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A Study on the Effectiveness of A Blog-integrated EFL College Writing Course
EFL College Writing
|Abstract:||本研究旨在探討運用部落格於大專英文寫作之成效，主要的研究問題（一）部落格英文寫作課程如何影響學生的語言表現 (linguistic performance)? 部落格英文寫作課程之學生於修課後在英文流利度、正確度、及複雜度(包括文法及字彙方面)上是否比非部落格英文寫作課程之學生表現良好?（二）部落格英文寫作課程如何影響學生的後設語言表現(metalinguistic performance)? 實驗組與對照組的學生在後設語言覺識(metalinguistic awareness)及後設語言策略(metalinguistic strategies)上的表現是否有明顯的不同?（三）部落格英文寫作課程如何影響學生在動機、焦慮、及自我效能的情意表現(affective performance)?（四）實驗組與對照組的學生在寫作課程上的看法是否有明顯的不同?（五）實驗組學生對於運用部落格於英文寫作上的學習有何看法?
參與本研究的學生為國立台灣科技大學非英語系之學生，在隨機安排下，26位學生選修非部落格英文寫作，是為控制組；18位學生選修部落格英文寫作為實驗組。對於學生之語言表現，本研究採用Wolfe-Quintero et al’s (1998)的語言測量方法並使用一系列的共變數分析(ANCOVA)以分析兩組學生在語言表現上是否有明顯的不同；此外，並使用一系列的T檢定(t-test)以分析同組學生在前後測上是否有明顯不同的表現。對於學生之後設語言表現，本研究則採用Gombert’s (1992)及改編自Oxford’s (1990)的編碼系統, 將學生的學習日誌分類, 然後使用一系列的卡方檢定(chi-squarer test)以分析兩組學生在後設語言覺識及後設語言策略上是否有明顯的不同表現。至於學生的情意表現，本研究則採用改編自馮和平老師(2001)之寫作動機問卷、程玉秀老師(2004)之寫作焦慮量表、以及程玉秀老師(2004)之寫作自我效能量表以分析兩組學生是否有明顯的不同情意表現。有關學生對於他們英文寫作課程之看法，本研究則設計21題共同問卷題以分析兩組學生在修完課後是否有明顯的不同看法；16題問卷題特別分析實驗組學生對於部落格英文寫作學習之看法。
研究結果顯示，兩組學生在語言表現上並無明顯之差異, 但兩組學生的後測成績均較前測有明顯之進步。此項研究顯示, 部落格英文寫作之課程至少不致阻礙學生英文寫作之學習。在後設語言表現上, 兩組學生在語言策略方面並無明顯之差異, 在語言覺識方面則有明顯之差異—控制組學生呈現退步之表現, 而實驗組學生則有顯著之進步。研究者推測, 由於透過部落格接觸了較多的英文寫作資源、有較多的同儕互動及合作, 以及利用部落格儲存所有的英文寫作作品, 使得實驗組學生在後設語言覺識上有較佳的表現。在情意表現方面, 兩組學生在英文寫作動機及焦慮上並無明顯之差異。在英文寫作自我效能表現上, 兩組學生則有明顯之不同。較為活潑、積極參與並且上課氣氛較佳的控制組學生對於他們英文寫作的能力較有信心。兩組學生對於他們的寫作課程則無明顯不同之看法, 但皆呈現正面的看法及態度。至於實驗組學生對於部落格英文寫作之看法則為: （一）對於部落格特性之喜好, 依序為「意見交流」(comment), 「檔案儲存」(archiving), 「自行出版」(self-publishing), 以及「超連結」(hyperlink)。（二）部落格寫作並不需要具備進階之電腦技能。（三）部落格寫作並不會比一般英文寫作較花時間。（四）大部份的學生(83%)較喜歡也願意選修使用部落格的英文寫作課程。（五）大部份的學生(70%以上)認為課程的部落格(the class blog)形同佈告欄及討論區一般;將來他們還是會利用部落格來練習英文寫作; 部落格的運用讓課程變得有趣並且促進同儕之間的互動與合作。
本研究提供現有部落格英文寫作之實證證據, 綜合以上研究結果,有下列幾項教學及研究之意涵及建議: （一）部落格可用於提升學生之後設語言覺識、組織學生寫作及學習之資料、儲存同儕意見,以及促使學生對寫作課有正面之看法。（二）部落格可使傳統之寫作課有所變化,並能提供害羞或較無自信之學生網路學習資源;其自動儲存之功能可節省老師彙整學生作業之時間。（三）本研究控制組學生不錯的學習表現,同時提醒教師善用並建立正向學習環境之重要。（四）由於研究結果顯示學習者之特質對其情意表現及課程看法有所影響,建議將來的研究可探討或控制學習者之特質,以提供更詳盡的部落格英文寫作學習之資料。（五）不同的部落格整合方式,會產生不同的研究結果。建議將來的研究,可檢測不同部落格整合方式所產生的結果。（六）建議將來的研究,可增加質性研究,以期深入了解學習者之喜好、其課堂參與之原因,以及時間、精力投入之選擇。（七）由於本研究結果證實,媒介的改變會不止影響學習者寫作的認知過程,建議將來的研究繼續探討紙筆以外寫作媒介之成效。|
The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a blog-integrated EFL college writing course in Taiwan by comparing a control and an experimental class. Research questions were designed to examine five areas of study: students’ linguistic performance, metalinguistic performance (further divided into metalingusitc awareness and metalinguistic stragegies), affective performance (by way of writing motivation, anxiety, and self-efficacy), the two classes’ perceptions on the writing class, and the blog-integrated class’ perceptions on blogging to write. The participants were 44 non-English majors of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Randomly selected, twenty-six students participated in a non-blog English writing class and eighteen students in a blog-integrated English writing class. In terms of linguistic performance, Wolfe-Quintero et al’s (1998) proposed fluency, accuracy, and complexity measures for writing performance were adopted to analyze students’ pre-and post-writing tests. A series of ANCOVA and t-tests were then conducted to see whether there were any significant differences between and within the two classes in writing gains. In terms of metalinguistic performance, the study used Gombert’s (1992) classification and the adapted version of Oxford’s (1990) coding system to sort out students’ learning journals. A series of chi-square tests then were conducted to see whether the two classes differed significantly from each other in terms of metalinguistic awareness and metalinguistic strategies. In terms of affective performance, three kinds of affective questionnaires were distributed to students in both classes in the beginning and the end of the course—Second Language Writing Motivation& Efforts