MORE RESULTS AND REFLECTIONS ON A UM GRADUATE STUDENTS’ ENGLISH ACADEMIC WRITING WORKSHOP
Keywords:Academic writing, writing workshop, non-native English speakers, graduate students
Few studies of English academic writing workshops for non-native speaker (NNES) graduate students exist in the literature, and even fewer have been analyzed with a computational tool. This study explores the results of an English academic writing workshop for University of Malaya graduate students in all disciplines, including the analysis of pre-workshop, post-workshop, and follow- up participant writing samples with the Coh-Metrix syntax analyzer. The Coh- Metrix results for six indices were analyzed using SPSS. Participant responses to the researcher’s pre-workshop, post-workshop, and follow-up questionnaires were also analyzed with SPSS. These analyses found that the workshop produced no significant immediate or longitudinal improvement in the six Coh-Metrix indices selected, but the questionnaire results showed a clear self-reported improvement in self-regulation of the academic writing process and in confidence toward it. These inconclusive results suggest that such interventions have more of an attitudinal effect on participants than a measurable quantitative improvement in their writing. Nonetheless, previous studies cited in the literature review claim to produce writing improvement, and this study’s inconclusive findings might be due to its small sample size. More studies of English academic writing workshops for students of all levels are needed to clarify these questions.