pdf_micDownload_PDF Article
pdf_micDownload Graphical Abstract

Enhancing Student Participation and Language Skills with Creative Writing Activities: The Case Study of Upper Secondary Students from a School in Romania




English is a necessity in the world we are inhabiting at present. Education all over the world is placing great importance on reaching proficiency in this language. In Romania, there is a strong tendency towards learning this language from very early ages and finding the most effective teaching methods to help students improve their language skills in English. The present article summarizes a small-scale investigation from a Romanian school where 50 upper secondary students and 2 EFL teachers participated in EFL classes that integrated the Creative Writing technique. The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and the benefits of teaching English as a Foreign Language with the help of Creative Writing. The combination of various creative tasks led to students who were more engaged with the target language and more interested in improving their English.



active participation, Creative Writing, language learning, language skills, teaching methods

JEL Classification

I21, I28, I29, J24


1. Introduction

Today’s world is in demand of people who can work effectively in multinational teams, who can adapt to rapid changes, and bring innovations to their workplace. Top employers worldwide are in continuous search for those employees who can think creatively, work efficiently, solve problems, and communicate effectively. Moreover, there is a high demand for proficiency in English, due to the fact that this language facilitates working in larger, international teams and it is perceived as the lingua franca of the present times (Anoop, 2017; Barančicová & Zerzová, 2015).

Educational policies worldwide are highly influenced by these requirements and the policymakers are trying to provide a type of education to help young people be equipped with all the necessary skills for the international labour market. In this respect, they place great emphasis on developing the mandatory skills for young people to succeed in life. In Romania, many of the educational reforms have targeted the development of the skills such as: foreign language skills, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, presentation skills, and developing teamwork competency. In addition, there is an enormous emphasis placed on acquiring proficiency in English, since students are acquainted with this foreign language from as early as primary education. Therefore, learning English is seen as a priority by Romanian educational policymakers, and the expected outcomes of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes target the development of English skills along with other life-long skills.

But learning a foreign language is not an easy task and it requires a lot of effort, practice, and paying attention to the intricacies of this language. To become proficient in English, Romanian students need to understand why they are learning it and how they can improve their knowledge of this foreign language without the stress of exams, grades, and fear of punishment (Kohn, 1999; Kohn 2000). It is EFL teachers’ responsibility to bring innovations into their classroom, to create a proper atmosphere for real learning to take place, and to give students the opportunity to use their knowledge of and improve their language skills in English (Brophy, 2004; Brown et al., 2014). Therefore, the EFL teachers must reflect on different teaching strategies and choose the most effective ones (Doff & Smith, 2022), while allowing students to develop a variety of skills and inviting them to share their ideas on what leads to effective learning (Feng Teng, 2019).

By acknowledging their age-related needs and making use of their knowledge of English, Romanian EFL teachers can help students become motivated to improve their language skills and reach proficiency in this worldwide spoken language (Anoop, 2017). The EFL teachers can guide their students towards success by allowing them to become independent learners, by inviting them to participate actively during classes, by simulating real-life situations, by accepting their ideas and points of view, by creating opportunities for them to develop all sort of life-long skills along with English skills (Otwinowska et al., 2023). In this way, Romanian students become proficient users of English and Romanian EFL teachers attain the main goal of education: preparing their students for adult life.

However, many of the EFL teachers in Romania apply old-fashioned teaching methods that only demotivate students and create an enormous gap between what they are taught, what they need to know, and how much effort they are willing to put in improving their knowledge of the target language. English language learning extends beyond basic grammar and vocabulary acquisition, thus, teaching it using old-fashioned methods is an ineffective way of reaching today’s learners. In addition, Romanian students nowadays enter the EFL classroom with a certain level of English from media, music, Internet, and online games, and if the teacher does not make use of their knowledge, students may experience feelings of frustration, boredom, and lack of interest. Furthermore, these negative feelings may lead to a total lack of engagement with the target language that is detrimental to both EFL students and their teachers alike.

