Reflective Blogfolios in the Language Classroom: Impact on EFL Tertiary Students’ Argumentative Writing Skills and Ways of Knowing

Ammar Abdullah Mahmoud Ismial

Abstract


The emerging paradigm shift in educational contexts from walled classroom environments to virtual, hybrid, blended, and lately personal learning environments has brought about vast changes in the foreign language classroom practices.  Numerous calls  for experimenting with new instructional treatments to enhance students' language performance in these new learning environments have been voiced by researchers and language educators in different settings. The current study aimed at investigating the impact of using reflective blogfolios in teaching argumentation to EFL tertiary students on their argumentative essay writing skills and ways of knowing. As well, the study investigated the relationship between student's ways of knowing and their argumentative writing capabilities. The participants of the study were fifty one EFL tertiary students in the Emirati context. Two assessment instruments were used, including a ways-of-knowing scale and a rubric for tapping EFL students' argumentative writing skills. Results of the study indicated that using reflective blogfolios in the foreign language classroom brought about significant changes in EFL tertiary students' argumentative writing skills and their ways of knowing. Results of the study also indicated that connected ways of knowing were better predictors of EFL tertiary students' argumentative writing performance than separate ways of knowing. Details of the instructional intervention, the assessment instruments, results of the study, implications for foreign language instruction in virtual learning environments, and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Keywords: Reflective blogfolios, argumentative writing skills, ways of knowing


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References


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