Improving argumentative writing Effects of a blended

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98 Language Learning Technology, essays Jonassen Kim 2010 The two main types of conceptual models for analyzing argumentation. include Inch Warnick 2002 a the standard models which analyze essays according to typical. argumentation elements such as claim counterclaim rebuttal and supporting data e g Liu Stapleton. 2014 Nussbaum Kardash 2005 and b the more specific Toulmin based models which seek to. further categorize supporting claims into grounds and warrants. Previous studies in the context of English as first language L1 have found poor student performance in. argumentative writing For example Crowhurst 1990 reported that young writers started their essays as. an argument but then drifted into narratives that were mainly descriptive Native English speaking college. students tended to ignore opposing viewpoints when writing arguments to reason with their peers Felton. Crowell Liu 2015 Toplak and Stanovich 2003 similarly found undergraduate native English. speaking students generated more my side bias i e the tendency to ignore evidence against a position the. person favors This was also affirmed in studies by other researchers e g Nussbaum Kardash 2005. Wolfe Britt 2008 who found native English speaking participants tended to present claims that. supported their position and ignored counterclaims Basically research in L1 context suggests that typical. student weaknesses of argumentative writing include lack of support for reasons counterclaims and. supporting reasons for counterclaims, Second language writing researchers have also examined the performance of second language L2. English learners in argumentative writing particularly in higher education contexts Compared to L1. learners L2 learners generally face greater challenges with argumentative writing El Henawy Dadour. Salem El Bassuony 2012 The first possible reason for this may be attributed to cultural background. For example Indonesian EFL university students usually avoid giving counterarguments because. criticizing other people especially those of a higher social status is considered impolite Arsyad 1999. Second EFL learners may encounter greater grammatical deficiencies and limitations in vocabulary. Third L2 learners lack knowledge of the argumentative structure El Henawy et al 2012 Hirose 2003. Liu Stapleton 2014 Similar to L1 writings deficiencies in acknowledging counterarguments and. refuting them are often present in L2 learners arguments Liu Stapleton 2014 Most EFL university. learners in China for example did not supply a counter argument section in their essays Liu. Stapleton 2014 Qin Karabacak 2010 Hirose 2003 reported that Japanese EFL learners experience. in argumentative writing was practically non existent as most L2 writing instruction was oriented toward. translation at the sentence level El Henawy et al 2012 found that Egyptian EFL learners failed to. consider opposing viewpoints This finding was supported by Rusfandi 2015 who found that a majority. of third year Indonesian EFL learners developed a one sided model of argumentation in their essays by. focusing only on how to state their main claims and providing relevant reasons for it. Instructional Strategies, Despite cultural and language barriers researchers in L2 writing have argued that with relevant. instruction EFL students can overcome the difficulties of argumentative writing Bacha 2010 Since. most of the research on L2 has been closely dependent on L1 research L1 methods have had a significant. influence on the development of L2 writing approaches Myles 2002 As such the standard approach. used by many teachers in both L1 and L2 contexts is explicit or direct instruction on argumentation Cho. Jonassen 2002 the setting of the lexical standards and tone the organization of the argumentative. writing and the assessment of arguments Advocates of this method believe knowing that is a necessary. prerequisite for knowing how to Crowhurst 1990 However research findings has shown mixed results. Several studies showed that direct instruction improved argumentative writing e g Nussbaum. Schraw 2007 Sanders Wiseman Gass 1994 Others suggested no effect e g Knudson 1994. Reznitskaya Anderson Kuo 2007, In Hong Kong argumentative essay writing instruction similarly relies heavily on direct instruction from. teachers with a particular focus on appropriate lexical items and essay structure Even though students. are encouraged to research their topics beforehand they tend to wait for the teacher s answers Students. rarely practice independent thinking Murphy 1987 and seldom proactively consider opposing views. Yau Wai Lam Khe Foon Hew and Kin Fung Chiu 99, from different parties This corroborates other researchers observations that awareness of argumentation.
principles does not necessarily equate proficient application of these principles e g Reznitskaya et al. 2007 Rusfandi 2015, Some scholars have advocated the use of alternative methods to facilitate learner development of. argumentative writing such as constraint based argumentation scaffold Cho Jonassen 2002 self. regulated strategy development El Henawy et al 2012 model pieces of writing Knudson 1992. Lancaster 2011 electronic outlining De Smet Broekkamp Brand Gruwel Kirschner 2011. question prompts Jonassen et al 2009 or graphic organizer Nussbaum Schraw 2007 Yet again. past research findings did not always show consistent positive results For example although graphic. organizers may help increase rebuttals Nussbaum Schraw 2007 they may not necessarily enhance. students critical understanding of issues Scheuer et al 2010 Jonassen et al 2009 use a series of. question prompts e g Whose perspective supports your selection How might someone supporting the. other solution disagree with your preferred solution to engage students in argumentation about. engineering ethical dilemmas The researchers found that these prompts did not help students to. adequately consider and support counterclaims Knudson 1992 found no significant differences between. instructions guided by model answers and unaided free writing De Smet et al 2011 found that outline. writing with Microsoft Word helped organize texts but did not help with generating arguments. Purpose of the Study and Research Questions, Overall we believe that learning to write sound argumentative texts is complex Rather than favoring one. specific method over another we felt that a successful intervention required a careful mix of the various. methods The main purpose of this study was therefore to develop a relatively simple blended learning. intervention that could improve the argumentative writing of secondary school students following the. English as a Second Language ESL stream We then tested the effectiveness of this model using a quasi. experimental design on Secondary 4 10th grade students 16 to 17 year olds We also added an. expanded intervention gamification in one of the experimental groups in order to determine if the use of. digital game mechanics could increase students online contribution and further improve their. argumentative writing The present study was guided by the following specific questions. 1 Does a blended learning approach improve student argumentative writing compared to a teacher. led direct instruction approach, 2 Does a blended learning approach improve student argumentative writing compared to a blended. learning gamification approach, 3 Does a blended learning gamification approach improve student argumentative writing. compared to a control condition, 4 Does the application of gamification increase student online contribution.
