An Empirical Study of Schema Theory and Its Application in Improving University Students’Writing Ability

Author: Sarah Saleh ALYousef

Keywords: Schema theory, schemata, improving writing skill, KWL, Semantic mapping, and brainstorming.


The present study aimed at enhancing university students’ writing ability through using schematheory. The study adopted the quasi-experimental pre-posttest experimental-control group design. The participants consisted of 58 English foreign language (EFL) students and 51 EFL professors who had taught essay writing. The students were divided into two groups: 29 students in a control group and 29 students in an experimental group. To gather the data, the researcher used pre and post- essay writing tests, interviews, and a five-point Likert scale questionnaire. The results of the study showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the performance of the experimental group and the control group on the posttest in favor of the experimental group. This indicated that applying schema theory has a positive effect on improving university students’writing ability. Finally, this study recommended that EFL teachers should encourage EFL students to share their prior experiences, knowledge, and information in the pre- writing phase in order to help them improve their writing skills.