Identifying effective writing tasks for use in EFL write-to-learn language contexts

Kim McDonough, William J. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study compared the effectiveness of two writing tasks at encouraging Thai EFL students (N = 67) to deploy their linguistic knowledge. Students were randomly assigned to respond to one of two writing tasks with different levels of topic familiarity, which was operationalised as ±personal experience. The students completed a Likert-scale questionnaire that elicited their perceptions about the writing task. The paragraphs were assessed using an analytic rubric and were coded for linguistic features relevant to the students’ EFL class: accuracy (errors/word), subordination (dependent clauses/independent clauses) and use of future verb forms (simple future, present continuous and going to). The +personal experience paragraphs had higher ratings, greater subordination and more target verb forms, but there were no differences in accuracy. Students reported that they were more able to use their linguistic knowledge when writing about the familiar topic, and there was a positive correlation between their perceptions and text features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-480
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage Learning Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020


  • EFL
  • Write to learn language
  • accuracy
  • subordination
  • topic familiarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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