Luận văn the effects of teachers' use of direct and indirect feedback on learners' writing english argumentative essays

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ABSTRACT
The present study attempts to investigate the effects of teachers’ use of direct
and indirect feedback on learners’ writing English argumentative essays in a context of
the Mekong Delta. To achieve the aim of the study, 60 English high school teachers
who participated in a 12-week- training course on English improvement. Direct/
Indirect feedbacks were used so as to affect the quality of writing argumentative
essays. Feedback delivery centered on content, organization, grammar and spelling.
The result showed that the learners benefited more from feedback on content and
organization than feedback on grammar and spelling. The questionnaires result also
showed that the learners had better attitudes on teacher’s feedback which focus on
organization and content rather than feedback on grammar and spelling. Furthermore,
the learners from the interviews presented their positive attitudes towards teacher’s
feedback, either direct feedback or indirect feedback. The interviewees agreed that
their writing argumentative essays’ abilities had significantly improved in the content
and the organization after joining in the training course.
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LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
3.1 Research questions and research instruments……………………………27
3.2 Questionnaire on participants’ attitude…………………………………..30
3.3 Writing sessions of the textbook.........…………………………………...31
4.1 Descriptive statistics of the pretest and post-test ……………………....34
4.2 Participants’ writing performance before and after the study………….35
4.3 Participants’ attitude on direct and indirect feedbacks…………...….....37
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LIST OF FIGURES
2.1 Aristotle structure of argument ..………………….…..………………. 12
2.2 Toulmin model of argument ……..……………………………..…….. 12
2.3 Case structure of argument …………….………………………….….. 13
2.4 Standard organization for an argumentative essay……………………...17
2.5 Theoretical framework of the study………………………………………24
3.1 A framework for assessing essay as VSTEP………… ……………… 28
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION ................................................................................................................................. i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................. ii
ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................ iii
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................................ iv
LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................ v
TABLES OF CONTENT ................................................................................................................ vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................1
1.1 Rationale ................................................................................................................ 1
1.2 Aims of the research .............................................................................................. 3
1.3 Significance of the research ................................................................................... 3
1.4 Organization of the research .................................................................................. 3
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................5
2.1 Attitude .................................................................................................................. 5
2.2 Argumentation ....................................................................................................... 7
2.2.1 The notion of argument ................................................................................... 7
2.2.2 Types of argument ........................................................................................... 8
2.2.3 Characteristics of arguments ........................................................................... 9
2.2.4 Structure of argument .................................................................................... 11
2.2.5 Organizing the argumentative essay ............................................................. 14
2.2.6 Evaluating the argumentative essays ............................................................. 18
2.3 Direct feedback and indirect feedback ................................................................ 19
2.4 Related studies ..................................................................................................... 20
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ..................................................26
3.1 Research questions and hypotheses ..................................................................... 26
3.1.1 Research questions ........................................................................................ 26
3.1.2 Research hypotheses...................................................................................... 26
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3.2 Research design ................................................................................................... 27
3.3 Participants........................................................................................................... 27
3.4 Research instruments ........................................................................................... 27
3.4.1 Writing tests .................................................................................................. 28
3.4.2 Questionnaire ................................................................................................. 30
3.4.3 Interview ........................................................................................................ 31
3.5 Materials .............................................................................................................. 32
3.5.1 Description of teaching materials .................................................................. 32
3.6 Research procedure .............................................................................................. 33
3.7 Data analysis ........................................................................................................ 33
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS ..................................................................................................35
4.1 Participants’ writing performance before and after the study ............................. 35
4.2 The participants’ attitudes on direct and indirect feedback ................................. 37
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS ...........................................41
5.1 Discussions .......................................................................................................... 41
5.1.1Summary of the results ................................................................................... 41
5.1.2 Discussions of the results .............................................................................. 41
5.2 Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 45
5.3 Pedagogical implications ..................................................................................... 45
5.4 Limitation and directions for further research ..................................................... 46
5.4.1 Limitation ...................................................................................................... 46
5.4.2 Directions for further research ...................................................................... 46
REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................................47
APPENDIXES
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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
This chapter consists of four sections and provides an overall introduction to
the study. The first section presents the rationale of the study. The purposes of the
study are stated in the second section. The third section discusses the significance of
the study. The chapter ends with an overview of each chapter of the study.
