Discipline-Specific Writing Strategies Used by TEFL Graduate Students

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, TEFL Shiraz University

2 Associate Professor, TEFL Shiraz University


This study aims to examine the strategies utilized by eleven postgraduate students in an EFL university context in their attempts to acquire the textual practices of their discipline. First- and second-year MA students, one Ph.D. student as well as individuals who had completed their MA programs in TEFL took part in interviews in order to elicit the strategies they used when they endeavored to write their discipline-specific writings, such as articles, proposals and theses. The results revealed that the participants utilized socio-affective, communication and resourcing strategies more than cognitive strategies. However, they ignored metacognitive strategies, which might be due to a lack of conscious awareness of certain writing genres in the field. Social apprenticeship strategies were not considered to be of great importance by participants. Students were highly dependent on their instructors for feedback, though without bearing any sense of collaboration with them or their peers. The role of the explicit instruction of metacognitive genre awareness as well as the provision of an atmosphere of collaboration among students has been emphasized.