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Paper Outline

  1. Hypotheses that the researcher might have had in mind
  2. There are no differences in frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English and when writing in Arabic
  3. Females have a higher English writing proficiency score compared to males
  4. Descriptive statistics
  5. Reliability Test for English Strategy Use (Cronbach’s Alpha)
  6. Writing proficiency (based on Jacobs scale)
  7. Possible ways of enhancing validity


 

Hypotheses that the Researcher Might have had in Mind

  1. There are no differences in frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English and when writing in Arabic.
  2. Females have a higher English writing proficiency score compared to males.
  3. There is no significant difference between the overall frequency of strategies of all types used in writing in English and the overall frequency of all strategies of all types used in writing Arabic.
  4. There is an inverse relationship between the frequency of editing and the frequency of revising when writing in Arabic.
  5. The background of a student (English or Arabic) does not have any effect on the strategies (editing, rehearsing and revising) used when writing compositions.

There are no differences in frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English and when writing in Arabic.

On conducting the paired samples T-test, it was evident that the frequency of use of editing when writing in English was higher than when writing in Arabic (mean frequency of 10.50 in English versus 1.94 in Arabic). The frequency of rehearsing was higher when rehearsing in English (mean frequency is 54.81) than when rehearsing in Arabic (mean frequency is 28.13). It was also clear that the frequency of use of revising was higher when writing in English (30.56) was higher than when writing in Arabic (18.00) (Table 1).

 

Table 1: Paired Sample Statistics for Frequency of use of Editing, Rehearsing and Revising when Writing in Arabic and When Writing in English

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 Frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic 1.9375 16 2.61964 .65491
Frequency of use of editing when writing in English 10.5000 16 12.17648 3.04412
Pair 2 Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in Arabic 28.1250 16 41.16937 10.29234
Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English 54.8125 16 76.67352 19.16838
Pair 3 Frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic 18.0000 16 17.54993 4.38748
Frequency of use of revising when writing in English 30.5625 16 17.74249 4.43562

 

The paired samples correlations indicate that there was a weak and non significant correlation between frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic and frequency of editing when writing in English (r = .331, p = .210). As such, the first part of the hypothesis that there are no differences in editing when writing in either English or Arabic has been supported. A strong positive correlation between frequency of use of rehearing when writing in Arabic and frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English was however registered (r = .97, p = .001). In the same way, there was a strong positive and significant correlation between frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic and frequency of use of revising when writing in English (r = .821, p = .001) (Table 2).

Table 2: Paired samples correlations for Frequency of use of Editing, Rehearsing and Revising when Writing in Arabic and When Writing in English

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation Sig.
Pair 1 Frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic & Frequency of use of editing when writing in English 16 .331 .210
Pair 2 Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in Arabic & Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English 16 .975 .000
Pair 3 Frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic & Frequency of use of revising when writing in English 16 .821 .000

 

 

The paired samples t-test for frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic was significantly different from the frequency of use of editing when writing in English (t (df , 15) = 2.959, 2-tailed significance = .01). There was a significant difference in frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in Arabic than when writing in English (t (df, 15) = 2.834, 2-tailed p value =.013). There was also a significant difference in the frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic than when writing in English (t (df, 15) = 4.757, p = .001) (Table 3).

Table 3: Paired Samples Test for Frequency of use of Editing, Rehearsing and Revising when Writing in Arabic and When Writing in English

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 Frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic – Frequency of use of editing when writing in English -8.56250 11.57566 2.89391 -14.73073 -2.39427 -2.959 15 .010
Pair 2 Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in Arabic – Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English -2.66875E1 37.66292 9.41573 -46.75666 -6.61834 -2.834 15 .013
Pair 3 Frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic – Frequency of use of revising when writing in English -1.25625E1 10.56389 2.64097 -18.19160 -6.93340 -4.757 15 .000

 

Since it is evident that there are differences in use of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in both English and Arabic, the null hypothesis, there are no differences in frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English and when writing in Arabic, is rejected. Instead the alternate hypothesis, there are differences in frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English and when writing in Arabic, should prevail.