1.1 RATIONALE
English is an international language and its significance has been showed
through increasing number of English learners in Vietnam. There are many reasons for
people to learn English such as communication, higher education or job promotion.
Since English is one of the most popular international languages, it attracts much
attention from young people these days, especially in their career orientation.
Among the four language skills, writing has traditionally taken a big place in
most English language curriculum although it is sometimes felt that a command of the
spoken language and of reading is more important (White, 1987). White claims that
today writing remains the commonest way of examining student performance in
English, especially for academic purposes. White also notices writing is a skill which
can be acquired through formal instruction. Writing is the natural outlet for learners’
reflections on their speaking, listening and reading experiences in their second
language (Leki, 1991). Therefore, writing academic essays is considered as the most
significant skill that learners have to acquire in order to get required scores in
standardized tests. Due to the complexities of learning to write in second language, the
effective writing methods were raised among second language writing researchers.
According to Hobelman and Wiriyachitra (1990), the traditional approach to
teaching writing is deficient in two important respects. First, learners’ writing abilities
will be observed to make sure that they know how to write by the teacher. Second, the
teacher focuses on form (i.e., syntax, grammar, mechanics and organization) rather
than on content and considers the content as a vehicle to reflect on the correct
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expressions of grammatical and organizational patterns taught and word choice. Leki
(1991) argues that the focus on these types of writing exercises is primarily on
language structure and learners get good marks if they write texts with as few surface
errors as possible. Hence, with the emphasis on the sentence-based level of traditional
approach is a big limitation in light of teaching writing at a discourse level, McCarthy
(2001).
An innovative approach has been introduced into second language writing
pedagogy to help the learners overcome the above gaps. Hobelman and Wiriyachitra
(1990) states that the modern approach to the teaching of writing involves a
combination of the communicative approach and the process approach which take into
consideration the audience of text and purpose for writing.
The search for effective methods in teaching academic writing has raised a
great deal of concern. However, few studies have been conducted on the effects of
written feedback, either direct or indirect on academic writing, especially on
argumentative essays. As a result, this study focused on the effects of teachers’ use of
feedback on argumentative essays. English teachers participated in the study which
was a one group pre-post-test experimental design. They got involved in taking the
pre- and post-test writing argumentative essays and in responding to a questionnaire.
Six of them were invited to answer the interviews. It was hypothesized that the use of
direct and indirect feedback would have positive impacts on the participants’
argumentative writing performance, i.e. on audience awareness and purpose, content,
ideas organization, and language features. The researcher also wishes to know how
participants’ attitudes are towards the teachers’ use of the types of feedback.
In general, the current research looked into the effects of the teacher’s direct
and indirect feedback on the learners’ argumentative essay writing and learners’
attitude towards the feedback in argumentative essay writing. The study hopes to be
able to improve insights into enhancing the quality of teaching argumentative essays in
a Vietnamese context.
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1.2 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
Concerning the challenges mentioned regarding second language writing
pedagogy and the weight of relevant theories and studies on the positive relationship
between the teachers’ use of direct and indirect feedback and learners writing
performance on argumentative essay, the present study aims to investigate:
- The effects of teachers’ direct and indirect feedback on the learners'
argumentative essays in terms of content, spellings and grammar;
- The learners’ attitudes towards the teacher’s use of direct and indirect
feedback in teaching writing English argumentative essays.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH
By conducting this study, the current study hopes that the teachers’ use of direct
and indirect feedback could bring about positive effects on learners’ ability in writing
argumentative essays. Learners hold positive attitudes towards teachers’ use of direct
and indirect feedback.
The present study also hopes to contribute empirical evidence in a Vietnamese
context about using direct and indirect feedback in teaching argumentative essays.
1.4 ORGANIZATION OF THE RESEARCH
This study is comprised of five chapters: Introduction, Literature Review,
Research Methodology, Results, and Discussions and Conclusions. The structure of
each chapter is described as follows.
Chapter 1 provides a background of the study. The chapter firstly addresses the
rationale of the study. Then follow presentation and discussion of the aims and
significance of the study. Finally, the organization of the study is presented.
