Writing Instruction Reconsidered (Published)
This study is designed to gauge the effectiveness of methods used in our regional universities in writing classes, in comparison to the current methods commonly recommended by specialists and used at most American universities. The data is collected as follows. First, an informal survey was conducted with students who had already completed two writing courses, and various samples of corrected student writings were examined. Second, several interviews were held with a considerable number of writing instructors working at both public and private universities, and their writing syllabi were carefully studied. Data collection focused on the methods and strategies in effect; such as the number of students enrolled in each section, steps of writing taught, instructor responses, documentation of written pieces, textbooks, and grading procedures. The study revealed a number of weaknesses in need of urgent attention and offers suggestions and recommendations to help improve the teaching of English writing in regional universities.
This paper describes teacher responses to students’ answers and proposes the use of Teacher Response Model (TRM) during classroom discussion. TRM requires teachers to recognize students’ answers, commend students’ efforts, and use students’ answers to develop lessons. It also allows teachers to probe students’ answers, and modify teacher responses to students’ answers. Twelve teachers were purposefully selected from ten junior high schools (JHS) in two districts in 2009, and their lessons were observed. The teachers and 34 selected students were then interviewed on how teachers respond to students’ answers. The data was thematically analyzed, and TRM was developed. The model was later applied in five JHS in 2012. One lesson in every school was observed before and after the intervention. Generally, the teachers who applied the model and 25 selected students interviewed after the intervention reported that the use of TRM promoted student thinking and understanding of teacher questions.