Evaluation of the writing component of an english language teaching program at a public university: a case study

Coşkun, Abdullah
This study has the main objective of evaluating the effectiveness of the writing component of the program applied at the Department of Basic English (DBE) and the Department of Modern Languages (DML) at Middle East Technical University (METU) in the 2010-2011 academic year in terms of program objectives, materials and content, teaching-learning process and the assessment of the writing skills. The opinions of the DBE and DML instructors, program coordinators and students as well as the content course instructors at different departments at METU were mainly obtained via questionnaires and interviews. The data collected via the questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS 15 while the analysis of all the qualitative data was done though content analysis. The results of the questionnaires indicated that the writing components of the program at the DBE and the DML were generally effective as for the dimensions of the programs as specified in the research questions from the perspective of instructors and students. However, the qualitative data revealed participants’ suggestions for the improvement of the existing writing programs at both departments. Some of the major conclusions that can be drawn from DBE students’ and instructors’ suggestions are as follows: There is a need to switch the focus from discourse-level writing to more freewriting practices through more student-centered activities; the materials should be more visually attractive; the assessment procedure applied to test students’ writing ability in the mid-terms should be standardized and the writing tasks as tested in the English Proficiency Exam (EPE) should be focused on in writing classes. On the other hand, as for the writing program at the DML, the need for the diversification of the writing genres, topics and the citation rules covered in the ENG 101 and ENG 102 courses depending on students’ departments was emphasized by the DML participants. Similarly, DBE participants underlined the need for departmentrelated content in writing materials. Also, the content course instructors agreed that the writing program applied at the DBE and the DML should be department-specific. In other words, this study displayed the necessity to conduct a needs analysis aiming to reveal DBE and DML students’ writing needs for their departments.
Citation Formats
A. Coşkun, “ Evaluation of the writing component of an english language teaching program at a public university: a case study,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.