Writing skill

By March 23, 2019 April 3rd, 2019 English Language

Writing skill is considered as a complex process that allows the students put their thoughts into words in a meaningful form and mentally interact with the message. It helps the students gain freedom, directness, ease, and creativity in writing. Creativity skill for writing includes the ability to write freely anything the students want to write.
Creative writing course aims to develop practical and creative skills in reading and writing; introduce students to the fundamental techniques of writing fiction, poetry, and drama; and discuss the use of such techniques by well-known authors in a variety of genres. Each class will be devoted to the examination of techniques and to the workshop of students’ drafts toward the enrichment of their manuscripts. Students learn how to combine inspiration and revision, and to develop a sense of form.
While students of elementary and junior high schools are expected to reach performative and functional literacy levels, in learning English students of senior high school are hoped to be able to perform the language at informational level. In the activity of writing, students learn to practice their skill to digest and to process information, and then further to form them into an idea.
The problem of students’ language proficiency level comes from the fact that the majority of students of the class are not very good in English. They have low mastery of English grammar and vocabulary as well as their awareness in literature. The study of literature helps develop the learners’ interpretive and analytical skills which can be applied to other language-related activities like writing. One characteristic of writing, which causes difficulties, comes from the fact that what is seen from writing is often the product. It means that once a written language is produced and finished, the writer can have no time to make any correction and mistakes and errors are not tolerable. The writer cannot put explanations or clarification if the writing is misunderstood by the readers. This is in line with what Harmer notes about writing in comparison with speaking.
Regardless of the obstructions found by students, writing is a very important skill. It is because nowadays people, who take technology as their means of communication, seem to be impossible to be separated from the activity of writing, from the simplest like sending short messages through mobile phones, posting updates on their Facebook or any social media accounts and to the more complex like making business letter via e-mail. The importance of writing is also seen from the fact that the skill has become a need for the students to compete in the global era. Students need to prepare themselves for their future.
The goal of creative writing is the ability to show accuracy and clear exposition in the writing. Students are considered good in creative writing if they have had literary awareness, the capacity for literary understanding and appreciation’, as literature represents language ‘at its best’ and thus provides an ideal model for language learning. According to Zyngier, literary awareness owes much to development in language awareness the properties of language: its creativity and playfulness and its double meanings.
The researcher believed that one of effective ways of improving students’ creative writing skills was having a supplementary creative writing material having assessed the literary awareness of the students.

Brief Review of Literature
This portion presents literatures and studies reviewed by the researcher which are found relevant and helpful to the study being conducted at present.
Nik, states that the competence in writing comes from the large amounts of reading as its comprehensible input. Regarding to this, teachers should provide as many as examples of appropriate texts to the students. Students will learn how to write in an appropriate way from observing the texts given to them. The more texts they get, the more they can observe.
According to Briz et. al conducted the study to assess the writing skills of the students dealt with grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and focused on students’ need to improve in writing skills. Reinforcement writing activities and writing test which will serve as tool to improve the level of performance of the students writing.
The development of writing skills is very essential in English language learning. The acquisition of literary and language skills are directly related to writing achievement. The interaction between the reader and the reading materials broadens the students’ mechanics of writing skill, as a craft. Writing therefore, is considered inseparable from the reading process is best taught as part of the whole are of language development.
Bisa et.al determined the students writing skills and revealed that the level of performance of the students in terms of mechanics in writing is below average. Limited readings are the reason why writing is hard for them. They have the difficulty in absorbing and applying the knowledge from what they read and in constructing their own composition.
On the other hand, Nguyen revealed that the level of writing skills of students in terms of discourse and grammatical components were average. The study recommended that English teachers must engage students to varied writing skills.
According to Brookes and Marshall, imagination and originality are valued more than the standardization of thought and truthfulness while characterizing creative writing. While assessing the student for creative writing, they are given space to construct the content. The main purpose is to evaluate their creative writing and cognitive skills. In order to write creatively, it is essential that the thoughts of the students’ should not be restricted in a confined area.
Guven also points the difficulty of writing is also caused by the requirements of the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and clear organized presentation of ideas. He further explains that because of the difficulty, students tend to have lack of the motivation for learning writing.
According to Villanueva, the mechanics for sentence structure have to be prime importance and that emphasis should be given on writing clear, precise, polished statements. This aims to give students the means to express their writing, to put their thoughts and opinions into words with the help of broad vocabulary gathered from reading and experiences.
Naber conducted a study on the effectiveness of a reflective writing intervention for improving critical thinking of the students. The study concluded the importance of well-developed word-specific knowledge for skilled writing.