 

Females have a higher English writing proficiency score compared to males

An ANOVA test conducted to identify whether there were any significant differences in English proficiency scores for males and females indicated that there was a non-significant difference in English proficiency scores between the two genders (F(1, 14 ) = .893, p > .005) (Table 6). This is despite the fact that males had a mean English proficiency score of 66.65, SD 14.43 whereas females had a mean score of 60.25, SD 10.34 (Table 4). The variability among the test scores was highest among male subjects as indicated by a SD of 14.42 against 10.22 for female subjects. The Levene’s test which tests is non-significant (significance = .279) (Table 5), indicating that the variances are the same and the assumption of ANOVA is not violated. The main ANOVA output table (Table 6) indicates that females did not register higher English proficiency scores compared to males (F (1, 14) = .893, p = .361). This is because the significance value is greater than .05.

Table 4: Descriptive Statistics for English Rating Proficiency Scores for Males and Females

Descriptives
English writing proficiency score (on the Jacobs instrument which runs 34-100)
N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error 95% Confidence Interval for Mean Minimum Maximum
Lower Bound Upper Bound
Male 10 66.650 14.4281 4.5626 56.329 76.971 44.5 88.0
Female 6 60.250 10.3477 4.2244 49.391 71.109 41.5 71.0
Total 16 64.250 13.0703 3.2676 57.285 71.215 41.5 88.0

 

Table 5: Test of Homogeneity of Variances for English Proficiency Score

Test of Homogeneity of Variances
English writing proficiency score (on the Jacobs instrument which runs 34-100)
Levene Statistic df1 df2 Sig.
1.270 1 14 .279

 

Table 6: ANOVA Output for English Writing Proficiency Score

ANOVA
English writing proficiency score (on the Jacobs instrument which runs 34-100)
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups (Combined) 153.600 1 153.600 .893 .361
Linear Term Unweighted 153.600 1 153.600 .893 .361
Weighted 153.600 1 153.600 .893 .361
Within Groups 2408.900 14 172.064
Total 2562.500 15

 

Descriptive statistics

            This study involved sixteen participants of whom 62.5 percent (10) were males whereas 37.5 percent (6) were females (Table 7). It is therefore evident that male participants were more than female subjects. The mean English writing proficiency score (based on the Jacobs instrument scale of 34-100) was 64.25 with a standard deviation of 13.07. The minimum and the maximum scores were 41.5 and 88.0 respectively. The mean frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in Arabic was 1.936; SD 2.62, 28.125; SD 41.17 and 18.000; SD 17.55 respectively. On the other hand, the mean frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising when writing in English was 10.500; SD 12.18, 54.813; SD 76.67 and 30.563; SD 17.74 respectively. It is therefore clear that the frequency of editing when writing in Arabic is very low compared to frequency of editing when writing in English (1.936 in Arabic versus 10.500 in English). In the same manner, the frequency of rehearsing and revising is lower when writing in Arabic than when writing in English (28.125 times editing in Arabic versus 54.183 editing in English and 18.000 revising instances when writing in Arabic versus 30.563 revising instances when writing in English) (Table 8 ). The above findings are also confirmed by the finding that the overall frequency of all types of strategies used in writing English are very high (2.1119E2; SD 160.36) compared to the overall frequency of strategies used when writing in Arabic (1.1000E2; SD 80.71).

Table 7: Participant’s Gender (Frequencies and Percentages)

Participant’s gender
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Male 10 62.5 62.5 62.5
Female 6 37.5 37.5 100.0
Total 16 100.0 100.0

 

Table 8: Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive Statistics
N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation
Participant’s gender 16 1.00 2.00 1.3750 .50000
English writing proficiency score (on the Jacobs instrument which runs 34-100) 16 41.5 88.0 64.250 13.0703
Frequency of use of editing when writing in Arabic 16 .00 9.00 1.9375 2.61964
Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in Arabic 16 3.00 171.00 28.1250 41.16937
Frequency of use of revising when writing in Arabic 16 4.00 62.00 18.0000 17.54993
Frequency of use of editing when writing in English 16 .00 48.00 10.5000 12.17648
Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English 16 4.00 314.00 54.8125 76.67352
Frequency of use of revising when writing in English 16 6.00 67.00 30.5625 17.74249
Overall frequency of strategies of all types used writing in English 16 39.00 664.00 2.1119E2 160.36426
Overall frequency of strategies of all types used writing in Arabic 16 32.00 297.00 1.1000E2 80.70853
Valid N (listwise) 16

 

 

Reliability Test for English Strategy Use (Cronbach’s Alpha)

