Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
Under the background of exam-oriented education, reading and grammar in junior high school occupy a very significant position in English teaching. Regardless of whether the Senior High School Entrance Examination or the National College Entrance Examination, reading accounts for a considerable proportion, and grammar runs through the three skills of listening, reading, and writing. In this context, English writing has been overlooked to a certain extent. Teachers’ attitudes toward English writing will correspondingly affect its position in the mind of students. Undoubtedly, students put grammar and reading in a crucial position in English learning, while writing is slightly ignored. Students’ less attention to writing leads to the fact that students write for tests. However, writing is one of the language skills which plays a significant role in improving students’ expression and communication ability. Encouraging students’ awareness to pay more attention to writing is urgent.
Narrative is one genre that junior high school students commonly learn and write. According to English Curriculum Standard for Compulsory Education (2022), the English compulsory education course is divided into three schooling stages, and the objectives of each schooling stage are set with corresponding levels. Junior high school students should reach the objectives of the third level by the end of junior high school. The concrete requirements of Level 3 emphasize the vital position of narrative writing in junior high school, which require students to be capable of describing a person or an event, expressing their thoughts and feelings, identifying the development and change of events in a text and even adapting or creating a story according to text content. The Standard also stresses the importance of narrative in the course content. In terms of discourse knowledge, students are required to be able to figure out the writing purpose, primary structure, and linguistic features in a narrative and learn to use the knowledge they identify to describe their own or other people’s experiences. Regarding language skills, students must be able to adapt or create a story and describe or introduce basic personal information or their own authentic experience. According to the specific requirements shown in the Standard, it can be concluded that narrative writing plays a leading role in junior high school English writing. Besides, the narrative has a close relationship with our daily life because most people are fond of recording the things happening in their lives and the people around them. Thus, it is not only important in school, but also in daily life.
1.2 Research Significance
The process approach focuses on the writing process and collaboration and emphasizes student-centered in class. Applying this approach to English writing has proved that combining the process approach and English writing can improve students’ writing proficiency, collaborative awareness, and communicative competence. A new teaching perspective for teachers has been offered by putting the process approach into English writing in junior high school. At the same time, the combination of the process approach and English writing has broadened the research scope of this approach. Thus, Some theoretical and empirical references may be provided by applying the process approach to English narrative writing in junior high school.
1.2.1 Theoretical Significance
The employment of the process approach brings some benefits to theoretical research. This approach focuses on students’ needs and writing process, which perfectly caters to the requirements shown in the Standard (2022). This study attempts to combine the process approach with narrative writing in junior high school, which can further demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach in English narrative writing teaching, enrich the research, and broaden the research’s scope of the process approach.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 A Brief Introduction to the Process Approach
This section elaborates on the definition, the characteristics, and the stages of the process approach.
2.1.1 The Definition of the Process Approach
The process approach is a popular and effective writing teaching method now. This approach focuses on the repeated revision of students’ composition and the development of students’ thinking abilities.
Wallace Douglas, the proponent of the process approach, pointed out that writing is a process, and the writing class should focus on each concrete step that is conducive to composing the writing process. Nunan (2001) thought that it is an approach that focuses on the steps involved in drafting and redrafting a piece of work. Dong Beifei (2010) defined the process approach from the purpose and significance level and believes that the process approach aims to manage students’ writing behavior and to cultivate their awareness to concentrate on a series of writing activities. Rong Weidong (2010) pointed out in his doctoral dissertation that the so-called process approach refers to a writing teaching model that focuses on the process and method about how to write and focuses on the study of cognitive thinking, information processing laws, and the behavioral characteristics of writers. So far there is still no consensus on the definition of process writing in the academic community, but it can be concluded from scholars’ views that writing is a process that focuses on each specific sub-process.
2.2 A Brief Introduction to Narrative Writing
Narrative is one of the most common styles in junior high school. No article uses only one genre. Being able to write a good narrative helps write articles in other genres. Also, it lays a solid foundation for argumentative writing, which is frequently required in senior high school and college. In addition, narrative writing in junior high schools can prepare for a new writing task in the College Entrance Examination-continuation writing. What’s more, Qiu Jin (2020) discussed that narrative writing helps to inspire students’ interest in writing, develop language skills, and cultivate observation, creativity, and thinking abilities.
