Exploration of self-expression to improve L2 writing skills

Verbra Frances Pfeiffer, Sivakumar Sivasubramaniam


This article focuses on and explores the issue of teaching students to write with some level of fluency.  In light of this, it investigates the use of expressive writing which can develop as the mainstay approach to help students improve their academic writing skills. Teaching students to write with confidence is always a daunting undertaking for any teacher, even more so when they are at a tertiary level. This study was conducted over a semester where a qualitative methodology was used to study autobiographical writing, journal entries and personal-response writing. Our results show that students’ writing improved over a continuum of writing tasks of an evolutionary/daily living nature, through which we explored their self-expression.  The study is predicated on the dynamics and fall-outs of L2 writing at a tertiary setting in Cape Town.  The data provided by the fourteen participants featured in our study were meant to identify the kinds of strategies that could assist L2 students with English Language writing tasks. By the same token, the study was meant to offer useful insights into the educational practice and prevalence of writing for self-expression.


expressive writing, self-expression, qualitative methods, journal entries, social aspects, cognitive aspects, noticeable students and distinguished students

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/32-2-654


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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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