Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background of English Grammar Teaching
Traditional grammar teaching emphasizes much on grammar explanations, ignoring the developmentof language skills, causing dumb English learners. Communicative approach was introduced into China in1980s, which turns up a trend of emphasizing on communicative foreign language teaching, ―teachinggrammar, desalinating the teaching of grammar". In the classroom teaching, there exist many problems,such as fossil and plateau phenomenon prematurely occurring in Chinese-style English learning as well asthe fragmentation of learned grammar. The former two extremes of grammar teaching caused someunsatisfactory results, resulting in the vague understanding of grammar teaching on whether we shouldteach grammar or not. In recent years, many linguists and teachers think rationally on the necessity ofgrammar teaching. According to linguistic concept, language learning concept and other relevant theory aswell as domestic and foreign language teaching practice, particularly English teaching in China, they havebasically reached consensus that it is not the issue of teaching English grammar or desalinating it but theissue of changing the awareness and teaching instruction of English grammar as well as how to optimizethe grammar teaching.New English Curriculum Standard points out ―The importance of English curriculum reform is tochange the tendency of much more attention paid on the teaching of English grammar and vocabulary byexplaining the meaning and teaching, ignoring the development of students' practical ability to uselanguage, ...., (―Curriculum Requirements, 2011)the first place should be placed on the inspiration andeducation of students' interest in learning English, so that students build self-confidence, develop goodlearning habits and form effective learning strategies, to develop self-learning ability and cooperative spirit,New Curriculum advocated grammar teaching, whether in teaching objectives or in teaching instructiondiffers from traditional grammar teaching philosophy .
1.2 The Purpose and Significance of the Research
English is a foreign language that taught in China. Teaching grammatical items is different fromcultivating students‘ grammatical ability. If each grammatical point traditionally taught to the students, theyjust keep some sort of mechanical repetition of fragment morphological or syntactic structure, which willresult in the disorder of student's grammatical system, and the faults of their knowledge structure.This research aims to solve two long-standing problems for high school English grammar teaching:One is over-emphasis on the teachers' leading role, which often ignores students' initiatives in Englishgrammar learning. In the classroom, a lot of teachers always teach English grammar in a traditional way of"teachers explain and students practice, generally applying the single teaching instruction of "teacher asthe center, imparting knowledge as the purpose, not attaching any importance to the participation ofstudents. The other is that students generally feel it is boring in syntax and grammar teaching and notinterested in questions on grammar learning. Therefore, the research aims to build an appropriate scaffoldfor grammar teaching mode on the basis of Constructivism, Vygostky‘s Socio-cultural Theory and Zone ofProximal Development Theory to verify whether scaffolding grammar teaching is an effective teachinginstruction, that is, could it solve these two problems to a large extent?
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 The Definition of Scaffolding Instruction
The term scaffolding is first proposed by Bruner (1976) who is the famous American psychologist andeducation expert, and Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976) were the first to use the term scaffolding‘ as ametaphor to capture the support and guidance in learning. The term was described as a process which canmake the learner solve problems, carry out a task or attain a goal that is beyond his or her ability withoutany support. And Scaffolding instruction, which acts as a teaching strategy derives from Vygotsky'sSocio-culturalTheory and his concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Vygotsky gives thedefinition of scaffolding instruction as the " teachers and other capable persons act the role of helper toprompt the learner's development and provide supporting structures to get to the next stage or level"(Raymond, 2000:176). Based on Vygotsky' thought, a more acquainted person provides scaffoldings orsupports to promote the learner's development in scaffolding instruction. Scaffolding instruction plays animportant part in the class. It offers temporary support to learners to "help bridge the gap between what thelearners knows and can do and what the learners needs to accomplish in order to succeed at a particularlearning task" (Vygotsky,1978). Consequently, the learners can attach prior knowledge to new informationfor finishing the task; while the teacher's support is removed, and thus the student is of great confidenceand independence. Scaffolding instruction can provide sufficient supports to promote learning when thestudent first acquires new concepts and skills. Scaffolding instruction emphasis on the students‘ activitythat is within students' zone of proximal development. Exactly, the teaching instruction and thesescaffoldings do the students‘ favor to try to cross the zone of proximal development.