Another issue regarding learning English in Romania is the tendency of adolescent students to become disengaged with school once they reach upper secondary education. Apart from the drawbacks already mentioned, many of the teenage students become easily distracted by their connection to the online environment and cannot focus during classes, especially in large EFL classrooms (Cheng & Yang, 2022). Some of them falsely perceive English as a language they already master and refuse to pay attention to classes. Others feel ashamed of their lack of knowledge and conceal this through disruptive behaviour or lack of involvement during EFL classes. In order to help Romanian upper secondary learners reach their English potential, EFL teachers need to integrate teaching approaches that are appealing to these generations of teenagers who are easily distracted. These teaching methods must bring novelty and active engagement in the classroom. Irrespective of the students’ perception of English classes, they all need to improve their English skills, because these skills lead to personal and professional opportunities later on, in their adult lives.

In Romania there are not many studies on effective strategies to teach English as a Foreign Language. In addition, the syllabus only presents some general directions for what students should acquire at a certain level, but without giving EFL teachers any suggestions regarding the methods or strategies they need to integrate in their classes to lead to effective learning. The Romanian EFL teachers who enter the system are demotivated by the fact that they do not know how to properly engage their students and what they should pay attention to, especially when working with upper secondary students who are both demanding and rebellious at the same time (Jiang, 2008; Wilder & Herro, 2016).

The present study aims to explore the benefits of using Creative Writing techniques to teach English to upper secondary grades. This method is an effective method of teaching English as a Foreign Language that Romanian teachers, especially the young EFL teachers, can use with their upper secondary students. The advantages of the strategy are that it combines learning with creativity. It helps students develop all four language skills (reading, listening, writing, and speaking), along with other life-long competencies, such as presentation skills, critical thinking, and teamwork. Thus, the EFL classes are turned into environments where teenagers discover their language potential and improve their English skills, are encouraged to use their creativity, and are helped to be better prepared for their adult lives.


2. Literature Review

2.1. A short history of Creative Writing

The Creative Writing approach was pioneered in the late 19th century when “the handbook writers […] worked to build a consensus on the short story and on what constituted the national rules for a national form of expression” (Levy, 1993, pp. 26-27). However, the concepts of “writing creatively” and “creative writing” have a long history. They date back to the 19th century in America. They were designed as university courses to help aspiring writers to perfect their literary works. Levy (1993) attributed the first creative writing course to the University of Chicago, called The Art of the Short Story (1896), while Grimes (1999) named Edwin Piper, Instructor in English at the University of Nebraska, the pioneer of this concept with his class Poetics (1896), in which the students were discussing their work critically. Irrespective of which course was the first, as Myers (2006, p.4) underlined in his book: “Originally the teaching of writing in American universities (creative or otherwise) was an experiment in education. Creative Writing as such emerged out of this experiment, gradually taking shape over the six decades from 1880 to the Second World War.”

In Great Britain, creative writing courses were emerging much later, in the last decades of the 20th century. The universities here had dismissed the importance of these kind of courses for many years and believed them to be an American thing (Beck, 2012). But the need for innovation led to “the 1980s expansion of creative writing as a formal subject in British higher education” (Beck, 2012. p. 14). The 21st century with all the technological advancements, need for innovation, and unexpected situations, imposed a more creative way of understanding the world. As a result, creativity has become an important educational goal and creative writing, as a teaching technique, has gained more importance in schools worldwide.


2.2. Defining Creative Writing

Creative Writing is a teaching technique “characterized by originality and imagination rather than truthfulness or standardization of thoughts” (Brookes & Marshall, 2004; cited in Temizkan, 2011). This method was defined as “a form of writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way” (Akhter, 2014, p. 1038), “suggest[ing] imaginative tasks such as writing poetry, stories, and plays” (Harmer, 2001, p. 259). It leads to effective learning because “creative writing is a journey of self-discovery, and self-discovery promotes effective learning” (Gaffield-Vile, 1998:31).

