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A Study On The Effects Of Continuation Task Types On Senior High School Students' English Writing Quality

Posted on:2022-09-28Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:J LuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2505306722487654Subject:Subject teaching
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Recently,the continuation task,as an effective means of facilitating English learning and a valid method of evaluation,has received attention from more and more scholars and English teachers.Wang(2010)believed that the strength of alignment effects decided the effect of language acquisition.The stronger the alignment effect is,the more significant the language acquisition effect is.And he put forward two new forms of continuation tasks that are different from the single-round continuation task: the iterative continuation task and the comparative continuation task.These two forms of continuation tasks strengthen the interaction between the reader and the text,consequently promoting alignment effects.Considering that the continuation task is a popular way of writing currently and there is a lack of empirical studies about different types of continuation tasks at home and abroad,let alone studies on comparisons between them,the present study introduces the single-round continuation task and the iterative continuation task into English instruction,trying to probe into effects of continuation task types on writing quality.This study aims to answer two research questions: 1)What effects do continuation task types have on alignment effects? 2)What effects do continuation task types have on writing quality?In order to solve these two research questions,74 senior two students whose English educational backgrounds were similar in a four-star Nanjing senior high school were picked as research participants.In the first week of the experiment,the author divided them into Group One(G1)and Group Two(G2)according to the scores of Early Semester English Examination and the pretest.There didn't exist significant differences between participants of G1 and those of G2 in English proficiency.G1 participants received one-week instruction and four-week practice of the single-round continuation task.At the same time,G2 participants received one-week instruction and four-week practice of the iterative continuation task.In the seventh week of the experiment,all participants were supposed to complete post-tests independently within 40 minutes.Then,the author randomly chose 20 participants(10 in G1,10 in G2)who received face-to-face interviews to examine their feelings and opinions about two types of continuation tasks.The statistics collected in this study came from Early Semester English Examination paper,pretest continuations,post-test continuations and interview recordings.The author marked all the continuations according to Evaluation Standard of Overall Writing quality and Textual Coherence.What's more,the alignment effect in post-test continuations was analyzed from three dimensions which are lexical alignment,phrasal alignment and sentential alignment.In the accordance with the results of quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis,the major findings are listed as follows: 1)Compared with the single-round continuation task,the iterative continuation task strengthened alignment effects better.In terms of lexical alignment,the iterative continuation task was more efficient in promoting not only conscious alignment but also unconscious alignment,thus helping participants internalize overall information of the source text and construct theme-based ideas.As for phrasal alignment,the iterative continuation task also performed better.However,both of these two types of continuation tasks couldn't improve participants' competence of applying language knowledge flexibly because participants focused on content richness while ignored form diversity.In respect of sentential alignment,although the iterative continuation task triggered stronger alignment effects than the single-round continuation task,the disparity between their effects was not so significant.The design of the source text and participants' consciousness of memorizing sentences largely influenced the intensity of sentential alignment.2)The single-round continuation task and the iterative continuation task both resulted in the improvement of overall writing quality.But the iterative continuation task was more effective in urging participants to interact with the source text,so participants could modify their writings in time and improve writing performance.It's valid to say that the iterative continuation task worked better in promoting the overall writing quality.And the overall writing quality and alignment effects are in positive correlation.3)The iterative continuation task and single-round continuation task both contributed to the improvement of textual coherence.Textual coherence is positively correlated with alignment effects.And the effect of the iterative continuation task was more significant.After drills lasting for five weeks,participants gradually learned to summarize the content of the source text,predict the later plots properly and use multiple cohesive devices.As the single-round continuation task led to the missing of details and fewer frequencies of interacting with the source text,its positive effect on textual coherence was not as remarkable as that of the iterative continuation task.Some pedagogical implications were illustrated based on the findings mentioned above: 1)Teachers should introduce multiple forms of the continuation tasks into daily English writing instruction and highlight the importance of participants' alignment with the source text.2)Not only should teachers lay emphasis on the richness of content,but they also need to guide students to pay attention to the diversity of language form.In this way can students' ability of applying languages and creative thinking be cultivated.3)Students ought to bear in mind that the continuations' coherence within itself and with the preceding story must be guaranteed.It's vital for students to accumulate various types of conjunctions and avoid repeating simple and monotonous conjunctions in their writings.4)Teachers are recommended to select and adapt the text for the continuation task in accordance with students' cognitive level so that enough space is left for students' imaginations.Although the author is dedicated to ensuring the preciseness and efficiency of this study,there still exist some limitations such as the small number of participants,the narrow range of participants,short duration of the experiment,the limited aspects of writing quality and so on.Based on these limitations,some suggestions are offered to improve future studies.First,research participants ought to cover students of different ages and in various regions.In addition,the lasting time of studies is supposed to be prolonged in order to examine continuous influences that continuation task types exert on writing quality.Furthermore,future scholars are recommended to include more dimensions of writing quality in their studies such as writing accuracy,complexity and content richness so that comprehensiveness of research can be enhanced.
Keywords/Search Tags:the iterative continuation task, the single-round continuation task, alignment effects, writing quality, senior high school English
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