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Chapter 2 reviews the literature relevant to direct and indirect feedback that
teacher has used in teaching writing argumentative essays. The chapter is divided into
four main sections. The first section presents various definitions of attitude. Section
two reviews the concepts, types, characteristics, structure of an argumentative essay,
the rubrics for evaluating the argumentative essay. The third part defines the
differences between direct and indirect feedback. The fourth section reviews related
studies in the field under investigation. This chapter ends up with a summary of
literature and justification for the current study.
Chapter 3 presents contents related to the methods employed in conducting this
research. The chapter firstly addresses the research questions and hypotheses. The
chapter then describes in detail the research design, variables, participants, research
instruments, and intervention materials. The chapter concludes with the summary of
the procedures and the way data were analyzed in the research.
Chapter 4 is concerned with the research findings and their interpretation in
relation to the specific research questions raised in the study. The chapter firstly deals
with a detailed description and analysis on the quantitative results of the two tests in
the study: pretest and post-test. The chapter finally presents the participants’ attitudes
towards the teachers’ use of direct and indirect feedback in learning argumentative
writing in English.
Chapter 5 summarizes and discusses the significant findings of the study, and a
sequential outline of the study’s limitations, pedagogical implications and suggested
avenues for related future research.
This chapter has addressed the rationale, the aims, the significance, and the
organization of the study. The next chapter, Chapter 2, will review relevant literature
and provide a theoretical framework for the present study.
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CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter reviews the literature relevant to direct and indirect feedback that
teacher has used in teaching writing argumentative essays. The chapter is divided into
four main sections. The first section presents various definitions of attitude. Section
two reviews the concepts, types, characteristics, structure of an argumentative essay;
the rubrics for evaluating the argumentative essay. The third part defines the
differences between direct and indirect feedback. The fourth section reviews related
studies in the field under investigation. This chapter ends up with a summary of
literature and justification for the current study.
2.1 ATTITUDE
In this study, “attitude” is defined as one’s inclinations and feelings, prejudice
or bias, pre-conceived notions, ideas, fears, threats, and convictions about any
specified topic. Eagly and Chaiken (1971) state that the cognitive response is a
cognitive evaluation of the entity that constitutes an individual’s belief about the
object. An effective response expresses an individual’s degree of preference of an
entity. Joy, love and happiness are three main factors that can be affected directly to
one’s attitude. Cacioppo (1994) considers attitude as the way to evaluate the
perception of some person, object, or issue in general. It is endured in a particular
period of time or after any activity. Aiken(1997) treats attitude as a response whether
positively or negatively to a specific object, situation, institution, or person.
Attitudes are a complex combination of personality, beliefs, values, behaviors,
and motivation, Pickens (2005). Attitudes have three components:
- A cognitive component, consisting of thoughts and beliefs about the
attitudinal object;
- An emotional component, made up of feelings toward the attitudinal object;
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- A behavioral component composed of predispositions concerning action
toward the object.
Bootzin,Bower and Zajonc (1987) state that a person’s attitude is affected byher
or his expectation, motivation, and previous experience. Aiken (1997)
mentions three characteristics of attitudes which consist of three components
- Cognitive (knowledge or intellective);
- Affective (emotional and motivational);
- Performance (behavioral and action).
Knowledge, emotion and behavior have represented as the three aspects of
attitude based on three characteristics above. These aspects will be used as the
indicators to measure the attitude. And according to Wood & Boyd (2007)attitudes are
relatively stable evaluations of persons, objects, situations, orissues, along a continuum
ranging from being positive to negative.
Fredrickson (2013) states that joy is emerges when one’s current circumstances
present unexpected good fortune. When people receive good news or a pleasant
surprise, they feel joy. Love is appears to be the positive emotion people feel most
frequently, arises when any other of the positive emotions is felt in the context of a
safe, interpersonal connection or relationship. Smaeeli (2013) states that happiness can
be defined in terms of the average level of satisfaction over a specific period, the
frequency and degree of positive affect manifestations. Mouly (1968) states that
attitudes arise as byproducts of one’s day-to-day experiences or performance.
In this study, attitude is viewed as reaction that learners have towards teacher’s
direct and indirect feedbacks on writing English argumentative essays.
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