An action study on college students’ efl writing skills development through flipped classroom environments

Tuna, Gözde
Writing skills development in EFL classes is difficult as it is a challenging process because it requires time, efforts and the improvement of several subskills. The main purpose of this action study is to investigate whether flipped classroom with a mixture of product and process approaches to writing could be an effective way to overcome the difficulties faced in the development of EFL writing skills. It is necessary to discover new ways to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of English language education. Flipped classroom is an educational environment which is gaining popularity among educators all around the world and this flipped classroom environment changes the places of what is traditionally done in class with what is traditionally done as homework. By incorporating flipped classroom into English language education in Turkey, this action study is expected to have some valuable implications over educational practices. To this end, I, as the teacher-researcher designed an action study with a seven-week flipped writing classroom and conducted it with students in an English preparatory class of one private university in Turkey (n=24). The flipped classroom was evaluated formatively by the researcher (me) in a researcher reflection journal, by four non-participant teachers in classroom observations, and by students in the flipped classroom through student feedback documents. Also the summative evaluation of the action study was done through a student survey, student focus group interviews and a writing quiz which was applied to twenty four students in flipped classroom (n=24) and another twenty-four students in traditional classroom (n=24). Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses revealed that students had positive perceptions over developing writing skills in EFL flipped classes. Results also showed that flipped classroom was an effective way of developing students’ EFL writing skills as it caused a significant increase in students’ writing performance compared to the students in non-flipped class. All in all, this action study showed it was possible to improve college students’ perceptions over English writing skills development and their writing performance by flipping a class and combining product and process approaches to writing.