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Using convergent and divergent tasks to improve writing and language learning motivation

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This study was an attempt to investigate the comparative impact of convergent and divergent condition tasks on EFL learners’ writing and motivation. Sixty female intermediate EFL learners were selected from among a total number of 90 through their performance on a sample piloted PET and further homogenized in terms of their writing and motivation. Based on the results, the students were randomly assigned to two experimental groups with 30 participants in each. Both groups underwent the same amount of teaching time during 18 sessions of treatment which included using divergent tasks for the first group and convergent tasks for the second. A posttest (the writing section of another sample PET) and Gardener’s Attitude and Motivation Test Battery (used also earlier for the homogenization) were administered at the end of the treatment to both groups and their mean scores on the test were compared through independent samples t-tests. The results led to the rejection of the first null hypothesis, thereby demonstrating that the learners in the convergent group benefited significantly more than those in the divergent group in terms of improving their writing. The second null hypothesis was not rejected, however, meaning that the two treatments were not significantly different in terms of improving the learners’ motivation.

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