Writing is one of the English language skils that should be mastered and understood by students (Ibnian, 2017). Writing should be mastered because through writing, people share their ideas, opinion, thoughts, and feelings in everyday life (Fageeh, 2011; Alfaki, 2015).
Although writing is one of the important skill, but for some language learners, learning writing is not easy (Khalid, 2018). Writing is considered difficult to master because in writing, writers must have ‘linguistic knowledge” (Erkan & Saban, 2011). When writing, the writer must also concentrate so that he/she can produce a good writing. In addition, the writer must also consider the target audience to create effective writing so that the intent of the writing is successfully conveyed (Farooq, Uzair-ul-hassan, & Wahid 2012). Cohesion and coherence are also an important aspects in writing (Ahmed, 2010). Therefore, students from English Second Language (ESL) or English Foreign Language (EFL) country usually have difficulties in writing (Al-Khairy, 2013; Fareed et al., 2016; Ghabool et al., 2012; Saleh & Ibnian, 2017; Tahaineh, 2010).
This research is important to be carried out in the EFL context especially in Indonesia because writing is very useful in daily life (Alfaki, 2015) and many schools in the world now teach and require students to master writing (Phuket & Othman, 2015). In addition, many of the students especially in countries whose English is not the first language have difficulty in writing (Ahmed, 2010). Therefore, this study was conducted to provide an overview of the difficulties encountered in writing, especially in writing job application letters.
Aims and Objectives
The researcher will conduct this study to answer these following questions:
- What difficulties faced by vocational school students in writing job application letter?
- What are the factors affecting vocational school students’ writing difficulties?
- What are teachers’ and students’ strategies to overcome vocational school students’ writing difficulties?
The aims of this study are:
- To examine the problems faced by vocational school students in writing job application letter.
- To examine the factors affecting vocational school students’ writing difficulties?
- To examine teachers’ and students’ strategies to overcome vocational school students’ writing difficulties.
Preliminary Literature Review
The Nature of Writing
Writing is one of the English skills that important and should be mastered by the students. Students must master writing because writing is a crucial skill and is needed in everyday life. Because of that, writing is taught in many schools in the world, as part of the English language skills that must be learned and mastered by the students (Phuket & Othman, 2015).
Writing is an ability that has a role in expressing someone’s ideas, opinion, thoughts, and feelings. Through writing, people share their ideas, opinion, thoughts, and feelings in everyday life (Alfaki, 2015).
Writing is not easy, especially for nonnatives. Because in writing, the writer must devote his ideas and thoughts into written form, and have to write it in English which is not his mother tongue, and later the writing must be easily understood by the readers (Fadda, 2012; Younes & Albalawi, 2015). A writer must also consider the content, organization, ideas, readers, vocabulary, and mechanics when writing (Rass, 2015). Because of this, many researchers conducted research on the difficulties faced by students in writing English.
Job Application Letter
Job application letter is a type of written communication that introduce and explain the qualifications of the applicants to employers (Wijayanti, 2017). Job application letter can be said as the first communication between applicants and employers, then job applicants must make a good impression through the application letter, so that it can increase the chances of being hired (Soroko, 2012). This type of letter is important to master because it aims to persuade the person who gave the job. The employer will be interested in hiring the job applicants if the letter is well written and can present job applicants’ qualifications (Mohamed, Halim, Husin, & Mokhtar, 2017; Wijayanti, 2017).