Problems faced by EFL students in learning to write

Yeni Vara Sasmita, Lestari Setyowati


Writing in English is not an easy task for students. Many of the foreign language learners (EFL) find writing is a challenging activity and for some of them, writing is stressful. This paper is intended to describe the students’ writing problems when they are joining a writing course. The study uses a descriptive quantitative design. The participants were eighteen students from the English department of the Faculty of Letters, State University of Malang, and the rest were students who were interested in ESL from several universities. The instrument used in the study was a Likert Scale questionnaire, distributed by using a google form. Participants were asked to answer the questions listed in the questionnaire about problems in writing by choosing one of four options (strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree) for the close-ended question, a short text answer for open-ended questions, and several choices regarding the types of writing errors. The finding shows that there are four main problems experienced by EFL students in learning to write in the Faculty of Letters, Universitas Negeri Malang, such as writer’s block (43.5%), difficulty in expressing ideas (17.4 %), feeling less confident (21.7%), and afraid of making mistakes (17.4 %). The finding also shows that most errors and mistakes made by the students in their writing are the content of the writing (the unity and coherence), the organization, and the grammar. The study implies that the internal factors play an important factor in the students’ success to accomplish the writing task. Thus, the writing instructors/lecturers need to give positive reinforcement to the students so that they have more confidence to write.


internal factors; problems; writing

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