Undergraduate Iranian EFL Learners’ Use of Writing Strategies
Keywords:Writing strategies, direct strategies, indirect strategies, gender, grade level, years of study
This study investigates English language learners’ writing strategies with reference to their gender and year of study at a university in Iran. To this end, a writing strategies questionnaire was employed to tap into the memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, social, and affective strategies of 230 participants. Semi-structured interviews with participants were also conducted in addition to the questionnaire. Participants’ perceptions demonstrated no significant differences in writing strategy use for either gender or year of study. Metacognitive and cognitive strategies were found to be the most frequently used strategies by all writers, and both the low- and high-level male and female learner-writers used writing strategies with approximately the same frequency. Interviews identified sociocultural and contextual differences in students of both genders and years of study which reflect the challenges foreign language learner-writers of English face in an academic context. Further research on writing strategies taking more specific variables, task settings, and contexts into consideration is necessary to shed more light on EFL writing strategy use.
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