About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3071-3076
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1688

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain


A. Astanina1, N. Verbitskaia2

1Ural Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2Ural State Forestry Engineering University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Contemporary programmes of higher education in Russia are aimed at providing qualitative education to undergraduates in all spheres of learning. Language education for students of Ural Federal University majoring in science, mathematics and management meets learners’ needs of developing and mastering knowledge and skills of General English. Among skills, writing is one of the most difficult ones to develop; a lot of effort has to be made by both teachers and students to improve such a complex skill. Educational programme provides a reasonable choice of writing patterns to learn and master, regarding learner’s initial level of language proficiency. However, little is known about the real value of set types of writing from students’ perspective. Moreover, students can provide teachers with necessary feedback on various topics: learners’ writing tasks preferences, general attitude to writing, satisfaction with the teachers’ work, etc.

In order to understand the students’ point of view on writing at the university and effectiveness of teaching writing, a survey was organised in the 2017-2018 academic year. Students of the Department of Science and Mathematics and the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship took part in the survey. Randomly chosen students (n=308) of the first and second courses doing their Bachelor’s degree, first course Master Degree students and a few PhD students answered 17 questions (among which there were multiple choice closed questions and open questions for the participants to write their own ideas). Level distribution of the participants was even, with approximately one fourth of Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate students (according to Common European Framework of References to Languages) taking part in the survey.

Most students consider writing to be an obligatory part of a language course, with 76% of respondents being quite satisfied with the amount of writing tasks. The most popular types of writing tasks are short notes/ e-mails and personal letters. However, students are not fond of writing essays, research articles, compositions and reports. Among forms of writing students are interested in learning to write, they mentioned stories and CVs. Also, compositions (creative writing) and personal letters were found to be outdated forms.

Students are generally satisfied with the teachers’ work on assessing writing in terms of time, quality, feedback on mistakes and helping learners to improve their writing. However, students themselves do not track their progress in writing; they do, however, take notice of mistakes and ways of improving “here and now”.

Accepting the fact that they need to learn various types of writing, students suggest introducing modern forms of texts, e.g. blogs and forum entries in the course of studies. Moreover, to refine writing the necessity of dictations is underlined.

Results of the survey can be taken into account for developing and adapting existing educational programmes by teachers and university authorities.
author = {Astanina, A. and Verbitskaia, N.},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1688},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1688},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3071-3076}}
AU - A. Astanina AU - N. Verbitskaia
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1688
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 3071
EP - 3076
ER -
A. Astanina, N. Verbitskaia (2018) WRITING AT A RUSSIAN UNIVERSITY: STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVE, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 3071-3076.