Combining Movie Viewing and Guided Freewriting to Enhance Student Attitudes in a University Academic Writing Class

Page No.: 
Julia K. Harper, Ritsumeikan University

This study describes a combination movie watching and freewriting task used to supplement the regular materials being used in two freshman university writing classes with the aim of creating an enjoyable writing environment in which to build student confidence and skills. The study aimed to explore (1) the benefits of the task as perceived by the student participants, and (2) the benefits with regard to general writing skills as perceived by the instructor. Results showed a positive student reaction, with the majority citing both affective benefits and the improvement of various skills. In addition, teacher analysis of freewriting journals showed improvements in both speed and form over 11 weeks. The instructor also observed that students were able to apply the increased confidence and speed attained by freewriting to their academic assignments, and, at the same time, to apply some of the academic writing skills learned in the class to their freewriting.