Questionnaire, Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory, and Writing Self-efficacy Scale. A series of ANCOVA tests were conducted to unveil the differences between the two classes. To explore students’ perceptions on the writing class, the study compared the two classes with 21 closed course evaluation questions and two open-ended questions. Independent-samples t tests were conducted to analyze the differences between the two classes. Additionally, students in the blog-integrated class were inquired about their opinions on and attitudes toward blogging to write with another 15 closed course evaluation questions. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the two classes in fluency, grammatical complexity, lexical complexity, and accuracy of writing at the end of the course. However, paired-samples t tests demonstrated that both classes in fact made significant progress in fluency and accuracy of writing. This result showed that the use of blogs in a college writing course at least did not hamper students’ linguistic performance. In terms of metalinguistic performance, a series of chi-square tests showed that the two classes did not differ significantly from each other in metalinguistic strategies but in metalinguistic awareness. The control class displayed a declining performance; whereas, the experimental class made a significant progress in metalinguistic awareness. In terms of affective performance, there were no significant differences between the two classes in writing motivation and writing anxiety. With regard to writing self-efficacy, there was a significant difference between the two classes. However, it was the control class that surpassed the experimental class in writing self-efficacy. In terms of students’ perceptions on the writing class, independent t test showed no significant difference between the two classes. However, both classes showed positive attitudes toward their respective writing class. With regard to the experimental class’ perceptions on blogging to write, it was found that the feature of comment was mostly preferred by the students, with archiving being the second, self-publishing the third, and hyperlink the fourth. Through the questionnaire, students also expressed their preferences for a blog-integrated writing course over a conventional one and overall regarded the course as a positive experience. The present study provides empirical evidences to literature on the integration of blogs to foreign language education. The major implications and suggestions for pedagogy and research include: (1) Blogs can be used to raise students’ metalinguistic awareness, to organize their writing and learning materials, to archive peer-responses, and to bring about a positive attitude toward an English writing course. (2) The use of blogs can help diversify a conventional English writing course, provide online accesses to course learning materials for shier or less confident students, and save valuable time for teacher in sorting out students’ works by its archiving feature. (3) The control class’ performance in the study highlights the importance of making use of or cultivating a positive learning environment. (4) Future studies are suggested to investigate or control the effect of different learner contributions for the use of blogs to samples of different learner attributes. (5) To provide a comprehensive analysis of the use of blogs, future studies are suggested to test various ways of integrating blogs. (6) Future studies can incorporate a larger share of qualitative data to delve into learners’ preferences, their reasons for class participation, and choice of time and energy investment. (7) Because the findings showed that change in the writing media can influence learners in more than cognitive processes, to gain a broader perspective on writing, research is called for exploring the effects of writing media other than pen and paper as this study did.
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