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Using Task-Based Approach To Improve College English Writing Proficiency

Posted on:2006-02-02Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:P Y WanFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360182466478Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
In China, great importance has been attached to college English teaching, while English writing is still a headache for many teachers and students. New teaching approaches should be found to overcome the shortcomings of current approaches and to improve the teaching of college English writing. There have been many studies on the task-based teaching approach. However, there is still a lack of the specific and efficient mode of implementing this approach. This thesis explores the implementation of task-based teaching approach by using detailed quantitative and qualitative data. It reviews the procedure of implementing this approach in the teaching of writing, the problems encountered during the process, and the improvement the students have made. An exploratory framework for the implementation of this approach is proposed, and the advantages are analyzed.Chapter one is the overview of the current situation of the teaching of college English writing. The problems existing in the writing task design, teachers' feedback, students' interest and motivation, and writing strategies are analyzed. Then the task-based approach is put forward to solve these problems.Chapter two is the literature review. Some theories on English writing are introduced, suggesting that writing should be viewed as a recursive, interactive, communicative, and social activity, and the writing process can be designed as a group-work task to arouse students' interest, sense of audience and interaction. The development of writing instruction and research is introduced and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach are analyzed. When introducing the task-based teaching approach, the author covers its psycholinguistic basis, basic concepts, advantages, and the pedagogical implementation in the teaching of writing. Three stages including pre-task, during-task, and post-task are introduced. As for task design, several elements that need consideration when designing a writing task are mentioned.Chapter three is the description of the experimental study. Two classes, each comprising 37 non-English-major sophomores in Wuhan University took part in this experiment and the two classes were at the same level of their language proficiency and writing proficiency according to the analysis of their scores in the final examination and pre-test writing. The research procedure lasts about 3 months, i.e. 12 weeks, and includes 3 steps: pre-test, experimental stage, and post-test. The experimental class adopts the task-based approach while the control class uses thetraditional product approach. Four tasks are designed and for the experimental class, the mode of the task is editing English newspapers. Procedures of implementing a task are introduced including brainstorming and group-discussion in class, group-discussion after class and editing newspapers, showing around the newspapers and doing peer review, and the teacher's final comments in class.Chapter four is data collection and analysis. Four sources of data including the scores of the final examination last semester, the pre-test and post-test compositions and the scores, the students' answers to the two questionnaires and all the writing products accomplished by the two classes are introduced. According to the analysis of questionnaire results, most of the students have recognized the advantages of task-based approach. Then the writing products of the two classes are analyzed. We can find that the experimental class outperforms the control class in several aspects including the variety of genres, the enrichment of the content, the flexibility and variety of applying words. The last part is the collection and analysis of the quantitative data. SPSS is used to measure the scores of the two classes in the pre-test and post-test, and the statistics on the writing performance of the two classes, including the total number of words per composition, the number of T-units, the mean length of each T-unit, the token/type ratio, as well as the errors/words ratio. The Paired Samples t-Test and Independent Samples t-Test are used to examine the difference of the two classes' writing performance in the pre-test and post-test.Chapter five includes the findings and discussion. All the statistical analysis and the results of the questionnaires have proved the author's hypotheses: The implementation of the task-based approach in the teaching of writing is efficient in improving students' interest and motivation, and it is efficient in improving students' writing proficiency. Besides, the limitations of this research and some suggestions on further study are also proposed.
Keywords/Search Tags:task-based approach, college English writing, experiment, data analysis
PDF Full Text Request
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