Chapter 1: Introduction
English Language is a compulsory subject in schools in Malaysia as English Language is a second language (L2) in this country. Hence, students are required to master all the four main skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking. According to Berman, and Cheng (2010), students find the productive skills, speaking and writing, more difficult as compared to the receptive skills, reading and listening. Moreover, among the four main skills, the skill that students in Malaysian least proficient in is writing (Nesamalar, Saratha, & Teh, as cited in Majid Pour-Mohammadi, Mohamad Jafre Zainol Abidin, & Cheong, 2012). Writing is the most complex skill but it a vital skill for students to learn. Students that are competent in writing will have more privileges when it comes to job application.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Many Malaysian students are not competent in writing. Writing has been identified by Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) as the main hindrance for students in secondary schools in getting good marks (as cited in Ilyana Jalaluddin, Melor Md Yunus, and Hamidah Yamat, 2011). A study carried out on the error analysis of the written English essays of secondary school students in Malaysia showed that the six types of errors that the participants made the most were in singular/plural form, verb tense, word choice, preposition, subject-verb agreement and word order (Saadiyah Darus, & Kaladevi Subramaniam, 2009). Meanwhile, another study showed that the three common errors in written English essays of Chinese students in Malaysia were mechanics, tenses, preposition and subject-verb agreement (Saadiyah Darus, & Khor, 2009). These studies show that secondary school students are not proficient in writing skills as they make many errors in their essay. In Malaysia, English Languge is learnt as a second language. The main reason why Malaysian students face challenges in writing would be the lack of exposure to English...