Using BALL to Develop Writing Skills: Students’ Interest and Perception
The current study aims to investigate students’ perceptions and interest in the use of BALL (Blog Assisted Language Learning) as an additional component in writing skills development and the correlation between these perceptions and interest. To achieve the objective, quantitative and qualitative data concerning the students’ perceptions and interest were collected through a survey and focused semi structured open-ended interviews. The questionnaire, consisted of 12 items constructed to gauge the participants’ interest and perception on the use of blog as an additional component in writing skills development, was given to 102 teacher training students majoring in English who were taking four different levels of writing courses. The interviews were conducted with 12 volunteers who also participated in the survey. The themes that emerged during the interview sessions were coded in accordance to the quantitative dimensions from the questionnaire.
The findings revealed that the students responded positively to the use of blog to develop writing skills. However, familiarity with internet browsing skills and their level of writing mastery slightly affected their interest and perception on the blogging activities. In addition, the statistical analysis revealed that the students’ interest and perceptions were positively and significantly correlated, and both variables significantly affected each other. Based on this, it is recommended to design blog as interestingly as possible to students before using it to develop students’ writing skill
Keywords: interest, perception, BALL, writing skills
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