Harper (2015) defined creative writing as: “[…] the action of writing creatively, informed by human imagination and the creative and critical understanding of the creative writer” (p.1) Highlighting the fact that this approach involves critical thinking as well as creativity and imagination. Another characteristic of creative writing refers to the fact that it is an original work “for the purpose of record keeping, experience sharing, and free individual expression” (Stillar, 2013, p.166). In addition, it is considered exploratory in nature (Kenny, 2011), aesthetic in purpose (Maley, 2009), and guided by the writer’s need “[to] express thoughts, ideas and feelings in an imaginative way” (Kenny, 2011, p. 50). To sum up, “creative writing features imagination, self-expression, and exploration” (Yeh, 2017:3).


2.3. Benefits of using Creative Writing

Creative Writing is a technique that combines students’ inner creativity (Avila, 2015) with activities that require active participation. In addition, with this method, the students develop all four language skills, improve their vocabulary, and acquire knowledge in a playful and innovative way (Mitchell et al., 2019). It allows students to use English creatively, become genuinely engaged with the foreign language, and acquire an in-depth understanding of the target language (Collins & Amabile, 1999) and the culture in which the language emerged (Rodríguez et al., 2022). As a result, using creative writing in the language classroom enhances language proficiency, including expanded vocabulary, improved grammar, and increased fluency in spoken and written English.

Creative writing activities invite students of all ages to share real life or imaginary experiences with peers, while improving their works, debating points of view, and working together. This view of collaborative learning was emphasized in Guillén and Bermejo’ (2011, p.39) article: “[Creative Writing tasks] have a two-fold purpose: to create a rich linguistic environment, and to promote creativity and collaborative learning.” The Creative Writing sessions are followed by feedback sessions, in which students learn to express their thoughts, debate points of view, respond to the written text, and come up with ideas to improve the written text. All these instances boost reader-writer interaction and facilitate students’ heightened sense of audience (Harris, 1992; cited in Yeh, 2017). In addition, during Creative Writing sessions students are asked to infer meaning, intervene in a text, change perspectives, experiment with different types of written language, but also accept criticism, give feedback, and improve their work and knowledge constantly (Brown et al., 2014).

Creative writing is also a motivational strategy that allows learners the freedom to write on topics which they can relate to (Dai, 2010; Harmer, 2001; Tarnopolsky, 2005). According to Sir Ken Robinson (2011), creative assignments are great opportunities for students to experiment with the hidden meanings of words, release their imaginative powers, and enjoy the whole process of learning a foreign language. In other words, it helps “transforming” the classrooms into environments that foster not only knowledge about the target language, but also the development of life-long skills (Robinson & Aronica, 2016).

The Creative Writing approach also fosters the students’ active participation during the EFL classes, as they become willing to express their ideas and feelings, pay attention to their peers and help one another improve their English skills. It produces original and imaginative texts (Amabile, 1989), while actively engaging students in creating and reviewing each other’s works. In addition, it empowers learners and creates a more engaging, humanized classroom (Hanauer, 2012), and “thus a more fulfilling learning experience” (Yeh. 2017, p.18).

Even though there are researchers that dismiss the value of creative writing in connection to language learning (Smith, 2013), a lot of research has suggested that creative writing contributes to motivating learners, encouraging self-expression, building reading and writing skills, and promoting thinking abilities (Dai, 2010; Harmer, 2001; Stillar, 2013; Tarnopolsky, 2005). Thus, using Creative Writing in the EFL classroom is an opportunity to help learners develop all language skills, while encouraging them to experiment with language on their own and in an innovative way (Mitchell et al., 2019; Vazir & Ismail, 2009).


