Scaffolding Singaporean students to write vividly in the Chinese 'mother tongue', Mandarin

Chung, Tzemin, Anderson, Neil, Leong, Munkew, and Choy, Waiyin (2014) Scaffolding Singaporean students to write vividly in the Chinese 'mother tongue', Mandarin. Advances in Language and Literary Studies , 5 (1). pp. 40-52.

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Abstract

This paper details results from a three-year study investigating how to help students in Singapore write vivid compositions in Mandarin, the Chinese 'mother tongue'. Mastery of the mother tongue by Singaporean students has become an important government priority in recent years. The strategies employed by this study included the use of information and communications technology (ICT) mediated scaffolds such as collaborative mind maps and online peer editing to help students learn micro-writing strategies. This paper outlines the process of using various scaffolds to support students to learn and apply the action chain micro-writing strategy. A class of 31 Primary 4 from a neighbourhood school participated in this study. Findings indicated that students were very enthusiastic about writing in the ICT-mediated environment. Contrary to the teacher's initial belief, students could be scaffolded to write action chains quickly. Findings highlighted the potential of scaffolding students in learning small chunks of writing strategy in an ICT-mediated environment that enabled them to practice these strategies in their composition writing until they could master and apply them. These micro-writing strategies gradually built up to a complex set of skills, including expressive writing. Moreover, students enjoyed working in groups and editing their peers' work online. This showed that peers could be engaged as scaffolders in the classroom to free up the teacher' time, allowing the teacher more time to spend with students who were not performing well.

Item ID: 31469
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: collaborative learning, pedagogical issues, elementary education, teaching/learning strategies, applications in subject areas
ISSN: 2203-4714
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2014 01:21
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 100%
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