Timed writing for improved EFL fluency and better CBI
Timed writing (TW) can take place along a spectrum from simple free-writing or brainstorming sessions on simple topics in short time frames all the way to structured, argumentative essays on challenging topics over longer amounts of time. TW can provide a gauge of writing ability and therefore can serve as an assessment tool. TW instruction and its implementation hold an important place in the foreign language classroom many reasons. The most prevalent rationale for TW is to foster writing fluency, but TW can also result in improvements in the accuracy and content quality of student writing as well as in learner confidence. Additionally, in content-based instruction (CBI) or content and language integrated learning (CLIL) environments, it can be an effective tool to help students more fully digest and understand content. This study employs freshman EFL writing courses in Japan divided into three streamed classes. Writing teachers have TW activities on predetermined topics covering themes from a parallel reading course over a semester. When using word count as a measuring tool, it is hoped that significant gains in writing fluency will be made. Students were surveyed using a questionnaire to determine their perceptions of any gains made in writing fluency, vocabulary use, and content comprehension. Some suggestions for implementing TW into an EFL, CLIL, or CBI curriculum were offered. The presentation was made at an IAFOR conference in Dubai, UAE.