3. Methodology

3.1. The Study

The present study was a mixed-method inquiry (Bruke Johnson & Christen, 2014; Creswell, 2014; Dörnyei, 2007; Fauser, 2018; Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004), designed as a four-session investigation. The main aim was to investigate whether the Creative Writing approach had any benefits regarding the active engagement with the English language among upper secondary students. The instruments selected for collecting the data were: 2 sets of questionnaires (a preliminary and a post-study one) for students, keeping a teacher-researcher diary with reflections on EFL teaching-learning (Bartlett, 1995; Dewey, 1933; Dörnyei, 2001; Ko et al., 2013; Zeichner & Liston, 2014), inviting another EFL teacher to observe the sessions and give feedback (Hitchcock & Huges, 1995), and a focus group discussion with all the student-participants at the end of the investigation. The questionnaires included 15 statements about various elements of the EFL class and a scale ranging from total agreement to total disagreement. The statements were designed by the author of the present research and they targeted the participants’ attitude towards the English language and towards various elements of the EFL class.


3.2. Participants

The study sample included 50 students from 3 different upper secondary grades from a school in the Western part of Romania. Before the investigation, all these students and their parents were informed about the aim, importance and relevance of the study and they signed the letters of consent for participating in the inquiry. They were also tested for B1 level of English through a preliminary test (as the activities proposed required at least a B1 level of the target language). The test was designed following Cambridge FCE guidelines, and 84 students sat the test. Only 55 students were able to score 85 points or above, and they were invited to participate in the study. However, 5 of these students expressed their refusal to be included in the target group and only 50 students remained and signed the consent for the study.


3.3. Objectives

The main objectives of the research were: to investigate the advantages of using Creative Writing techniques during EFL classes, to help students improve their writing skills, to encourage student active participation during EFL classes, and to help the participants have positive attitudes (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995) towards EFL classes and English language.


3.4. Creative Writing Techniques

During the Creative Writing sessions, student participants were invited to experiment with various creative techniques, such as: guided phantasy, textual intervention, changing points of view in a story, and chain story. They were also allowed to use the Internet to improve their works during the sessions and they had a PowerPoint presentation in small groups of the discussed play (Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare). The investigation was divided into four sessions.

The first session opened with some icebreakers to invite students to get to know each other, followed by dividing the students into groups of five. The next activity was guided phantasy (the ball and balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet). The students were invited to experience the scene with all their senses. Then they had to write a paragraph about various details from the previous activity (colours, smells, clothes, etc.) and share it with their group. The teacher was supervising this part of the activity, providing help when required and listening for language errors. At the end of the session, some of the language errors were discussed. Students were invited to read a summary of the play as homework assignment.

The second session consisted of watching a video (Thug Notes) in which the Shakespearean play is analysed using slang (Afro-American slang). The students were then encouraged to make a creative presentation of the plot, working in the groups already assigned. The class ended with a feedback session where the presentations were analysed and suggestions for improvement were made. Students were invited to watch two versions of the play (traditional theatre and modern – theatre or movie) and write a review of the one they enjoyed the most.

During the third session, the students were encouraged to listen to an interview with an actor who played Romeo (for general meaning and specific information to fill an activity). Afterwards, each group wrote a 5-question interview for William Shakespeare. The groups switched the sheets and answered the questions in the voice of Shakespeare, doing online research.

The fourth session consisted of 10 PowerPoint presentations of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Each group had a different task related to the play (changing perspectives/ timeline/ ending etc). All the students were involved, paying attention to details and to their colleagues’ performance. During the feedback session, each student offered his/ her viewpoint on what they experienced during the four sessions – working in groups, reading, doing research, writing parts etc. – highlighting the good and the ‘need-more-improvement’ (one participant) parts of the sessions and how they contributed (or not) to raising their interest for the English language.