5 How do students and teachers perceive the blended learning approach. The Blended Learning Approach, Figure 1 illustrates the blended learning approach used in this study The various blended learning. components were selected based on three main theoretical perspectives of L2 writing text modeling. process modeling and social aspect Barkaoui 2007 Cumming 2001 Text modeling aims to improve. L2 argumentative writing in terms of syntax vocabulary and organization Barkaoui 2007 while. process modeling focuses mainly on the strategies that underlie effective writing such as the process. model of the Toulmin argument model,100 Language Learning Technology. Figure 1 The blended learning model used in this study. In this study we facilitated text and process modeling through the use of writing samples and a writing. rubric To further promote process modeling as well as help students self monitor and reflect on their. argumentative writing we employed the thesis analysis and synthesis key TASK method Central to. the social aspect is the assumption that students acquire argumentative literacy through student teacher. and student peer interaction Newell Beach Smith VanDerHeide 2011 Teacher and peer. interactions can help identify weaknesses in students contributions and foster students willingness to. engage in an argument Smidt 2002 In this study we employed the use of online discussion through. Edmodo for students to interact with one another We also utilized gamification in order to examine. whether it would motivate students to make more meaningful contributions in online discussions Table 1. summarizes the main components incorporated in the blended learning approach In the following. paragraphs we describe each blended learning component in more detail. Table 1 Summary of Blended Learning Components,Theoretical Perspective Description of Component. Process Modeling Use of questions in the TASK procedural strategy to guide students to plan. write and self assess their arguments, Self Monitoring Use of message labels to classify and tag their comments during online. discussion these labels included claim opposing claim support evidence. rebuttal and conclusion, Text Modeling Use of argumentative writing rubrics.
Use of well and poorly written samples, Social Use of Edmodo as an online tool for peer and teacher feedback. Writing Samples and Rubric, We used two types of resources to facilitate text and process modeling of argumentation skills samples of. well and poorly written essays and an argumentative writing rubric The well and poorly written. Yau Wai Lam Khe Foon Hew and Kin Fung Chiu 101, argumentative texts were assessed according to the rubric of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary. Education HKDSE examination The three main criteria were content language use and essay. organization The quality of each sample whether well written or poorly written was determined by. mutual consent from at least two experienced markers of the HKDSE examination Samples of well and. poorly written essays were presented so that students could acquire the syntax and lexicons as well as. analyze the development of good versus poor writing which we hoped would help them internalize what. to do and what not to do Such activities help increase students awareness of stance taking options and. make them more mindful of their own choices Lancaster 2011 A writing rubric see Appendix A was. shown because it reduced students anxiety toward writing Wyngaard Gehrlce 1996 and showed. them how they could improve Bergdahl 1999,TASK Method. In this study we utilized the TASK method Unrau 1992 to scaffold the process modeling of writing. arguments as well as foster students self monitoring and self correcting of writing Self monitoring and. self correcting are important components of self regulation Zimmerman 2013 because they involve the. learners internal processes of reflection When self regulatory mechanisms such as monitoring and. correcting are incorporated into writing they generally produce better writings Graham Harris 2000. Graham Perin 2007 The eight stages outlined in the TASK method see Appendix B help students. explicitly consider and reflect on the different elements in argumentative writing. According to Unrau 1992 TASK helps students to recognize and challenge the claims and evidence. that constitute arguments to search for good reasons to support both claims and counterclaims to view. arguments from different perspectives and to engage in a dialectical process while constructing texts p. 436 U S high school students who used TASK attained significant improvements in their ability to. evaluate and write arguments Unrau 1989 More recently Koh 2004 found a significant improvement. of Secondary 3 Singapore students performance in their overall argumentative writing scores as a result. Teacher and Peer Feedback Through Online Discussion. Although self monitoring can help a learner reflect and make improvements upon the argumentative. writing process external feedback still plays an important role Lee Cheung Wong Lee 2013. Feedback helps point out errors and suggests areas for improvement To facilitate peer and teacher. feedback both in and out of class we used an online text based asynchronous social medium Edmodo. The text based nature of the online medium helped increase students awareness of grammar use When. students discover grammatical mistakes in their posts they tend either to revise them before posting the. messages or to make an extra post correcting their errors Yamada 2009 Edmodo was selected because. it looked similar to Facebook a leading social network tool used by many students However unlike. Facebook Edmodo promoted a more secure online environment for student interaction see Kongchan. In this study we utilized both teacher and peer feedback via online interaction on Edmodo A teacher s. feedback was useful because it helped focus students discussion on the topic prevent possible conflicts. writing models on student argumentative writing in a Hong Kong secondary school It also examined whether the application of digital game mechanics increased student online contribution and writing performance Three classes of Secondary 4 students to 17year olds participated in the 16 7 week study The first experimental group n 22 utilized the blended learning gamification

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