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Professional paper

The level of writing proficiency in pupils and university students

Daniela Matić orcid id ; Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Croatia
Jasminka Bibić ; Centar za strane jezike, Split, Croatia

Full text: croatian pdf 191 Kb

page 17-31

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In this paper we wanted to compare the writing skills of fourteen- and fi fteenyear-old pupils and fi rst year students of an engineering college. We based our research on the essays with assigned topics. On the syntactico-semantic level we monitored the use of grammar structures and vocabulary whereas on the discourse level we were interested in whether the communication goals, clarity and comprehensibility had been achieved and how the texts were structured. We also wanted to fi nd out if the students had succeeded in logically ordering facts and events as well as extracting the mportant ones. We found errors and defi ciencies which constantly appear in both age groups regardless of the intensity of studying and the college students’ former knowledge of English. Having analysed the data, we reached the conclusion that both groups have problems in those language categories which native speakers of Croatian usually fi nd most diffi cult: articles, prepositions and tenses. Defi ciencies on the discourse level show that writing skills have not been systematically dealt with in English and most probably Croatian lessons throughout primary and secondary education.
As college students will have no opportunity to further enhance their English at university or practise the writing skills which many of them will probably need in their professional life, we are of opinion that teaching these skills should be given a more central role in regular education.


pupils, students, writing skills, the texts were structured

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