3.5. Data Collection and Data Analysis Instruments

Each session was observed by the teacher-researcher and another EFL teacher. At the end of each session, the two teachers discussed their notes and reflected together on various elements of the observed class. At the end of the study, they designed a table with the advantages and disadvantages of using Creative Writing assignments during EFL classes (see Table 1.1. below). The 2 sets of questionnaires were delivered before and at the end of the investigation. All the participants filled out these questionnaires. The results were collected and compared. For analysing the data, the clustered column chart, followed by a short comparison between the two sets of data for each statement – one from the beginning of the study and one post-investigation.

Figure 1.1. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 1.


The third instrument used to collect data was the recorded discussion with the student participants who expressed their points of view regarding the advantages and drawbacks of being taught English through Creative Writing activities. It was an informal discussion, guided by the following questions: What did you like/ dislike about these sessions? What were the best activities from your point of view? Would you like to have more EFL classes like these? Why/ why not? and How do you feel about EFL classes now?. The factor and text analysis methods were used to remain with the data that pointed towards the research questions. Descriptive and prescriptive analysis strategies of the data collected were implied throughout the interpretation phase to lead to valid conclusions.


4. Results and Discussions

The discussions with the EFL teachers invited to observe the classes pointed towards the fact that participants’ level of engagement with the target language was visibly higher at the end of the investigation. At the beginning, only 10 participants seemed to be genuinely involved, while during the fourth session, all 50 participants brought their contribution to the class. The two EFL teachers also organized their observations in the following table:

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Invite reflections on language skills
  • Improve student participation
  • Students – more attentive
  • Free imagination
  • Release creative potential
  • Encourage sharing opinions/ ideas
  • Improve writing skills through peer review and feedback session
  • Encourage critical thinking
  • Improves teamwork skills
  • Promote self-discovery and self-esteem
  • Classroom atmosphere transforms – relaxed, non-judgmental, a lot of sharing
  • Create better listeners
  • Lead to more involvement with the target language
  • Develop language skills and other abilities as well (presentation skills, critical thinking, teamwork abilities, creative drive, curiosity)
  • Take longer than 50 minutes (a regular class)
  • Require a lot of research, extensive reading à time-consuming
  • EFL teachers – reluctant (not enough emphasis on grammar and layouts)

Table 1.1. Observed advantages and disadvantages of using CW activities during EFL classes.


Moreover, many of the notes and reflections indicated that the warm atmosphere and the creative writing activities made the participants more relaxed, more involved with the target language, and willing to fill their language gaps in various ways (with the help of their peers, using the Internet, asking the teacher etc.). The participants had the chance to improve their language skills, in particular their writing ability in a foreign language, without being stressed about grades, peers’ and teacher’s judgmental attitudes, embracing criticism, and helping one another understand the complexities of written and spoken English.

The two sets of questionnaires revealed that Creative Writing tasks helped the student participants to become more interested in improving their English knowledge as shown in the chart below:

Figure 1.2. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 3.


From the chart above, one can notice that after the study more of the participants agreed with the statement, proving that the activities proposed during the 4 sessions changed the point of view of many of the participants. In addition, none of the student participants chose the “total disagreement” variant at the end of the investigation.

Statement 13 (I want to improve my level of English) addressed the same idea of student motivation for the English language and the participants’ answers were the following:

Figure 1.3. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 13.


Comparing the two charts, one can notice that student participants’ answers were very similar, and that many of the respondents changed their perception of learning English language after the 4-session investigation.

Moreover, 44 of the participants decided to be in “total agreement/ agreement” with the fact they perceived themselves as active participants of the EFL classes after the study, whereas only 18 of them considered themselves active participants of the EFL class before the sessions, as the following chart shows:

Figure 1.4. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 4.


