Information and communication technology mediated writing strategy: scaffolding mother tongue Chinese composition writing in primary 4 classrooms

Chung, Tzemin (2012) Information and communication technology mediated writing strategy: scaffolding mother tongue Chinese composition writing in primary 4 classrooms. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

It is not an easy task for Chinese students in Singapore to learn to write in their mother tongue as there is no need to use Chinese in everyday life. When the environment for using the language is almost non-existent, there is not much motivation to learn the language. This situation is reflected in schools where students in general, are weak in Chinese. Schools introduce different programs to raise their interest in learning. Unfortunately, these programs are usually short-term and not research-based. With the booming economy in China, there is now a pressing need for evidence-based research to enhance the learning and teaching of the Chinese language.

My study, which was built on the social constructivism framework, aimed at finding effective ways to help teachers scaffold their students to write, as well as finding out if these scaffolds can be implemented via information and communications technologies (ICT). To achieve these ends, different instructional strategies were chosen: A language game was built to motivate students to learn basic language skills. Microwriting strategies (e.g., strategies to write action chains, feeling chains) were adopted to improve students' composition writing ability. An online collaborative environment was created to simulate an immersive environment in which the collaborative mind maps were used to brainstorm synonyms, peer editing software to allow students to edit one another's work and the teacher to provide immediate feedback. Composition templates of varying difficulty levels were created to scaffold students of different Chinese language ability.

A case study research method was employed to analyze and explain the complex process and outcome. It was done through observation, student and teacher interviews, analysis of artifacts, and statistical analysis of exam scores. Results were triangulated to lend confidence to the findings.

Findings indicated that students could be scaffolded to write with micro-writing skills. They were also very enthusiastic in writing in the ICT-mediated environment. Peers gradually learned to help one another via ICT. From the findings, I have derived several principles in how to scaffold the writing of Chinese compositions. First, implement ICT-mediated strategies on an integrated (seamless) platform to immerse students and use online portfolios to keep track of their learning processes; Second, emphasize collaborative work in the ICT-mediated platform; Third, create scaffolds with varying degrees of difficulty to suit different ability students; Fourth, use well-designed games to motivate weaker students to acquire basic writing skills; Fifth, scaffold small chunks of writing skills at a time, building up to a complex set of skills over time.

Item ID: 27876
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Chinese composition writing strategies; Chinese language; collaborative learning; education; ICT; information technology; integrated software platform; learning; micro-writing skills; peer editing; Singapore; teaching; writing
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 07:08
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl Maori) @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies @ 50%
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