The Impact of a Visual Approach Used in the Teaching of Grammar When Embedded into Writing Instruction: A Study on the Writing Development of Chinese First Year University Students in a British University in China
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I intend to publish 2-3 articles from the thesis.
Born into a visual culture, today’s generation of learners generally prefer a visually-rich multimodal learning environment. Tapping into the potential of visuals in language pedagogy, this study was aimed at discovering the impact of a visual presentation of grammatical concepts related to sentence structure on student writing. The study used a mixed methods design to analyse the impact of the visual approach first by statistically measuring sentence variety and syntactic complexity of student pre and post intervention texts and then using interviews to explain the nature of the impact of visuals on student conceptual understanding and its effect on their writing development. Statistical findings reveal that the experimental groups of Chinese students who were taught grammatical concepts in the context of writing instruction using a visual approach outperformed the students in the control groups who were given similar lessons in the context of writing instruction but using traditional printed hand-outs. Qualitative findings suggest that the visuals seems to have increased these students’ conceptual understanding of grammatical items that were taught, and this resulted in more sophisticated and syntactically complex texts after the intervention. The study supports the theory of contextualized teaching of grammar and proposes the use of external visuals that lead to internal visualization based on the cognitive theory of multimodal learning. In so doing, it extends the use of visual learning to grammar pedagogy. However, the findings also suggest that the visual approach would not work effectively in cultures that promote rote learning and decontextualized exercises in grammar with the sole aim of passing the exams. A shift in attitude towards grammar pedagogy in China is deemed necessary.
PhD in Education
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Grammar for Writing? An investigation into the effect of Contextualised Grammar Teaching on Student Writing Jones, Susan M.; Myhill, Debra; Bailey, Trevor C. (Springer, 2012-09)The role of grammar instruction in the teaching of writing is contested in most Anglophone countries, with several robust meta-analyses finding no evidence of any beneficial effect. However, existing research is limited ...
Myhill, D; Jones, S; Wilson, AC (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2016-01-08)This article draws on data from a national study, involving an experimental intervention with 54 schools across the country, in which teachers were mentored in a pedagogical approach involving explicit attention to grammatical ...
Myhill, Debra; Jones, Susan M.; Wilson, Anthony (Routledge, 2016-01-08)This paper draws on data from a national study, involving an experimental intervention with 54 schools across the country, in which teachers were mentored in a pedagogical approach involving explicit attention to grammatical ...