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A Study of the Relations between Students’ Scientific Writing and their Learning Achievement--An Example of Senior High School Sophomores’ Learning the Unit of Seeds Germination.
Systemic Functional Linguistics
Drawing upon the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), this study investigates the features of senior high students’ science writing and its relations with their academic achievement. Thirty-two 11th students participated in this study. Five video clips of “Seeds Germination” were developed as teaching materials. After watching each of the films, students were asked to complete a science writing task by asking them to describe and explain what was observed in the films. The texts produced by students were analyzed inthe light of the grammar system of transitivity of SFL. Individual student’s characteristics, including learning achievement in Biology and Chinese Composition were collected. The data was analyzed statistically. Major findings are as the follows: (1) Students paid more attention on describing of experiment phenomenon and procedures other than explaining the experiment phenomenon presented in the films. The former correlated with students’ Chinese composition only. The average amount of circumstantial element in each clause was 0.23, and 0.78 rank-shift phrases were utilized in one clause. The lexical density is 4.27, of which 27% are science content words/phrases. (2) The lexical density, science lexical density, the delicacy of clauses correlated with students’ biology learning achievement only. (3) The average level, the amount of rank-shift, and circumstantial element utilized in explanation of students’ explanation correlated with their biology learning achievement only. According the findings of this study, implications for science teaching were discussed and suggestions for further research were proposed.
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