Ten-Minute Writing Practice for Japanese High School Students

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Kazue Komiyama, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

I examined whether weekly 10-minute writing practice with content-related feedback improved the writing skills of Japanese high school students. Participants were 37 twelfth graders. Investigated was if 10-minute writing (a) improved students’ writing fluency, and (b) improved students’ writing skills in general. Students were divided into 2 groups. One group wrote a series of short essays on topics assigned by the teacher, who gave feedback with virtually no grammar corrections. The control group practiced Japanese-English translation using target grammar points. After 15 sessions, all participants took a final exam that included a short essay question. The essays were rated by 4 native English speakers. Nonparametric tests showed statistical significance in that the students who practiced essay writing were superior to the translation practice group in the total number of words used and in overall impression on the rater. The results suggest an alternative to the traditional fixation on grammatical correction.