Research has shown that Norwegian upper secondary school students struggle with various aspects of writing English texts as required in the curriculum. To support a group of vocational students to improve their English writing skills, a fivestep method has been applied, that facilitates for self-regulation and emotional support in the learning process. The method is based on self-determination theory claiming that the basic needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness must be met to achieve intrinsic motivation. This is a pilot study investigating what students perceive stops them from succeeding with writing good texts in English, and what strategies they choose to apply to solve these challenges. The students reflected on the following questions individually and in class discussions: 1) What is important for you to learn to succeed with writing in English, and why? 2) What are you good at already that helps you write in English? 3) What is difficult and prevents you from writing in English? 4) What will you focus on improving the next few weeks? and 5) What specifically will you do to manage this? Preliminary results show that some of what stops the students is lack of motivation and insufficient vocabulary, and several students express a need to practice writing. Some students find good solutions to dealing with their obstacles, for example how to expand their vocabulary, but the majority struggle to find appropriate strategies. The study shows that in order to make students engaged in improving their English writing skills, extensive guidance is needed.
May Olaug Horverak, Birkenes Municipality, Norway
Gerd Martina Langeland, Lillesand Upper Secondary School, Norway
Stream: Learning Environments
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