The Effect of Strategies-Based Instruction on the Improvement of EFL Learners’ Writing Quality: A Sociocultural Approach
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The present study draws primarily on Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural approach and sets out to explore the effect of instruction of sociocultural writing strategies on the improvement of EFL learners’ quality of writing. The study was conducted with two EFL writing classes randomly assigned to an experimental (N = 22) and a control group (N = 21) during a university term. Although the students in both classes worked in groups while practicing writing, only the experimental group was continuously taught to mediate their writings through different strategies and contextual mediations based on Engstrom’s (1987) activity theory. The students’ individual writing scores at the beginning and at the end of the experiment were compared, and the results convincingly proved that the experimental group made significantly more improvement in their writing ability than did the control group. The analysis of the recorded students’ interactions in both groups revealed that the experimental group used almost all the sociocultural strategies while practicing writing, whereas the control group made a very limited use of only some of these strategies.