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样例呈现方式对英语写作影响的实证研究

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1 Introduction

  1.1 Background of the Study As an indispensable part of language learning, writing embodies learners’comprehensive language competence, reflecting their degree of English proficiency. Wen(1996, p.129) states that “the requirements of English writing ability would become one of themost important criteria for qualified personnel in the 21st century”. According to The CollegeEnglish Curriculum Requirements (2004, p.9), “The composition should be basicallycomplete in content, appropriate in diction and coherent in discourse. Students are expected tobe able to have a command of basic writing strategies”. Therefore, it is the most efficient wayto examine learners’ writing capacity in different aspects such as vocabulary, grammar, textualand pragmatic competence.However, writing is a complicated process and being able to write well is considered tobe the last skill in language learning. Few fell light-hearted to complete a formal writing task.During the writing process, learners are confronted with various kinds of difficulties rangingfrom vocabulary, structure to content. For example, the greatest difficulty is their monotonouslanguage, unconventional expression, the tendency of verbalization, etc. (Ma & Wen, 1999).Besides, unclear or illogical contents, loose structures with ambiguous topic sentences andbad cohension can be observed in their written productions. Therefore, the contradictionsbetween the importance of writing and the unsatisfying reality of learners’ writingperformance put forward the requirements on studies on searching for a simple and effectiveway to improve writing instruction and learning. .........   1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study Writing is an extremely complex cognitive activity. As Kellogg (1996) suggested in hiswriting model, various writing processes of planning, translating and reversing have differentcognitive demands and compete for learners’ limited working memory resources. Cognitiveoverload is considered as a critical problem for learners when they are completing acomposition within a limited time. Therefore, it is an important research goal to understandthe features of learners’ cognitive architectures and develop instructional methods toefficiently manage their cognitive load in writing so as to promote learners’ writingperformance.Worked-example effect is one of the important instructional design principles derivedfrom cognitive load theory. Worked-examples refer to reading samples displayed beforewriting tasks in the current experiment. More and more researchers now admit that the reading and writing are two closely integrated processes. Reading materials with a topicfamiliar to learners can easily activate and construct relevant schemas and decrease learners’cognitive load, thus facilitating effective transfer and improvement of their writingperformance. Recently more and more importance has been attached to learners’ cognitiveload in language learning process, but the worked-example effect based on cognitive load onwriting performance has not yet attracted sufficient attention.The purpose of this study is to provide further information and empirical support forworked-example effect via cognitive load on learners’ writing performance. The present studycompares the effect of complete, incomplete and no worked-example provision before writing.It addressed the following questions:(1) Is the presentation of worked-examples before writing a more effective way ofimproving L2 learners’ writing performance than no worked-examples’ presentation? If so, dothe learners under the former condition undergo lower cognitive load in the writing task thanthose under the latter condition?(2) Is the presentation of incomplete worked-examples before writing a more effectiveway of improving L2 learners’ writing performance than complete worked-examples’presentation? If so, do the learners under the former condition undergo lower cognitive load inthe writing task than those under the latter condition? ............   2 Literature Review   This chapter gives a comprehensive review of what has been achieved and what needsto be done in the study of worked-example effect on written production. According toprevious studies, worked-examples have been developed in mathematics or geometry, music,chess, athletics, and computer programming (Atkinson, Derry, Renkl, & Wortham, 2000), butthe researches on language instruction, especially writing instruction, are quite limited, letalone the empirical ones. In the meanwhile, of the few studies that compare effects of thecomplete and incomplete worked-examples (two presentation forms of worked-examples) onlearners’ writing performance, there is no consistent conclusion. The literature review of thethesis is divided into three parts. The first two parts review the theoretical background ofworked-example learning, including previous research of the Cognitive Load Theory and theworked-example effect. The third part reviews the previous research of written production.   2.1 Previous Researches on Cognitive Load Theory During the past two decades, Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) has been developedsubstantially in the field of educational psychology and instructional design. It was first putforward by John Sweller and Van Merrienbor while studying problem solving from theperspective of the distribution of the cognitive resources in the early 1980s.According to CLT, human cognitive architecture includes limited working memory andunlimited long-term memory. Working memory is limited both in its capacity and durationthat information can be retained. It can deal with around 7 plus or minus 2 elements or chunksof information at any one time (Miller, 1956) and the information can only be held for nomore than 30 seconds unless rehearsal takes place (Cowan, 2001). CLT confirms that bothproblem solving and learning are destined to consume cognitive resource. Human’s workingmemory is the temporary storage and manipulation of information and it is important for avariety of complicated cognitive activities (Baddeley, 2003). Cognitive load is the totalamount of cognitive activity imposed on working memory at an instance in time (Cooper,1998). Given the limitation of human cognitive resources and working memory, if the overallresources required in learning activity overwhelm the total cognitive resources that anindividual possesses,it will result in the unbalanced and lack of resource allocation withinworking memory, thus influencing the effectiveness of learning. ........   