Insight into Gender Effect on EFL Writing Strategies in the Narrative and Expository Genres: A Case Study of Multilingual College Students in Morocco

  •  Latifa El Mortaji    


Research on gender and writing strategies in English as a foreign language (EFL) is scarce. This study investigates whether Moroccan male and female undergraduates use similar or different writing strategies when composing essays in the narrative and expository genres. Using think-aloud as a main research tool, a questionnaire, and retrospective interviews, the researcher collected data pertaining to male and female students’ strategy use and cognitive processes while writing in EFL. The analysis of 64 think-aloud protocols revealed Moroccan undergraduates’ use of a variety of writing strategies in terms of type and frequency. Both main types and subtypes of writing strategies emerged. Two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed that each gender group used some writing strategies more frequently than the other group; however, this difference in frequency of use was not statistically significant. In addition, the interaction of gender, writing strategy use, and discourse type yielded a significant difference in the use of the strategy of codeswitching only (i.e., language switch). On the other hand, the qualitative analysis of the protocols and interviews revealed a large variation between males and females in the use of the twelve strategies under investigation, together with overall writing behaviors. These strategies shall be presented together with recommendations for teaching composition in the EFL classroom.

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