The EFL Essay Writing Difficulties of Egyptian Student Teachers of English: Implications for Essay Writing Curriculum and Instruction
Ahmed, Abdel Hamid Mohamed Abdel Hamid
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
The current study is conducted with the aim of investigating the essay writing difficulties of Egyptian student teachers of English. More specifically, it attempts to fulfil the following three aims: explore the focuses of teaching essay writing at one of the pioneering faculties of education in Egypt; investigate the different essay writing practices used by Egyptian essay writing teachers from teachers as well as their students’ perspectives; and identify the essay writing difficulties encountered by Egyptian student teachers of English at the concerned faculty of education from both students and their teachers’ perspectives. The current study adopts an interpretive methodology that uses a sequential mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis. Therefore, I administered a questionnaire to 165 student teachers of English and 7 essay writing teachers, conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 14 student teachers of English and 7 essay writing teachers, and observed nine essay writing sessions of different teachers. Data is analysed quantitatively using SPSS descriptive statistics and qualitatively using exploratory content analysis. Findings of the current study reveal that there are eleven focuses of teaching essay writing at the concerned faculty of education. These focuses have been classified into four main categories: Mechanics/Language, Content, Structure/Layout and Practising Writing. Findings also shed light on the essay writing teachers’ practices in relation to planning, teaching, feedback and assessment. Finally, findings show that student teachers of English encounter the following difficulties in their essay writing: planning difficulties, organisational difficulties including coherence, cohesion, and stylistic difficulties, lexical problems, and technical difficulties including grammar, punctuation, spelling and revision and editing. According to the above mentioned findings, a theoretical writing model has been devised and a pedagogical process genre approach to teaching EFL essay writing in Egypt has been proposed. Implications for essay writing curriculum planning and instruction are also included. Finally, suggestions for further research are provided.
The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education
Doctor of Philosophy in Education