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Short Author Bio(s)

Name: Ibrahim M. R. Al-Shaer

Ibrahim Al-Shaer is an associate professor of linguistics. He has 23 years of experience in higher education. He spent his first 7 years of professional experience teaching different English language and linguistics courses at several universities. He was also the Director of Al-Quds Open University in Bethlehem for 10 years. He is currently the President Assistant for Innovation and Excellence. Ibrahim obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English language and a Diploma in secondary education in 1986 from Bethlehem University. He is a recipient of a 1989 scholarship from the British Council, to study for a Master of linguistics for ELT at Lancaster University. Ibrahim is also a recipient of a 1998 scholarship from ASAI in conjunction with Al-Quds Open University to study for a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Reading. Ibrahim’s main research interests are in the fields of psycholinguistics, construction grammar, semantics, syntax, ELT applications, writing skill, corpus linguistics, e-learning, innovation, and creativity.

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of employing concept mapping at a pre-writing stage on English as a foreign language (EFL) students' ability to generate better argumentative essays. Thirty-eight participants were randomly assigned to two groups participating in Writing II course at Al-Quds Open University (QOU). Both groups had the same teacher. The control group received instruction as required in the textbook only, and the experimental group were additionally required to construct concept maps at the pre-writing stage and compose essays based on the constructed maps. All participants were required to sit for pre- and post-tests to track their writing performance before and after the experimental group took a tutorial on how to create concept maps. After the implementation of the intervention, comparison of the students’ mean scores of the pre- and post-tests showed a statistically significant improvement in the experimental students’ ability to generate better argumentative essays in terms of point of view, unity and coherence, development, organization, and thinking. The results highlight the effectiveness of employing concept mapping as a focused instructional strategy at the pre-writing stage in developing EFL students’ writing skill. Pedagogical implications for using concept mapping in EFL writing classes are considered.

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