2.2 Previous Researches on Worked-Example Effect Predicted by cognitive load theory, a broad range of instructional designs have beendeveloped in controlling the conditions of learning. Among them, “the worked-example effectis the best known cognitive load reducing technique” (Paas et al., 2003, p.4). Specifically, itrefers to the learning effect observed when worked-examples are used as part of instruction,which is different from other instructional techniques such as problem-solving and discoverylearning (Renkl, 2005). According to the worked-example effect, novice learners benefit fromworked-example learning rather than conventional problem solving, as their attention isdirected to what need to be studied as well as the right solution steps rather than inefficientstrategies that place heavy demands on working memory (Sweller, 2006). ...........   3 Research Methodology...... 17 3.1 Research Questions.......17 3.2 Research Design....17 3.2.1 Participants......18 3.2.2 Instruments......18 3.2.3 Materials..........19 3.2.4 Procedures.......20 3.3 Scoring........... 22 3.4 Data Collection and Analysis.......24 4 Results and Discussion.......25 4.1 Results of Writing Performance...........25 4.2 Discussion......45 5 Conclusion.......... 51 5.1 Major Findings...... 51 5.2 Implications........... 52 5.3 Limitations of the Study....... 53 5.4 Suggestions for Future Study.......53   4 Results and Discussion   This chapter demonstrates the research findings in two sections. The first sectiondisplays the results from the students’ written products and WCLS in the empirical study. Thecollected data were analyzed through SPSS17.0 by applying a series of one-way ANOVAsand paired sample tests. The second section is followed by a discussion concerning researchquestions in accordance with the results in the first section.   4.1 Results of Writing Performance As mentioned in the previous chapter, participants’ writing performance is measuredfrom two perspectives: writing scores from three rating categories including organization,content and language; the three measures of linguistic performance, that is, fluency,complexity and accuracy. In this section, the participants’ writing performance in the threegroups is compared to testify if the worked-example effect has remarkable influence on theirwriting efficiency.To compare the students’ writing performance in the three groups and to find out whichgroup has made more noticeable progress in organization, content and language, the threeaspects are analyzed respectively from the pre-test and post-test.To employ the one-way ANOVA, the test of homogeneity of variances is needed to becarried out first to see if the data meet the qualification of the one-way ANOVA test. Theresults reported in table 4-1 show that the significance level of variance is 0.731 (p>0.05),which is good enough to meet the qualification of the one-way ANOVA. Then the one-wayANOVA is carried out and the data indicates that there exists no significant difference amongNWE group, CWE group and IWE group in their scores of organization in the pre-test, forF=0.125, p=0.883>0.05, and the descriptive statistics also display their similar performancein organization (M=5.5714, M=5.4255, M=5.5490 respectively).   .........   Conclusion   The conclusion chapter mainly consists of four sections. The first section reports themajor findings of the empirical study. The second section presents the theoretical andpedagogical implications of the study. The third section recognizes the limitations of the study.The final section proposes suggestions for future study.The experiment aims to answer the questions whether worked-examples have an effecton learners’ writing performance and how different worked-examples’ presentation formsinfluence learners’ written production. Three groups of participants are assigned to finish thewriting tasks with the same topic in the same time limit. Through the empirical study and aseries of statistic analysis, the major findings could be summarized as follows:Firstly, the students offered either complete or incomplete worked-examples beforewriting make more rapid progress in writing performance than those offered noworked-examples in the aspect of organization, content and language. Further analysis of thelinguistic measures reveals that worked-examples either complete or incomplete also exertsignificant effect on linguistic fluency and complexity. However, although there is also someincrease in accuracy for all the three groups, only the incomplete worked-examples broughtforth significant changes and the improvements of both the NWE group and the CWE groupwere not statistically significant. According to Flower and Haye (1981)’s writing models,various writing processes are different in cognitive demands for attentional resources andcomplete for the limited working memory resources, therefore, cognitive overload oftenhappened. Worked-examples displayed before writing could be served as a method to reduceelement interactivity among the subprocesses of writing, thus sparing more working memorycapacity and better improving their performance in the latter writing tasks. The data presentedin WCLS suggests that students provided with either comple{代写论文就找www.haolw.com好论文网}te or incompleteworked-examples undertook lower cognitive load than those with no worked-examples beforethe writing tasks. ......... The reference (omitted)(责任编辑:gufeng)本文来自好论文网(www.haolw.com),未经允许,不得转载。
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