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Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 15640416
Project Title(English) : Secondary School Students’ Cognitive Processing in Integrated Writing Tasks in Chinese (L1) and English (L2)  
Project Title(Chinese) : 中學生在中文(一語)和英文(二語)綜合寫作中的認知過程 
Principal Investigator(English) : Dr Zhu, Xinhua 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Institution : The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Co - Investigator(s) :
Dr YU, Guoxing
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Education
Exercise Year : 2016 / 17
Fund Approved : 304,100
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 30-6-2019
Abstract as per original application
(English/Chinese):
Integrated writing (IW) has become increasingly popular in both first (L1) and second language (L2) teaching and assessment; however, most empirical studies were conducted in L2 context, only very few studies looked at IW in Chinese as L1. Furthermore, we noticed that the vast majority of the studies were product-oriented, i.e., with the written output as the primary unit of analysis. There is a dearth of research on writers’ cognitive processes in completing IW tasks. The very few studies that did investigate writers’ cognitive processes involved a small number of adult participants and tended to focus on some limited aspects of cognitive process, without systematically taking into account the complex nature of the dynamics of cognitive process. This proposed study aims to address these research gaps by comparing a large number of Hong Kong secondary school students’ cognitive processes when completing IW tasks in both Chinese (L1) and English (L2). In Stage 1 of the study, 360 Secondary Six students will complete two IW tasks in Chinese and in English. The students’ writings will be evaluated, both holistically and analytically. The analytical assessment aims to understand the extent and type of cognitive processing (see Table 1) involved in the writings; and the holistic assessment, the overall quality of test performance. Structural equation modeling (SEM) will be used to explore the underlying construct and relationships between different aspects of cognitive processing, as well as the relationships between cognitive processing and overall test performance. In Stage 2, another 36 Secondary Six students will complete the two writing tasks on computer, and their eye-movements during the test will be recorded. Immediately after a participant completes the two tasks, we will conduct stimulated recall interview with him/her, using episodes of the recorded eye-movements as stimuli to further explore their cognitive process. The SEM of the cognitive processes identified from the writings, the eye-movements and interviews are the three interrelated data sources, but from different perspectives. Not only the product (the writings they would produce) but equally importantly their cognitive processes as evidenced in their eye-movements throughout the whole duration of the tasks are analysed to explore the dynamics of cognitive process in IW tasks and the similarities and differences between L1 and L2 tasks.
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
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  SCREEN ID: SCRRM00542