2.2 Characteristics of Scaffolding Instruction
As is known that scaffolding instruction model is widely used aboard and some of scholarssummarized the characteristics of scaffolding instruction.In this part, there are five characteristics of scaffolding instruction summarized by Pressley (1996)presented as follows: (1) Developing the learner's interests. As to the traditional teaching model, the teacherpays much attention to how to teach the knowledge for the students, but the teacher always neglects tocultivate the students' learning abilities. The students become passive receivers, only to listen to the teacherand take notes. They have no ideas on how to learn and have no opinion of their own and experience aboutknowledge; most of them don‘t follow what the teacher teaches. But in this new instructional model, theteacher plays a role of coadjutant and a mediator, providing the learner with an environment which helps tostimulate the learner's interest. Students can get a deal of language knowledge coming from the capacity bytheir experiences to construct involved knowledge, rather than the capacity to recite and memorize thecontents taught by the teacher. (2) Extending understanding. Students are able to learn better through thelink between their previous knowledge and the solution of problem. Students want to solve problemsindependently in their study in the scaffolding instructional model.
Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework .... 18
3.1 Constructivism ........ 18
3.2 Vygostky‘s Socio-cultural Theory......... 19
3.3 Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)....... 20
Chapter 4 Research Design......... 22
4.1 Research Questions....... 22
4.2 Subjects....... 22
4.3 Research Instruments .... 22
4.4 Materials ........... 24
4.5 Procedure .......... 25
4.5.1 Questionnaire Survey..... 25
4.5.2 Experiment......... 25
4.5.3 Sample lessons ......... 26
4.6 Data collection ........ 32
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion..... 33
5.1 The Results and Analysis of the research.... 33
5.2 Discussion......... 37
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion
5.1 The results and Analysis of the research
The following table5.3 displays the information of independent sample test of posttest. As the tableshows, the number of students in CC is 55 while EC has 56 students. The mean score of CC in posttest is34.62, while the mean score of EC in posttest is 42.07. Their mean difference is 7.453(t (109)=﹣5.247,p=.000.﹤.05). From the beginning to the end, there is a significant difference between EC and CC, whichindicate that the performance of English grammatical ability of EC is far better than that of CC after twomonths, that is to say, the English grammar teaching instruction based on scaffolding teaching is moreeffective in improving the learners‘English grammatical ability.
In this thesis, the research aims to build an appropriate scaffold for grammar teaching mode to verifywhether scaffolding grammar teaching is an effective teaching model in senior high school. The relevantdata was collected and analyzed in the previous chapter, and the results are discussed to basically answerthree research questions with satisfaction after two months‘experiment. Based on the results and discussion,the author summarized the major findings of this research as follows:For one thing, this research suggests that scaffolding instruction can improve senior learners‘ Englishgrammatical ability. Through comparing the statistics of post-test between the experimental class and thecontrolled class, it can be seen that the mean score of the experimental class was 42.07 while the meanscore of the controlled class is 34.62 in the posttest. The mean difference of the experimental class was7.453 points, far higher than that of the controlled class. The mean difference of the controlled class is16.200 and the mean difference of the experimental class is 9.304. Therefore, it proves that scaffoldingteaching is really more effective in improving the students‘ English grammatical ability. At the same time,in the process of scaffloding, there are contacts, communication and interaction between teacher andstudents, which can help students master and use the rules they summarized together. Using scaffoldingteaching instruction in the class, students are encouraged to take part in the activity to ask and thinkquestions positively, and students can freely exchange their information and share their ideas with theteacher and students. These factors are very important to improve the students‘English grammatical ability.