Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Bernard Hird

Abstract

A grounded theory investigation of Solomon Island teachers' best methods for teaching EFL writing was undertaken in Perth. Thirteen teachers (three male and ten female) participated. being selected according to availability and coverage of all primary school grades Two Coordinators assisted with location and liason between the participants and the research base in Western Australia The investigation proceeded in four phases In the first phase, data were gathered through a report file, in which the teachers identified their three most successful methods for teaching EFL writing Data were analysed using the continuous comparative method to find the core variable underlying the teachers' best methods for teaching EFL writing. In the second phase, a workshop was arranged in Honiara and was audio recorded. At the workshop the key findings of the emergent theory were given to the participants to discuss and, if necessary, to modify. The transcripts were analysed to verify and expand the emerging theory In the third phase. The workshop data were discussed with one of the coordinators, to verify the emergent theory. The final phase, theoretical literature sampling took place, to enhance the emerged theory by giving it richness and depth It was found that teachers believe that students will only succeed in EFL writing if they firs.t gain power of understanding. This was best obtained by a form of discussion in the classroom which is like the traditional learning by "fa'amanata'anga”, meaning to "shape the mind'' through interpersonal relationships, rational thinking and reasoning. Most teachers felt a need for grammar to be learnt incidentally within narrative and report writing, yet the reported methods and writing samples evidenced a strict adherence to structured non-integrated grammar exercieses, from an old (1960s) English syllabus. It was found that students at all levels of achievement, who participated in group discussion before writing a narrative or report, produced good grammatical writing samples that fulfilled the writing task objective. Those writing lessons without group discussion tended to fail the below average students, who make up approximately forty percent of each class. As only the top twenty percent of primary school leavers can attend the eight national High Schools available, the failure to help the lower forty percent of students has no impact on Secondary School entry, but could have considerable effect on life opportunities for primary school leavers. It is evident that English is not being taught within an integrated curriculum. The use of an integrated curriculum would provide significantly greater opportunities to improve and make EFL writing more purposeful Within these opportunities the use of "fa'amanata'anga'' type group discussions could help to provide understanding before writing took place. This would enable a more rapid acquisition of EFL writing by students in the Solomon Island situation

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