Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background of the Research
English writing,as one of the four important language skills,plays a vital role inEnglish learning which can reflect the learners’mastery of language knowledge andthe application of language ability.Teaching assessment is a considerable part ofteaching for it is able to diagnose teacher’s teaching and students’learning.In Englishteaching,in order to improve students’writing,it is extremely critical for teachers toimprove their assessment method in the writing teaching class.
The following section is going to illustrate the current situation of Englishwriting and English writing assessment in senior high schools.
1.1.1 Current situation of English writing in senior high schools
In the National College Entrance Examination,writing is an essential part whosescores occupy about 16%of the total,for it is capable to veritably and directly reflectthe language ability of learners.Writing not only can reflect learners’language ability,but also their thinking ability(Li,2014),and learners’critical thinking and cognitiveability also can be well developed in the process of writing(Mitchell,2020).
1.2 Purpose of the Research
Up to now,many domestic scholars have explored the application of DA toEnglish writing classes in middle schools,and it has been verified that DA canpromote learners’writing achievement(Chen,2020;Ma,2018;Wang,2019).However,there are few studies that combine DA with other variables to explore DAmore deeply.Furthermore,it has been testified that writing self-efficacy,amotivational variable,has a positive impact on learners’writing performance(Bruning et al,2013;Pajares,2003;Sun,Wang,Richard&Liu,2021;Teng,Sun&Xu,2018).Self-efficacy provides a particular perspective for exploring individualself-recognition and developmental rules,and it is a pilot to study the mechanism andeffects of DA(Jia,Yang&Zhang,2022).
Thus,this study combines DA with writing self-efficacy,to explore the effects ofDA on the writing self-efficacy of senior high school students.On the basis of theprevious studies,this study aims to construct a DA model applied to English writingclass in senior high schools,and verify that whether DA can improve the Englishwriting self-efficacy of senior high school students.It is expected to explore a feasiblemodel of writing assessment in senior high school classes and provide some usefulsuggestions for teachers to improve their writing assessment,so as to make good useof the developmental function of assessment for teachers’teaching and students’learning.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Previous Studies on Dynamic Assessment
Dynamic Assessment(DA)is a new assessment method different from thetraditional static assessment,also known as learning potential assessment.Thefollowing sections will review the development of the definitions,models,previousstudies abroad and at home of DA,at last,a summary of the previous studies will beillustrated.
2.1.1 Definitions of DA
The concept of dynamic assessment(DA)was first proposed by Luria(1961)who made a comparison between the statistical method of assessment and thedynamic method of assessment.The former presupposes that in the process ofassessment,a person’s performance is equal to the overall picture of his ability,whilethe latter believes that the overall picture of a person’s ability should include twoadditional additions:one is the performance of ability with the help of others,and theother is how much a person can benefit from the help of others(Poehner&Lantolf,2005).
Lidz(1987)explained the concept of DA more clearly in her research.Shebelieved that DA is a way to understand individual differences and the impacts ofintervention on them in the process of assessment.Poehner and Lantolf(2010)addedthe new understanding of DA in their research.They argued that DA organizes theinteractions with learners,which not only permits great insights into their languageability but also supports their continued development.Recently,Li(2015)has stressedthat on the basis of knowing the individual differences and actual developmental level,DA,with“intervention”or“interaction”,can maximize the assist for the assessed tosurpass their actual developmental level.Li(2021)discussed that DA,with the helpof external standardized assessment system,is a method that integrates assessing andteaching to guide learners in a systematic and overall way.By means of DA,theassessment is integrated into teaching,in which students’learning potential,thinkingability and cognitive ability can be changed,and their learning ability will also beimproved.
2.2 Previous Studies on Writing Self-efficacy
Dated back to Bandura’s self-efficacy,English writing self-efficacy can beconsidered as people’s confidence in whether they can complete a series ofperformance in English writing.The definitions and previous studies abroad and athome of writing self-efficacy will be presented in the following part,likewise,someenlightenment from previous related researches will be illustrated.
2.2.1 Definitions of writing self-efficacy
The following sections will respectively present the review of definitions of self-efficacy and writing self-efficacy.