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Research Questions
This research study assessed the students’ literary awareness with the end view of proposing supplementary creative writing materials for Grade 12 students.
Specifically, it sought answers to the following questions:
1. What are the levels of grades/performance of Grade 12 during the first quarter?
2. What is the level of literary awareness as assessed by the respondents in creative writing?
3. Are there significant relationships between the students’ grades/performance and their level of literary awareness?
4. What supplementary creative writing materials can be proposed to enhance students’ creative writing skills?
Scope and Limitation
Out of the five macro skills the study includes writing and reading while excluding speaking, listening and viewing. Students in Grade 11 were not included in the study. The study is also delimited to 82 grade 12 students.
Methodology
This portion discusses the sampling, data collection and data analysis employed in this research.
a. Sampling
The study involved 82 Grade 12 students enrolled this school year 2017-2018 at San Agustin Senior High School, Verde Island District, Division of Batangas City.
b. Data Collection
The descriptive method of research was employed in this study to gather and analyze data. This was used to determine the levels of linguistic knowledge and performance of Grade 12 students of San Agustin Senior High School in Creative Writing subject. Students’ grades in the subject for first quarter were also utilized as bases for supplementary creative writing material.
According to Yuen et al., a descriptive study uses more specific data gathering techniques, attempts to produce a representative sample and provides specific and clear information regarding the problem. To describe the present behavior or characteristics of a particular population is the aim of descriptive research utilizing collected data to describe persons, setting, organizations and phenomena
This research is action research. It is aimed at making changes on students’ performance in creative writing class. That is, to improve students’ ability in creating written languages. It is in accordance with what Lodico, et al (2010) says that action research is a type of research that aims at enacting immediate changes in an education setting. This research was conducted to improve the students’ writing skill by supplementing modular activities.
c. Data Analysis
Documentary analysis was also employed to find out the result in first quarter of Grade 12 students in Creative Writing subject. This was done by having the data or scores arranged in ascending order, averaged and scaled using a statistical formula that gives a value called the standard deviation. The scales identified were:
Scale Percentage Range Verbal Interpretation
5 90-94 Advanced
4 85-89 Proficient
3 80-84 Approaching Proficient
2 75-79 Developing
1 70-below Beginning
The researcher- made survey questionnaire was intended for Grade 12 students in which they described and assessed their level of learning in terms of literary awareness.
The study used options as guide in tabulating and scoring of responses in the set of survey questionnaire for respondents.
Scale Range Verbal Interpretation
5 4.5-5.0 Excellent
4 3.5-4.49 Very Good
3 2.50-3.49 Good
2 1.50-2.49 Fair
1 1.0-1.49 Needs Improvement
Considering the feasibility of the research, the researcher focused on the way to solve problems on students’ writing skill which arise from student’s low level of literary awareness and come up with supplementary creative writing module.
Results and Discussions
This portion is a detailed presentation, analysis and interpretation of data gathered from the respondents to answer systematically the problems raised in this study.
The individual grades of students in their Creative writing subject greatly manifest their level of literary awareness.
Table 1 presents the performance of Grade 12 students during the first quarter. It can be seen from the table that the respondents had approaching proficiency.
Table 1
Grades/ Performance of Student in Creative Writing Subject during the First Quarter
Grades/ Performance of Student Frequency Percentage Rank
Advanced (90-94)
Proficient (85-89) 10
19 12.20
23.17 4
3
Approaching Proficient (80-84) 28 34.15 1
Developing (75-79) 25 25.61 2
Total 82 100
HG= 91 LG= 76 Mean(x) = 82.85 or 83
It can be seen that the first in the rank out of 82 students, were 28 students or 34.15 percent, got approaching proficiency grades ranging from 80-84. This is an indication that majority of the respondents performed well in creative writing classes, setting aside the different factor that can hinder learning due to its localities.
Second in the rank were 25 students or 25.61 percent, classified as developing having grades ranging from 75-79. It can be inferred based on the findings that there are some students who perform low that reflects their linguistic knowledge and performance as well. There are many factors that could enhance the effective teaching and learning in the classroom. One of them is the availability of the materials to reinforce the learning concepts. A teacher must have ready activity materials to be used to reinforce skills not mastered. As stated by Briz et. al( 2015) that reinforcement writing activities and writing test will serve as tool to improve the level of performance of the students writing.
Third in the rank have the frequency of 19 students or 23.17 percent of the total subjects, who were classified as proficient students whose averages range from 85-89. However, there were 10 students or 12.20 percent, categorized as advanced with the grades ranging from 90-94.
The lowest grade attained by the Grade 12 students was 76 and the highest grade was 91. It can be noted that the student lacks the capability to complete an academic task because of limited or missing basic skills, cognitive strategies, or academic enabling skills, that student is still in the acquisition stage of learning. These groups of students in presenting their level of performance in first quarter were based from the normal curve of distribution with a mean of 82.85 or 83. Addressing this problem in the classroom and dealing with it conforms to the idea of Nunan and Carter (2001) that linguistic teaching has to use a balanced approach through which the teachers formally study the structure of language, practice the pattern through manipulative drills and apply the rules in grammar and writing activities.
The researcher – made survey questionnaire which included student’s learning competency and performance in creative writing curriculum guide reveal how the Grade 12 students performed.
Table 2 reflects the linguistic knowledge and performance of Grade 12 in creative writing class.
Table 2
Level of Literary Awareness of Grade 12 Students