The follow-up discussion with the participants highlighted the fact that Creative Writing tasks were creating a warm and positive atmosphere in the classroom to help students improve their language skills and acquire skills like critical thinking, presentation skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, teamwork skills. They underlined that (word-by-word quotation from the recording of the discussion):

  • “This kind of EFL classes keep us engaged and interested in improving our level of English.”
  • “All the sessions presented something different, but they were all fun. I listened attentively to my colleagues’ ideas, wrote a lot in English, accepted criticism and gave feedback. And the others also paid attention to me. It was so different from what I experience in a normal EFL class, where I am not seen because I am a shy person.”
  • “Before these classes, I didn’t really like English classes. Now I don’t know what to do to persuade my teacher to do more Creative Writing activities. I want all English classes to be like these.”
  • “I knew English was important, but I found many of the classroom activities boring. The creative activities and this new way of learning without being forced, but out of pleasure, is new to me and really awesome.”
  • “I found myself listening to music and podcasts only in English. And I love this change. Plus, I learnt that reading in English is amazing. I bought two books in English after reading online a short version of the play and I intend to read them this month.”

During this follow-up discussion, all student participants underlined the fact that they enjoyed the sessions because they were different from their EFL classes activities and that the Creative Writing assignments were beneficial for them and for improving their interest in English language. In addition, the researcher-teacher diary disclosed that the teachers experienced a feeling of accomplishment while watching all the participants involved in discussing ideas and participating actively in the teaching-learning process of English language.

All the data collected from the participants – students and teachers – highlighted that using Creative Writing assignments during EFL classes are beneficial for students. These activities lead to more active participants who enjoyed being challenged to improve their English skills in a creative way.


5. Limitations of the Investigation and Directions for Further Research

Creative writing tasks proved to be of real value in helping the upper secondary students, who participated in the research, find their language potential and their writing voices. However, even though the four sessions delivered some important findings regarding the level of involvement with the EFL class and the target language, for more general conclusions on how this kind of activities can change upper secondary students’ attitudes towards English, a longer period of time is required. Moreover, the four sessions did not rely entirely on Creative Writing method of teachings the student-participants were invited to use their phones, online resources, and their free time to improve their language skills. Thus, it would be better to differentiate between these extra elements and Creative Writing techniques, to observe what really influenced student participants to be more active and interested in developing their English skills.

In order to generalize the findings to a wider population of upper secondary students, the study should involve more EFL upper secondary students and teachers. In this way, more observation, notes and data would be compared and the findings would be cross-questioned to reach more pragmatic and representative results. The present investigation could also be turned into a nation-wide study, in which EFL teachers from different parts of Romania would accept the challenge to integrate Creative Writing into their teaching methods and make notes on the advantages and drawback of teaching English as a Foreign Language in this creative way. The teacher-researchers would have regular online meetings to share with the others their reflections and discuss the implementation of such a teaching strategy.


6. Conclusions

English classes are busy places and teachers and students must collaborate and find the best solutions to create a proper environment for learning to take place. The teachers have the great responsibility to bring the most innovative teaching strategies into the classroom to help their students reach proficiency in English, a competence that is highly valued by employers.

The Creative Writing strategy is an effective teaching technique as it contributes to the enhancement of language proficiency and creativity. It also helps teachers in creating the proper environment for learning to happen without focusing on language structures and vocabulary; instead, it combines all four language skills while giving students the possibility to relax, work in teams, and reflect on learning experience.

The integration of these factors in the EFL classroom enriches the learning experience, empowering students to communicate effectively and think creatively. In this way, students are guided towards improving not only their language skills in English, but other important life-long skills. Moreover, it also helps reaching the much-needed transformation in education.


About the Author

Ana-Maria Arșovan

ORCID ID: 0009-0006-6769-0634

University of West, Timișoara, Romania




Akhter, N. (2014). The Effectiveness of Creative Writing in Language Learning: A Comparative Study between Bangla Medium and English Medium Elementary Level (MA thesis). BRAC University.

Amabile, T.M. (1989). Grow up creative: Nurturing a Lifetime of Creativity. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Anoop, N. (2017). How many people in the world speak English?. Retrieved from: www.quora.com/How-many-people-in-the-world-speak-English.

Avila, H.A. (2015). Creativity in the English Class: Activities to Promote EFL Learning. In HOW, 22(2), pp. 91-103.

Barančicová. J. & Zerzová, J. (2015). English as a lingua franca used at international meetings. In Journal of Language and Cultural Education, 3(3), pp. 49-74. Retrieved from: https://sciendo.com/article/10.1515/jolace-2015-0018.

Bartlett, L. (1995). Teacher Development Through Reflective Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beck, H. (2012) (Ed.). Teaching Creative Writing. Pelgrave Macmillan.

Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Brown, P.C., Roediger III, H.L. & McDaniel, M.A. (2014). Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press.

Burke Johnson, R., & Christensen, L. (2014). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cheng, H. & Yang, M. (2022). Online student response systems and student engagement in large EFL classrooms. In Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 5(1), pp. 60-70. Retrieved from: https://journals.sfu.ca/jalt/index.php/jalt/index.

Collins, M.A. & Amabile, T.M. (1999). Motivation and creativity. In R.J. Sternberg (ed.), Handbook of Creativity, pp. 297-312. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Creswell, J.W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dai, F. (2010). English-language creative writing in Mainland China. In World Englishes, 29, pp. 546-556.

Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think: A Re-statement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Education Process. Boston, MA: DC Heath & Co.

Doff, S., & Smith, R., Eds., (2022). Policies and Practice in Language Learning and Teaching: 20th-century Historical Perspectives. Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv3142vgh.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. UK, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methodologies. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fauser, M. (2018). Mixed methods and multisided migration research: Innovations from a transnational perspective. In Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 12(4), 394-412.

Feng Teng, M. (2019). Autonomy, Agency, and Identity in Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Singapore: Springer.

Gaffield-Vile, N. (1998). Creative Writing in the ELT Classroom. In Modern English Teacher Journal, 7(3), pp. 31-36.

Grimes, T. (1999) (Ed.). The Workshop: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. New York: Hyperion.

Guillén, M.T.F, & Bermejo, M.L.G. (2011). Creative Writing for Language, Content and Literacy Teaching. In International Education Studies, 4(5), pp. 39-46. DOI:10.5539/ies.v4n5p39.

Hanauer, D. (2012). Meaningful literacy: Writing poetry in the language classroom. In Language Teaching, 45, pp. 105-115.

Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching (3rd ed.). Essex, UK: Longman.

Harper, G. (2015). Creative writing and education: an introduction. In G. Harper (Ed.), Creative writing and education. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, pp.1-16.

Hitchcock, G. & Hughes, D. (1995) Research and the Teacher (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Jiang, B. (2008). Chapter Ten: English Language Learners: Understanding Their Needs. In Counterpoints329, pp. 185–212. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42980129.

Johnson, R.B. & Onwuegbuzie, A.J. (2004). Mixed methods research: a research paradigm whose time has come. In Educational Research 33/7, pp. 14-26. Retrieved from:   doi.org/10.3102/0013189X033007014.

Kenny, S. (2011). Teaching creative writing in an ESL context. In Outside the Box: A Multi-Lingual Forum, 4(1), pp.50-54.

Ko, J., Sammons, P. & Bakkum, L. (2013).. CfBT Education Trust.

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by Rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise, and other bribes (2nd ed.). Mariner Books.

Kohn, A. (2000). The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Levy, A. (1993). The Culture and Commerce of the American Short Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maley, A. (2009). Creative writing for language learners (and teachers). Retrieved from: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/creative-writing-language-learners-teachers.

May, R. (1994). The courage to create. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

Mitchell, R., Myles, F. & Marsden, E. (2019). Second Language Learning Theories (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Myers, D.G. (1995). The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing since 1880. New York: Prentice Hall.

