International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

TED Talks: An Approach for Activating the World Knowledge Schema of EFL Writers
Dr. Grasiella K. Harb

The lack of reading culture among our youth today, especially in the Arab world, has greatly limited their ideas and affected the quality of their writing. Due to their underdeveloped world-knowledge schema, they lack creativity, struggle with the brainstorming step or even skip it, and, consequently, produce essays that lack sufficient content and maturity of ideas. Hence, not only is activation of prior knowledge required but also the amount of activation is to be considered. Accordingly, the purpose of the study was to investigate the utility of short Ted Talk videos as a motivating tool that activates enough prior knowledge within a short time. The participants were 21 Lebanese undergraduates in the sophomore writing class. A mixed-method design was adopted. Data analysis revealed the effectiveness of the approach in helping students overcome the challenge of brainstorming and outlining, expand their content, show deep thinking, and feel more confident about writing.

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