Items WM VI Rank
I can…
1. differentiate imaginative writing from among other forms of writing. 2.48 F 10
2. easily apply the mechanics of writing, and understand that literary styles and approaches change over time 2.24 F 15
3. correctly recognize and use grammar and vocabulary including punctuation, intonation and rhythm; and extract meaning beyond the literal. 2.44 F 12.5
4. cull creative ideas from my experiences and understand how language can be used in imaginative and innovative ways. 3.1 G 8
5. understand imagery, diction, figures of speech, and variations on language. 3.3 G 4
6.produce short paragraphs or vignettes using imagery, diction, figures of speech, and specific experiences 2.4 F 14
7. read closely as writers with a consciousness of craft and compare texts in terms of structure and style. 3.57 G 1
8. identify the various elements, techniques, and literary devices in poetry 2.45 F 11
9. adapt the content and style of writing for different purposes and audiences produce a short, well-crafted poem or any literary genre 3.43 G 2
10.identify the theme of the literary piece like moral/lesson, dramatic premise and insight 3.23 G 6
11. determine specific forms and conventions of poetry and identify different narrative styles in a text 2.44 F 12.5
12. explore innovative techniques in writing poetry and respond imaginatively to texts by, for example, continuing the story or writing a letter as a character in role 2.49 F 9
13. identify the elements of the genre and understand how text can be translated from one form or genre to another (e.g. novel to film) 3.2 G 7
14. recognize the point of view in a literary piece such as 1st-person POV (major, minor, or bystander, 2nd-person POV and 3rd-person POV (objective, limited omniscient, omniscient) 3.34 G 3
15. identify the type of plot in the literary piece such as linear, modular/episodic and traditional parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution/denouement 3.28 G 5
Composite Mean 2.89 G
Legend: Verbal Interpretation (VI) such as Good (G), Fair (F) and with the use of weighted Mean (WM)
As gleaned in Table 2, read closely as writers and compare texts in terms of structure and style with a consciousness of craft obtaining a weighted mean of 3.51 verbally interpreted also as “Good” became first in the rank while adapt the content and style of writing for different purposes and audiences produce a short, well-crafted poem or any literary genre gained weighted mean of 3.43 and verbally interpreted as “Good” also ranks second. It conforms to the study of Nik (2010), states that the competence in writing comes from the large amounts of reading as its comprehensible input. The more texts they get, the more they can observe.
With the weighted mean of 3.34 and verbally interpreted as “Good”, recognize the point of view in a literary piece ranks third for students. Reading literature provides a lens through which readers look at the world, understanding point of view is the way the author allows you to “see” and “hear” what’s going on. Skillful authors can fix their readers’ attention on exactly the detail, opinion, or emotion the author wants to emphasize by manipulating the point of view of the story. It is the angle of considering things, which shows us the opinion, or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation.
Understand imagery, diction, figures of speech, and variations on language gained weighted mean of 3.3 and verbally interpreted as “Good” ranks third for the students while identify the type of plot in the literary piece such as linear, modular/episodic and traditional parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution/denouement with the weighted mean of 3.28 is verbally interpreted as “Good” landed fifth in the rank.
Identify the theme of the literary piece like moral/lesson, dramatic premise and insight having the weighted mean of 3.23 for students is verbally interpretation of “Good” and fall on the sixth rank. On the seventh rank, identify the elements of the genre and understand how text can be translated from one form or genre to another (e.g. novel to film) gained weighted mean of 3.2 verbally interpreted as “Good”.
Cull creative ideas from my experiences and understand how language can be used in imaginative and innovative ways with the weighted mean of 3.1 for teachers is verbally interpreted as “Good” and fell on the eighth rank. It is safe to assume then that students continually strive to gain language competency while making connection with their own lives and experiences.
On the ninth rank, explore innovative techniques in writing poetry and respond imaginatively to texts by, for example, continuing the story or writing a letter as a character in role with the weighted mean of 2.49 while differentiate imaginative writing from among other forms of writing gained weighted mean of 2.48 ranks tenth both verbally interpreted as “Fair”. This idea is similar to Brookes and Marshall (2004) that in order to write creatively, it is essential that the thoughts of the students’ should not be restricted in a confined area.
