Studying in Comprehensive School with Low Second Language Writing Proficiency

Mirja Tarnanen, Eija Aalto



In this article, we report a case study on the Finnish as an L2 writing skill of weak writers in grades 7–9 of comprehensive school. The study is based on writing performances of 25 students who each completed four different writing tasks (i.e., 100 texts) and a questionnaire about their background information, self-assessment of writing and literacy practices. First, we discuss target language writing proficiency in the school context from the curriculum and pedagogical point of view. Then we present the results of the questionnaire data and focus on the performances of writers with A1 writing proficiency on the CEFR scale. The findings show that students with low writing proficiency in fact also write in various out-of-school printed and media texts. Further, despite a weak proficiency level the students are at some point able to produce texts and make meanings syntactically and textually. Finally, we discuss some implications concerning migrants and literacy-oriented culture in Finnish schools.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies