A Systematic Review of Interventions Improving University Students’ EFL Writing Competence


  • Dandan Zhang
  • Joanna Tjin Ai Tan
  • Swagata Sinha Roy


Interventions; University students; English as a Foreign Language; writing competence


Writing competence in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is a critical skill for university students, as it affects their academic and career success. However, many EFL university students are not capable of writing English compositions and face considerable challenges in developing their writing skills. To address these challenges, various interventions have been proposed, yet few studies have integrated them in recent years. This study employed PRISMA guidelines to analyze forty-two empirical studies on interventions improving university students’ EFL writing competence based on peer-reviewed journals published between 2012 and 2022. The review identified the types of interventions, evaluated their effectiveness in improving students' writing competence, and provided recommendations for teachers and future researchers. Findings showed that teaching instruction, feedback, cooperative learning and modern technology were applied into teaching activities, which improved university students’ EFL writing competence to various degrees. Teachers are required to select suitable interventions or combine different interventions to help university students to effectively solve problems in English writing. Furthermore, the findings will make a contribution to understanding recent interventions in EFL writing instruction in university settings, providing a reference for educators to develop evidence-based practices to enhance university students’ EFL writing competence.



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