Xu Yiyun (2007) proposed that narrative is a writing genre, which conveys the author’s feelings, thoughts, and views to the readers through recounting people and events, so as to enlighten readers and have an influence upon readers. People or events are usually taken as the main writing objects in the narrative.
Narrative is different from other genres in the following aspects.
(1) The narrative is viewed as “the primary scheme by which human existence is rendered meaningful” (Polkinghorne, 1988). Stories are regarded as experiences in society and are rooted in cultural settings (Bruner, 1984). That means individuals endow meaning to their experiences in social and cultural settings through storytelling. Storytelling is related to a language. Individuals’ language competence is continuously developing. Torill (2006) proposed that an individual learns to tell all kinds of stories with the development of an individual’s language competence and participation in all types of social events. This shows that narration runs through a person’s life from childhood to old age and frequently occurs in oral or written forms on an individual.Chapter Three Research Methodology .................................. 20
3.1 Research Questions ........................ 20
3.2 Research Subjects .............................. 20
3.3 Instruments ............................. 21
Chapter Four The Application of the Process Approach to Narrative Writing Teaching ................. 25
4.1 Implementation Procedures ......................... 25
4.1.1 Pre-writing .............................. 26
4.1.2 Drafting ............................. 27
Chapter Five Results and Discussion ............................ 40
5.1 Results and Discussion of Tests .................................... 40
5.1.1 Results and Discussion of the Total Scores of Two Tests ................ 40
22.214.171.124 Results and Discussion of Pre-test in CC and EC.................40
126.96.36.199 Results and Discussion of Post-test in CC and EC................41
Chapter Five Results and Discussion
5.1 Results and Discussion of Tests
In this section, the author discusses and analyzes the experimental results. First, whether the students’ narrative writing proficiency has greatly improved is discussed from the total score level, and then discusses the progress in content, structure, and language use in depth.
5.1.1 Results and Discussion of the Total Scores of Two Tests
After the experiment, the author sorts out the data of the two tests before and after the experiment. The exam papers chosen are conducted by local authorities, and the reliability and validity have been testified. The students in the school are divided into three levels: A, B, and C. The selected classes belong to level B with a relatively high level of English. The author discusses the total scores of the pre-test and post-test in CC and EC from the following four sections.
188.8.131.52 Results and Discussion of Pre-test in CC and EC
Students in CC and EC takes the same test before the experiment so as to testify and prove that there is no difference in students’ writing proficiency in the two classes. CC refers to the control class and EC is the experimental class.
Chapter Six Conclusion
6.1 Major Findings
Through reading a large amount of literature, the author has discovered that there are plenty of studies on the application of the process approach to the teaching of Chinese and English writing but few on the teaching of English narrative writing. The narrative is critical in English writing, laying a foundation for other genres like argumentative writing. In this dissertation, the author manages to employ the process approach to narrative writing in junior high school so as to figure out whether it has a positive effect on students’ writing attitudes, writing habits, and collaborative awareness, whether it is helpful to improve students’ narrative writing proficiency and present a concrete, practical model for teachers who agree with the concept of the approach to refer to. After a three-month experiment, some findings can be found.
First, students’ narrative writing proficiency can be promoted. The total score of writing in the junior high school exams is 15. The mean value of the pre-test in EC is 8.80, while the post-test is 10.65, so the difference between the average scores before and after the experiment shows that students’ narrative writing proficiency has improved. Besides, the author analyzed the detailed scores and found that students made significant progress in content and structure, but there has yet to be significant progress in language use. Under the guidance of the process approach, narrative writing teaching pays attention to ideas gathering and drafting and correcting in content and structure. Content is critical for them to write a good narration. Group discussions between students at the pre-writing stage can give students a chance to gather enough ideas to enrich content. The stage of conception and drafting leaves time and space for students to think, and teachers should guide students to focus on the content and structure, for too much attention on the correctness of language will affect the richness of content. The revision stage can enable students to modify their compositions according to the teacher’s feedback and peer review at the responding stage. Making revisions repeatedly is the key to improving their writing proficiency.