Learning for life: The potential of academic writing courses for individual EFL learners

Bella Rubin*, Helen Katznelson, Hadara Perpignan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case study examined the learning outcomes of three learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) enrolled in different Writing for Academic Purposes courses. Of the many learning outcomes observed, some express self-perceived intrapersonal and interpersonal changes, which in previous research have been named "by-products" of writing courses [Katznelson et al., 2001; Pally, M., Katznelson, H., Perpignan, H., Rubin, B., What is learned in sustained-content writing classes along with writing? Journal of Basic Writing 21 (1) (2002) 90-115; Rubin, B., Perpignan, H., Katznelson, H., 2003. Affective and social changes perceived by students in EFL Academic writing Courses: sources and links. A paper presented at EARLI 10th Bienniel Conference at the University of Padua, Padua, Italy. August 28, 2003]. The research questions for the current study were: (1) What meaningful connections can be made between the three learners' measured writing apprehension and their measured performance on timed essays on the one hand, and the course outcomes as perceived by the three learners on the other? (2) To what extent did the perceived non-writing learning outcomes - the "by-products" - express the long-term personal and social development of each learner? The data consisted of pre- and post-course scores on the Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Scale (1975b) and on timed essays, learner responses to two open-ended questions and in-depth interviews, matched with the teachers' reflective journals. The findings throw light on the idiosyncratic nature of "by-products" and their relationship to other learning outcomes for each student, and, more importantly, on how these "by-products" impact their lives as lifelong learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Affective, social, cognitive domains
  • By-products of academic writing courses
  • Change
  • Individual differences
  • Intrapersonal and interpersonal growth
  • Learner-perceived outcomes
  • Lifelong learning
  • Writing apprehension


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