This article highlights the result of a research on the the effectiveness of the RAFTS prompt. RAFTS stands for role, audience, format, topic and strong verb, in order to make writing assignments more enjoyable and fulfilling to the students.
With the implementation of Content-Based Language Instruction (CBLI) in Palawan State University, English teachers found content-based lessons difficult to prepare. Writing in particular requires collaboration among teachers to provide students meaningful writing tasks. However, it has been observed that students have writing difficulties. They have poor writing traits. Also, they can hardly address the rhetorical context or the situation that surrounds their act of writing.
It is in this line of thought that the researcher embarked on an action research. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context and in improving the writing traits of students.
Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions:
- Did the scores of students improve after using the RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context?,
- Was the use of intervention effective in improving the writing traits of students?,
- In what manner, did the intervention become effective? And less effective?, and
- Was there a significant relationship between the students’ scores in their writing traits and in their mid-term grades?
The researcher used purposive sampling in selecting the participants of the study because this is a classroom-based research. The sample consisted of 40 freshmen from the Department of Computer Science.
Data were gathered from the written works of students and scored using rubrics taken from the official website of the Nevada Writing Project. Further, the researcher used t-test and Pearson r for the analysis of data.
She also used written feedbacks and interviews to reflect better on the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in content-based language instruction.
It was found out that RAFTS prompt was very effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The result of t-test for related samples using SPSS v10 indicated a significant p-value of 0.000. However, RAFTS prompt was not effective in improving the writing traits of students (p-value = 0.083).
In view of the findings, RAFTS prompt can only be effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The students can assume roles that they need to portray in writing. They can also write to a given audience, follow the format, develop a topic, and use strong verbs.
However, RAFTS prompt alone cannot improve their writing traits. If they are poor in grammar, spelling, transitions, accuracy, fluency, word choice and others, these mistakes can be repeated in their written works. This scenario implies that RAFTS prompt is a writing technique in the pre-writing stage.
In addition, there must be more writing strategies to employ in order to develop the writing traits. Teachers should focus not only on the context but most importantly to the language, tasks and evaluation criteria in order to improve the writing traits of students.
Thus, it is recommended that another action research be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of connecting the writing traits to RAFTS prompt in the writing stage.
Kroll, B. (2006). Teaching english as a second language of foreign language. (3rd ed.) (M.C. Murcia, ed.). Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.
McCallister, C. (2004). Writing education practices within the reconceptualized curriculum.
Northern Nevada Writing Project at http://writingfix.com
Nunan, D. (2009). Second language teaching and learning. Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.
Slagle, P. (1997). Getting real: authenticity in writing prompts. Quarterly. vol.19, no.3. Retrieved from www.scribd.com An encyclopedia for parents and teachers, ed. J.L. kincheloe and D. Weil, CT: Greenwood Press.
© 2015 January 14 M. G. Alvior