Development of English Writing Skills through Blended Learning among ESL Learners in Malaysia
Keywords: Argumentative essay, blended learning, ESL learners, Malaysia, polytechnic, writing performance
Developing writing proficiency is complex as students need to master specific rules and acquire certain skills. This complexity often obstructs students’ interest and eventually affects their comprehension and performance in language learning. Research has highlighted the significance of English as a Second Language (ESL), particularly in the Malaysian context. This study, therefore, aims to evaluate the effectiveness of blended learning in developing English writing skills, particularly among ESL learners at a Polytechnic in Malaysia. The study adopted quasi-experimental analysis in which pre-test and post-test were used as data-gathering instruments. The data were gathered from a purposive sample of 60 ESL students separated into an experimental group and a control group. The data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test via the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings showed that blended learning is significantly effective in developing writing performance among ESL students in the selected institution. Further analysis revealed a slight improvement among students who learned through the traditional approach. This study highlights useful findings that could be useful in designing English curriculums, particularly in higher institutions. However, this experiment focuses on students’ performance, further research may explore instructors’ practices in Malaysian higher intuitions.