It is notable that a Cronbach’s Alpha of .70 is taken to be appropriate as a measure of internal consistency in social science research (Field, 2009). As such, it can be said that there is a weak internal consistency (.479) (Table 9) indicating that the three measures of English strategy use (revising, editing and rehearsing) cannot be used to collectively predict/measure the overall ‘English strategic use’. According to Table 10, it is evident from the “Corrected Item-Total Correlation” column that there is a strong positive correlation (.878) between frequency of use of editing when writing in English and the combined score of frequency of use of rehearsing and revising when writing in English. In other words, frequency of use of editing when writing in English has a strong internal consistence with composite scores of editing and revising. A strong correlation also exists between frequency of rehearsing when writing in English and the combined score of frequency of editing and revising when writing in English. It has been suggested that a correlation that is less than .30 is weak and is not suitable for item-analysis (Griffin, 2009). In that case, the correlation between frequency of use of revising (.443) and the combined frequency of rehearsing and editing is still useful for this analysis despite being somewhat weak. In other words, frequency of use of revising is internally consistent with the combined frequency of use of editing and rehearsing when writing in English.

Table 9: Reliability Statistics for Frequency of Editing, Rehearsing and Revising While Writing In English

 

 

Reliability Statistics
Cronbach’s Alpha N of Items
.479 3

 

From the “Cronbach’s Alpha if item deleted” column, it is possible to identify which of the items (rehearsing, revising and editing) contributed to the total alpha of .479. If frequency of use of editing when writing in English is removed, the overall Cronbach’s alpha would drop to from .479 to .312, indicating that frequency of editing is useful and actually contributes to the overall Cronbach’s alpha value. Removing frequency of use of rehearsing also leads to an increase if the Cronbach’s value from .479 to .661, indicating that frequency of use of rehearsing is useful and contributes to overall Cronbach’s alpha. The Cronbach’s Alpha if item frequency of use of revising is removed would reduce only slightly from .479 to .420. Since the correlation between the frequency of revising and combined correlation of editing and rehearsing had earlier been termed as suitable for item analysis (since it is not less than .30 the frequency of use of revising should not be removed when calculating overall Cronbach’s alpha value. It is therefore conclusive that frequency of editing, rehearsing and revising are useful in measuring the variable ‘English strategic use’.

Table 10: Item-Total Statistics (Frequency of Editing, Rehearsing and Revising While Writing In English)

Item-Total Statistics
  Scale Mean if Item Deleted Scale Variance if Item Deleted Corrected Item-Total Correlation Cronbach’s Alpha if Item Deleted
Frequency of use of editing when writing in English 85.3750 7337.450 .878 .312
Frequency of use of rehearsing when writing in English 41.0625 691.796 .681 .661
Frequency of use of revising when writing in English 65.3125 7629.963 .443 .420

 

Writing proficiency (based on Jacobs scale)

On conducting a descriptive analysis of the data to find out the mean proficiency score, specifically on the English writing proficiency score (based on the Jacobs scale, 34-100), it was evident that a majority of the subjects had a score higher than 51, which defines the subjects as better in writing proficiency. The mean proficiency score was 64.25 (Table 8), implying that these subjects are definitely ‘better’ in writing proficiency than ‘poor’ in the Jacobs scale. Figure 1 below also illustrates a majority of the subjects had a score of between 60 and 70.

Figure 1: A histogram on English proficiency scores based on the Jacobs scale

Possible ways of enhancing validity

It is hoped that the researcher assigned subjects randomly to either of the two groups as a way of increasing external validity. According to Huitt and Kaeck (1999), group research exhibits higher external validity if subjects are randomly assigned to the various treatment groups in the study. It is also hoped that the researcher considered differences in prior experiences in either of the languages, thus controlling for internal validity. This is because it has been established that internal validity is threatened by the unique experiences participants may have such that the experiences may act as independent variables and interfere with internal validity.

Bibliography

Field, A. P. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. 6th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.

Griffin, B. W. (2009). Cronbach’s Alpha (measure of internal consistency). Retrieved 07, February 2011 from http://www.bwgriffin.com/gsu/courses/edur9131/content/cronbach/cronbachs_alpha_spss.htm

Huitt, W. and Kaeck, H. D. (1999). Internal and external validity: general issues. Retrieved 07, February 2011 from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/intro/valdgn.html

 

 

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