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2017, vol. 8, iss. 1, pp. 271-283
The influence of problem based learning on teaching writing style in ESP classrooms
Visoka poslovna škola strukovnih studija, Novi Sad
Abstract
The aim of this study was to test the influence of problem based learning in teaching writing skills in an English Business Course. In the experimental group, students taught about basic principles of writing style according to the pre-planned teaching unit, prepared according to the principles of pbl implementation. The class was realised in the following order: 1. Set up the problem (problem situation); 2. Defining the problem; 3. Hypotheses; 4. Decomposition of the problem (the breakdown of the main problem into smaller problems); 5. Verification of hypotheses; 6. Conclusions. The same content were taught in the control group with a traditional method. The teacher orally presented content, sometimes explaining the difference by showing examples of well and poorly written business documents. As the initial test, the author asked students to write a cover letter while on the final test, students had to write a letter of request. This paper is part of a PhD thesis that deals with the effect of pbl on the development of local and global aspects of writing. In this thesis, we used analytical scoring scale, in which the aspect of style is only one element. The scale was used to assess the work of students before and after the implementation of the experimental program. The works of students were given marks from 1 to 5 for each of the analyzed aspects: style, organization, grammar, mechanics, purpose, audience. After creating a problem modeled lessons for every aspect in which we defined the key features of each aspect, we wrote scledescriptors which explain the value of each rating on the scale. Descriptors are based on the characteristics of a particular aspect mentioned in the teaching units. The paired t test results indicate that PBL is very useful if you want to develop students' writing style.
References
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Evensen, D.H., Hmelo, C.E. (2000) Problem-based learning: A research perspective on learning interactions. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Ferris, D., Hedgcock, J.S. (2005) Teaching ESL composition: Purpose, process, and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Harper-Marinick, M. (2001) Engaging students in Problem Based Learning. Maricorpora Center for Learning and Instruction, http://www.mcli.dist.maricorpora.edu/forum/spr01/t11.html
Hartley, P. (2002) Business Communication. London: Routlege
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Pennell, M., Miles, L. (2009) 'It Actually Made Me Think': Problem-Based Learning in the Business Communications Classroom. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(4): 377-394
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Weigle, S.C. (2002) Assessing Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
 

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article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/gufv1701271M
published in SCIndeks: 13/04/2017

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