Enhancing Content Knowledge in Essay Writing Classes: A Multimedia Package for Iranian EFL Learners

Marziyeh Tahmouresi Majelan

Abstract


The main objective of this study was to investigate empirically if promoting a multimedia package enhances content knowledge in essay writing of 80 junior English translation students at a University in Karaj, Iran; plus, whether the learners’ writing content improve due to the presence of the multimedia package or not. The multimedia was considered to be a CD, containing recordings both in first language (L1=Farsi) and in second language (L2=English) along with manipulative and task-based activities. A homogenizing test, the pre-posttests, and the material in a form of a CD (treatment including forty of the most common TOEFL essays both in L1 and L2 plus manipulative tasks to fulfill) provided by the researcher, were the instruments in the study.  After 14 weeks, both the experimental and control groups sat for the posttest with exactly the same characteristics of pretest except for the topics. When the collected data was analyzed, a mean difference of t-test along with a paired t-test showed a significant difference between the performance of the control and the experimental groups, regarding the content. Consequently, the statistics proved that enhancing content knowledge by means of a multimedia package containing recordings plus manipulative and task-based activities would improve students’ writing ability while the control group in which a current traditional rhetoric approach was used, the placebo, did not show any statistically significant improvement regarding content.


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