Otwinowska, A., Bergroth, M., & Zyzik, E. (2023). Supporting Multilingual Learning in Educational Contexts: Lessons from Poland, Finland and California. In S. Björklund & M. Björklund (Eds.), Policy and Practice for Multilingual Educational Settings: Comparisons across Contexts (138), pp. 147–172. Multilingual Matters / Channel View Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/jj.1231861.10.

Robinson, K. (2011). Out of Our Minds. UK: Capston Publishing LTD.

Robinson, K. & Aronica, L. (2016). Creative Schools. UK: Penguin Books.

Rodríguez, I. D., Miranda, A. M., Torres, J. M. T., Capperucci, D., Jiménez, C. R., & Soto, M. N. C. (2022). Fostering Linguistic and Sociocultural Competences through Culture Teaching in Secondary Education: A Teaching Proposal for the EFL Classroom. In Experiencias e investigaciones en contextos educativos. (1st ed.), pp. 310–320. Dykinson, S.L. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2gz3sn3.33.

Shakespeare, W. (1993). Romeo and Juliet. Dover Publications.

Smith, C. (2013). Creative writing as an important tool in second language acquisition and practice. In Journal of Literature and Language Teaching, 2(1), pp. 12-18.

Stillar, S. (2013). Raising critical consciousness via creative writing in the EFL classroom. In TESOL Journal, 4, pp. 164-174.

Tarnopolsky, O. (2005). Creative EFL writing as a means of intensifying English writing skill acquisition: A Ukrainian experience. In TESL Canada Journal, 23(1), pp. 76-88.

Temizkan, M. (2011). The effect of creative writing activities on the story writing skill. In Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11(1), pp. 933-939.

Vazir, N. and Ismail, S. (2009). Developing Creative Writing Skills in Early Childhood: A Case Study from Pakistan. In Journal of Educational Research, 12(2). Retrieved from: http://ecommons.aku.edu/.

Wilder, P., & Herro, D. (2016). Lessons Learned: Collaborative Symbiosis and Responsive Disciplinary Literacy Teaching. In Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy59(5), pp. 539–549. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/44011309.

Wilkinson, S. (1997). Analysing Focus Group Data. In D. Silverman (Ed.). Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. Sage Publication, pp. 82-103.

Yeh, C.C. (2017). Creative Writing in an EFL Writing Class: Student Perspectives. In English Teaching Learning, 41(3), pp. 1-29. DOI:10.6330/ELT.2017.41.3.01.

Zeichner, K.M. & Liston, D.P. (2014). Reflective Teaching: An Introduction (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.



Appendix – Student Questionnaire

Gender: I have been studying English for (years): English classes/ week:


Please read the statements carefully and choose the appropriate answer. Use the following scale: SA=strong agreement; A=agreement; N=neutral; D=disagreement; SD= strong disagreement.

Statement SA A N D SD
1. I like English classes.
2. English language is very important for me/ my future.
3. I am motivated to improve my English.
4. I am actively involved during EFL classes (ask questions, answer, express points of view etc.)
5. I read articles/ novels/ short stories/ plays/ poems in English.
6. I have online friends with whom I only speak English.
7. I enjoy expressing my points of view/ ideas in English during English classes.
8. I like listening activities during English classes (for general meaning, for specific meaning, for words, to answer accordingly – in a conversation).
9. I like reading activities during English classes (reading for details, for general ideas, for specific ideas, between the lines).
10. I like speaking activities during English classes (expressing my opinions, simulating real-life situations).
11. I like writing activities during English classes (essays, articles, reviews, narratives etc).
12. I feel relaxed during English classes.
13. I want to improve my level of English.
14. I am not afraid to use the English I know during classes, even if I make some mistakes.
15. I devote 1 hour daily to improving my English (games, apps, reading, video/ movie watching, music etc.)



Figure 1.1. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 1.
Figure 1.2. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 3.
Figure 1.3. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 13.
Figure 1.4. A visual comparison between the pre-study and post-study data regarding students’ agreement with statement 4.
Social Media: