Paragraph Writing Instruction for University Students


As the emphasis is placed on students’ practical abilities in English, the communicative approach, which focuses on students’ "productive abilities", has been encouraged in Japan. However, this approach has resulted in poor basic writing skills, which are often associated with insufficient vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. Considering the current practices of writing instruction in junior high and high school, students translate word by word, following grammatical rules. They have little experience in free writing projects in which they describe their ideas or thoughts. Even under such circumstances, paragraph writing has gained popularity at the tertiary level. It is often reported that writing paragraphs is difficult for many college students. This research was conducted as a preliminary study to serve as a foundation for building effective writing instruction. To plan, implement, and evaluate appropriate writing instruction, a needs analysis should first be performed. This study involves 83 first year and 93 second year college students. The questionnaires are aimed at examining their knowledge and experience of English writing. The data are analyzed through SPSS, providing descriptive and correlational analyses. The results reveal that most students have inadequate knowledge of sentence components, which hinders their construction of paragraphs. Moreover, most have not had any free writing experience in the course of their education. This study suggests that before writing a paragraph, students should participate in numerous free composition activities designed to involve their cognitive and social knowledge.

Author Information
Minako Inoue, Health Science University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2021
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture

This paper is part of the ACE2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Inoue M. (2022) Paragraph Writing Instruction for University Students ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2021: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon