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Title: The impact of a visual approach used in the teaching of grammar when embedded into writing instruction : a study on the writing development of Chinese first year university students in a British university in China
Author: Gaikwad, Vinita
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 9895
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2013
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Born into a visual culture, today’s generation of learners generally prefer a visually-rich multimodal learning environment. Tapping into the potential of visuals in language pedagogy, this study was aimed at discovering the impact of a visual presentation of grammatical concepts related to sentence structure on student writing. The study used a mixed methods design to analyse the impact of the visual approach first by statistically measuring sentence variety and syntactic complexity of student pre and post intervention texts and then using interviews to explain the nature of the impact of visuals on student conceptual understanding and its effect on their writing development. Statistical findings reveal that the experimental groups of Chinese students who were taught grammatical concepts in the context of writing instruction using a visual approach outperformed the students in the control groups who were given similar lessons in the context of writing instruction but using traditional printed hand-outs. Qualitative findings suggest that the visuals seems to have increased these students’ conceptual understanding of grammatical items that were taught, and this resulted in more sophisticated and syntactically complex texts after the intervention. The study supports the theory of contextualized teaching of grammar and proposes the use of external visuals that lead to internal visualization based on the cognitive theory of multimodal learning. In so doing, it extends the use of visual learning to grammar pedagogy. However, the findings also suggest that the visual approach would not work effectively in cultures that promote rote learning and decontextualized exercises in grammar with the sole aim of passing the exams. A shift in attitude towards grammar pedagogy in China is deemed necessary.
Supervisor: Myhill, Debra Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Second Language Acquisition ; Writing ; Writing ; Contextualized Teaching of Grammar ; Grammar and Writing Development ; Writing Development ; Second Language Acquisition ; Visualization ; Multimodal Learning ; Grammar Teaching ; Grammar and Writing in China ; External and Internal Visualization ; Visual imagery in grammar teaching ; language pedagogy