Exploring Young ESL Learners’ Narrative Writing Performance: Implications for Teachers and Learners
Keywords:Error analysis, Narrative writing, Writing performance, Young ESL learners
English writing is one of the most essential skills for global communication in the 21st century. It can help students express their personality, develop thinking skills, give and receive feedback, and argue on logical ideas. Taking this into account, the present study investigated the English writing performance of Malaysian ESL young learners. Specifically, the present study focused on the performance of the students in writing narrative essays. A total of sixty upper primary school students aged 11 years old were involved. A narrative writing task was developed for the purpose of the study. Sixty sample essays (4569 words) were collected and analyzed. The analysis conducted on their writings revealed that majority of the students (65%) are at a low level of narrative writing proficiency. Only 28% of them are at satisfactory level. The findings also indicate that the students committed the most errors in sentence structure (37.9%) when writing the essays. Meanwhile, grammatical error was observed to be the second highest to be committed by the students (33.4%), followed by spelling error (13.2%) and punctuation error (15.5%). This study brings an implication especially to the teaching of narrative writing to young ESL learners, in which the five aspects (sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation) should be prioritized for proficient narrative writing skills to be nurtured among the students.