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Use of RAFTS Prompt in Rhetorical Context and Writing Traits in CBLI

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:

  1. Did the scores of students improve after using the RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context?,
  2. Was the use of intervention effective in improving the writing traits of students?,
  3. In what manner, did the intervention become effective? And less effective?, and
  4. 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.

References

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

By Alvior, Mary G.

Dr. Mary Gillesania Alvior has PhD. in Curriculum Development from West Visayas State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching English Language at De La Salle University, Manila as CHED scholar. She worked at the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia as an English instructor and curriculum developer. Her committee was responsible for the development of an english curriculum based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and used the English Language Proficiency Exams as assessment tools. In 2016, she moved to Thailand and taught at the St. Theresa International College. She was able to teach English and Education courses to college and MA students. In the Diploma in Teaching course, she was able to observe different classes in Thailand. From pre-school to high school classes, from private to government schools, from small private schools to the most elite schools, and from local schools to international schools. Her students came from 14 countries and some of them are retired from famous organizations and graduates of Oxford University, McGill University, National University of Singapore, MIT, British Columbia, among others. Her experiences in a multi-cultural environment made her exposed to different curricula and programs abroad. Curricular programs that are industry-related, innovative, and follow global standards. The kind of programs that are much needed by developing countries.

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