Bandura,an American psychologist,first put forward the concept of self-efficacy.He regarded self-efficacy as people’s judgment of their ability to complete certaintasks,and it is the concrete embodiment of individual ability and self-confidence insome activities(1986:391);Many scholars abroad and at home also put forward theirviews on self-efficacy.To be specific,Pajares(2003)stressed that self-efficacy affectsstudents’decisions,efforts,persistence and patience when they are confused;Inaddition,Zhou and Guo(2006)pointed out that self-efficacy is not a skill or aperson’s real ability,but an individual’s confidence in the ability to complete aspecific task;Recently,Mitchell et al.(2021)has indicated that self-efficacy is a kindof motivation construction,and it is functional to promote human’s initiative.
Chapter Three Theoretical Foundation..............................27
3.1 Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory......................................27
3.1.1 Overview of SCT........................................27
3.1.2 Main concepts of SCT.....................................27
Chapter Three Theoretical Foundation.............................27
3.1 Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory......................27
3.1.1 Overview of SCT................................27
3.1.2 Main concepts of SCT.............................27
Chapter Five Results and Discussion.............................53
5.1 Results of the Questionnaires...............................................53
5.1.1 Effects of DA on students’linguistic self-efficacy...............................53
5.1.2 Effects of DA on students’self-regulatory efficacy..............................55
Chapter Five Results and Discussion
5.1 Results of the Questionnaires
The pre-questionnaire and the post-questionnaire were the main instruments toobtain the quantitative data to answer the three research questions in this study.Thefollowing section will respectively present the results of the pre-questionnaire andpost-questionnaire to illustrate the effects of DA on students’linguistic self-efficacy,self-regulatory efficacy and performance self-efficacy.
In this study,students in EC and CC were invited to conduct a questionnaire bothbefore and after the teaching experiment,one as the pre-questionnaire and the other asthe post-questionnaire,to explore whether DA can improve students’English writingself-efficacy.Two questionnaires are the same and they contains three parts:linguisticself-efficacy,self-regulatory efficacy and performance self-efficacy,hence the resultsof the pre-questionnaire and post-questionnaire will be presented from these threeaspects,so as to work out three research questions illustrated in Chapter Three.
The software IBM SPSS 26.0 was applied to carry out the descriptive statisticsanalysis,independent samples t-test and paired samples t-test,so as to make acomparison between students’three dimensions of writing self-efficacy before andafter the teaching experiment.
Chapter Six Conclusion
6.1 Major Findings
This study conducts a contrast teaching experiment to explore whether DA playsan effect on the linguistic self-efficacy,self-regulatory efficacy and performance self-efficacy of senior high school students.The results of two questionnaires and theinterview have been shown and discussed in Chapter Five,based on the results anddiscussion,the following section is going to conclude the major findings of thisresearch,corresponding to the three research questions.
Firstly,there is some improvement in students’linguistic self-efficacy with theemployment of DA,but the improvement is not significant.From the results of twoquestionnaires,it can be seen that students’linguistic self-efficacy has increased in thepost-test,but there is not significant difference between the pre-test and post-test(P>0.05).Besides,based on the results of the interview,most students had improvedin linguistic self-efficacy,but the effects are not obvious for students with a goodfoundation of language knowledge.
Secondly,DA can significantly improve the self-regulatory efficacy of seniorhigh school students.From the results of two questionnaires,the increase of students’self-regulatory efficacy is the most remarkable among three dimensions.According tothe results of the fourth question in the interview that aims to explore the largestchange for the interviewees among three dimensions,all the interviewees expressedthat the most remarkable change for them is that they have learned how to assess a composition and to take a reflection based on the results of assessment.DAemphasizes students’potential development.Under the employment of DA to thewriting teaching,students’strengths and weaknesses are perceived by themselves orpointed out by their peers and the teacher,then a reflection on their compositions willbe conducted.This process boosts students’faith in the self-regulation in the writing,particularly to develop their advantages and avoid the disadvantages.DA focuses onstudents’development,in actual,the ability of self-regulation is not merely availablefor students in English writing,but the whole process of their learning.