A Pathological Perspective into the EFL Learners' Writing Skill: Challenges, Attitudes, and Strategies

Document Type : Original Article


1 ELT Department, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 English Department, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Writing skill has always been the Achille Heel of the students when learning a foreign language. It takes so much time and energy of the learners as well as teachers to unearth the challenges of the learners and propose applicable solutions for them. This study aims to explore the EFL learners’ writing difficulties, strategies, and attitudes and examine the areas of writing difficulty in their writing performance. To this end, a close-ended questionnaire and an interview were administered to 31 pre- to upper-intermediate EFL learners from two intact classes who were interested in improving their general writing abilities. A writing task was also given to identify the areas of difficulty in practice. The results of frequency analysis revealed that the students’ major areas of difficulty were cohesion and coherence and topic development. Furthermore, the students’ frequent strategies and behaviors are brainstorming, editing and revising, and, in terms of attitude, they unanimously consider writing a rather difficult skill. The implications and down-to-earth recommendations for the learners and teachers are enumerated at the end.


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