This conventional way of teaching writing has been frowned upon as it does not encourage active interaction.
Teachers are perceived as authoritative figures who are more concerned with obtaining the writing product rather than showing the students the process of writing. Writing is a complex process as it also encourages thinking. When students are confident of writing better, they will be more motivated to communicate. In the process of writing, these thoughts and ideas are re-evaluated, added to, reorganized or altered (Ghazi Ghaith, 2002).
Since the implementation of the Information and Communication Technology Literacy (ICTL) programme by the Ministry of Education in 1996 to boost the use of computer technology in education, most custome essay teachers have integrated the computer in their language lessons.
This does not mean that non-ICT methods of teaching are no longer important. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) or Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) refers to computerized teaching and learning. Computer programmes for writing outline main ideas, expand and arrange thoughts and ideas, as well as provide brainstorming.
In other words, students could use computers to develop and practise their English language skills. They may develop critical thinking while attempting to execute learning tasks. Besides critical thinking, websites for essay writing computer programmes also help students in creative analysis. For students to be creative thinkers, Haugland (1992) suggests that the educational software must be sufficiently easy to use by students. Such programmes should not only used in classrooms but also at home. According to Greany (2007), students who use software from the Internet are able to do tasks at a pace they are comfortable with. At home, students are able to monitor their learning progress by evaluating themselves as often as they want to. They make progress faster as they are constantly getting feedback and learning from it, they learn in private without peer competition, and learn when there is a need for it, and when they want to (Fenrich, 2005). Hence, by integrating technology in the English class, students can be guided to improve their writing skills. A good computer software encourages learner-centered education and helps students acquire competency in skill areas and facilitates lifelong learning. In the present digital age, teachers can avail themselves easily of numerous computer programmes to help learners master various skills such as writing, reading, listening and speaking. With regard to writing, students can use any kind of word-processor. Some versatile word-processors allow students to check spelling and find words in a thesaurus (Boswood, 1997). In the classroom setting, some computer programmes allow students to work in groups, and they can choose and control the activity throughout.
Educational software also adapts itself to the progress of the student. As the student interacts with the programme, the system responds accordingly to provide feedback (Hohmann, 1998). The effectiveness of using technologies in language teaching has been investigated.
For example, Figueredo and Varnhagen (2006) conducted a study on the use of computer in teaching writing.
By using computers, students were able to correct mistakes with the aid of spelling and grammar checkers. Therefore, the two researchers concluded that the use of spelling checkers was useful for weaker students who have poor writing skills.
There were also major differences in terms of readability, or typographical and grammatical errors. Besides using computer software, other software applications such as speech recognition, speech feedback, word prediction, and other varieties of software may help students with learning disabilities to participate in well-developed classroom writing programmes (Williams, 2002). The effects of the computer tutor, known as HARRY, were analyzed by Holdich and Chung (2003) in their study which revealed that children who received conversational prompts from HARRY before, custome essay custome essay during, and after the writing wrote better stories compared to the classes which did not use HARRY. The children also believed that HARRY helped them manage their writing tasks. They were able to present different aspects of the writing process when requested.
A study involving 40 young learners in Year 5 of a primary school in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia, was carried custome essay out by Faizah Mohamad and Nazeri Mohamad Amin (2009) with the 94 www. In their study, a quasi-experimental design was used on 20 learners.
Their findings showed that, in general, the tailored courseware was useful in teaching grammar as students from the experimental group achieved better scores in their assessment on irregular and regular verbs. The results of his study obtained through a post-test revealed that the experimental group outperformed the control group. The findings showed statistically significant differences on the mean scores on grammar which were attributed to the instructional technique. Students using the computer assisted grammar teaching programme had an edge over those who were taught using traditional instructional strategies. Many computer programmes are designed facilitate the teaching and learning of a language by integrating sounds, images and interactive settings, besides offering more information and a variety of exercises to reinforce learning. In this study we are comparing a two different types of writing softwares which are Microsoft word and also Stylewritter software. The StyleWriter software is the English Usage Checker.
StyleWriter can be used for producing a variety of text types such as technical manuals, business letters, web site copy and many more (refer Figure 1). StyleWriter eliminates the old-fashioned writing practice by popping up recommendations and demonstrating to the learner how to edit each sentence. Objectives of the Study The main intention of this research was to compare the effectiveness of the use of two different types of writing software, namely Microsoft Word and StyleWriter.
The following hypotheses were formulated to meet the research objectives: H 0 i. There is no significant difference in pre-test essay writing performance between students later involved in the use of Microsoft Word or StyleWriter. Methodology This study used the pre-post-test quasi experimental design.
Sixty Year 5 students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Univeristi, a primary school in Seri Kembangan, Malaysia, participated in the 7-week course. Students in the experimental group made use of the StyleWriter software, while the control group utilised Microsoft Word.