It matters here, then, to apply one’s knowledge in choice of the words to put one’s message across. This can be corrected through a series of practice and drills, since gaining language competency is a process that requires repeated exposure and practice to new skills, to receive feedbacks, and to use skills in increasingly sophisticated manner.
Identify the various elements, techniques, and literary devices in poetry obtaining a weighted mean of 2.45 verbally interpreted also as “Fair” became eleventh in ranking. In reading literature, it will appeal to the learners’ imagination and emotions, literature provides motivation for language learning.
While correctly recognize and use grammar and vocabulary including punctuation, intonation and rhythm; and extract meaning beyond the literal and determine specific forms and conventions of poetry and identify different narrative styles in a text both gained weighted mean of 2.44 and verbally interpreted as “Fair” landed with the same rank as twelfth point five. In the case of written language, students have to learn that most grammar and usage issues come into play during the revision and editing phases of writing process, and to put one’s message across even in writing, students need to employ the appropriate use of language.
Creative Writing aids language development at all levels; it requires learners to manipulate the language in interesting and demanding ways in attempting to express uniquely personal meanings. In doing so, students necessarily engage with the language at a deeper level of processing than with most expository texts. The gains in grammatical accuracy and range, in sensitivity to rhyme, rhythm, stress and intonation, and in the way texts hang together are significant.
With the weighted mean of 2.4 and verbally interpreted as “Fair”, produce short paragraphs or vignettes using imagery, diction, figures of speech, and specific experiences became fourteenth in the rank. To be an effective writer we need a great deal of skills like writing readiness and linguistic knowledge. It is conforms to the idea of Guven (2015) also points the difficulty of writing is also caused by the requirements of the language knowledge.
On the last rank, easily apply the mechanics of writing and understand that literary styles and approaches change over time with the weighted mean of 2.24 is verbally interpreted as “Fair”. Literature provides a resource or authentic context for learning mechanics of writing. In the case of written language, students have to learn that most grammar and usage issues come into play during the revision and editing phases of writing process, and to put one’s message across even in writing, students need to employ the appropriate use of language. Mechanics such as grammar, spelling and punctuation are the focus at the editing stage of the process. It agrees to the study of Villanueva (2011) that aims to give students the means to express their writing, to put their thoughts and opinions into words with the help of broad vocabulary gathered from reading and experiences.
As contained in the Table 3, it showed that there is significant relationship between students’ grade in creative writing during the first quarter and their level of linguistic knowledge and performance. The computed Prxy (0.85) is higher than the tabular value which is 0.1829. The null hypothesis is therefore rejected.
Table 3
Relationship between Students’ Grade in Creative Writing during the First Quarter and Level of Performance in Literary Awareness
Level of Literary Awareness Students’ Grades Prxy Decision Ho Interpretation
2.89 83 0.85 Reject Significant
Df= 80 ? =0.5 rt= 0.1829

Using appropriate instructional materials can motivate them to learn more about the language itself, since supplementary instructional materials are considered as a key component in language programs. It is similar to the recommendation of Nguyen (2015) that English teachers must engage students to varied writing activities.
The result is a confirmation that there is a need to strengthen the creative writing skills of the students. Proposed supplementary creative writing material can motivate students, contribute to their understanding, provide learning experiences and reinforce learning.
Recommendations
Based on the findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are offered:
1. Try the proposed reinforcement activities designed by the researchers to enhance students’ skills to overcome difficulties.
2. Validation and modification of the developed reinforcement activities should be made
3. Expose students to more varied types of activities that will enhance their writing and reading skills in English.
4. Follow-up studies may be conducted on aspects related to the variables of this study.

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