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Thursday, November 14 • 16:45 - 17:15
The effect of mind mapping and outlining on Vietnamese EFL students' writing performance and attitudes: An explanatory sequential mixed methods study.

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Methods of foreign language teaching in Vietnam’s higher education have been changed to a more learner-centered approach in which students are expected to become self-regulated learners. Increasing attention has been paid on integrated-skill approach in which writing has been claimed to be the most challenging skill for both teachers to teach and students to acquire. In a context that current writing practices focusing on form and error-free written products are exerting great pressure on EFL undergraduates who are beginning writers in the academic context and many of them lack confidence in their learning-to-write process, a growing amount of research has been done on the L2 writing process and the use of instructional strategies. However, several aspects need to be further explored comparing the effects of different handwritten types of pre-writing techniques on adult writers’ performance and attitudes and whether those effects would be transferred in a high-stakes condition. The proposed innovation study will investigate the effect of mind mapping and outlining as pre-writing techniques by looking at differences amongst control and treatment groups regarding: (1) the effects of the techniques taught on students’ writing performance, (2) students’ attitudes towards writing and their self-beliefs in completing regular class assignments, (3) whether the techniques would continue to be (effectively) employed even when not specifically required in a timed writing task. 

Participants are 60 first year non-English majors. Explanatory sequential mixed methods design will be employed in which qualitative data will be collected to test the hypothesis generated by quantitative methods. Pretest and pre-treatment questionnaire and posttest and post-treatment questionnaire will be administered at the beginning and end of a six-week treatment period to reveal the techniques’ effect on students’ self- efficacy beliefs and performance. After the treatment period, a regular mid-term test will be exploited as a transfer task to explore students’ actual uses of the techniques taught in a high-stakes condition. A subsequent comprehensive interview will be carried out to explain factors that influence their use. Extreme-case sampling by which the highest and lowest gainers in the pretest and posttest, and the users and non-users of the techniques during the transfer task will be intentionally selected to be interviewees. 

Based on the findings in literature and in my previous research on the unique contribution of mind mapping tool to improve secondary students’ writing ability, mind mapping and outlining – two specific instructional tools having characteristics of graphic organizers – are expected to have considerable effect on university students’ writing performance. Furthermore, these strategies are expected to decrease students’ mental effort and heighten their self-efficacy for L2 writing. I anticipate that the research will not only contribute to theories about the process writing approach but also support further research in the field of strategies to deal with L2 writing difficulties which is an important issue for students attending universities in the local context and overseas.


Vy Doan

PhD Student, Victoria University of Wellington

Thursday November 14, 2019 16:45 - 17:15
Yuma (25 pax)

Attendees (5)