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Caribbean Journal of Education

Writing with a Purpose Improving the Writing Performance of a Group of Grade Eleven Spanish Students at a Non-traditional High School in Jamaica

Publication Date: 
September 2008

This study was designed to investigate how an intervention of purposefully designed activities would affect the writing performance of a group of ten female grade eleven students at a non-traditional high school in Jamaica. The study examined the difficulties that the students encountered when writing and explored the factors that contributed to the students' writing difficulties. Data were collected from interviews, participant observations, students' journals and students' written work. 
Results indicated that the students' main problems were lack of vocabulary knowledge and grammatical structures, along with an inability to structure and organize texts properly. Some contributing factors that were identified were: students' dislike for extended writing; limited instructional time; students' failure to read authentic Spanish materials; insufficient opportunity to interact in Spanish; and influences from the first language. Results also indicated that with focused attention to certain critical areas and given the opportunity to revise their work, students were able to make some improvement in their writing performance.

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