have an effect on developing Jordanian EFL students' critical thinking skills? 2. Does the task-based writing program have an effect on developing Jordanian EFL students' writing skills? Participants will be asked to write a number of texts related to a set of reading (short texts) on varied topics. The sample of the study includes around 50 university EFL students (25 for the control group and 25 for the experimental group) of the same level in one of the Jordanian universities. The control group continues studying in the traditional teaching way (teacher-centred method) while the experimental group will follow the task-based designed program for a period of two months. The students’ writing performance, writing rubrics and writing mean score of the pre- and post test will be employed as the instrument for collecting data. The statistical program SPSS (version 22) will be utilized to organize and compile the collected data. Findings of this study will be discussed in accordance with the analysed results. The study is attempting to provide a set of empirical evidence of how Jordanian university EFL students learn to writing in English and develop critical thinking skills through a task-based writing program. Implications for curriculum design and classroom instruction will be considered by way of formulating a broad framework to inform teaching and research.

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