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Developing academic writing skills in EFL University students through haiku composition

Santillán, Juan José; Rodas, Fabián Darío

Background. Although there is empirical evidence to support the inclusion of poetry in the EFL classroom, the medium is rarely encountered in language learning environments. Aims. This study’s objective was to determine the influence of haiku composition tasks on the development of the academic writing skills of a group of TEFL majors at Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador. Method. The study was part of a larger research project (originally presented as a Master’s degree dissertation at Universidad Técnica de Ambato), developed under a Mixed-Methods approach. This article reports on the quantitative findings of the statistical analysis of the results of two essay-based tests, administered before and after a six-week treatment that promoted haiku composition practices.  Results. The findings determine a positive influence of haiku composition on the development of the academic writing skills of the participants of the study. Discussion. The main benefits of haiku composition in terms of academic writing skill development relate to vocabulary enrichment and enhancement of linguistic competence, audience awareness, and writing process consciousness. These benefits are linked to the formal meter and reader-centeredness nature of haiku.

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