The enhancement of writing ability through using E-mail instruction of Mattayom Suksa 3 students at Suwannaramwittayakom School

Chapter 1

Introduction

Background of Study

There are many problems have become a great concern with learning English. Writing skill is the one. However, the solution lies in the curriculum itself. And there are computer facilities everywhere on school, why not use this facility to offer consultations through e-mail, in other words, on-line learning to learn writing? Because electronic mail is rapidly becoming such a large part of our communications system, this survey method deserves special attention.

Gardner & Miller (1999) suggest a numbers of reasons why e-mail should be used as a tool. Firstly, e-mail gives learners real reasons for writing. E-mail helps teachers save time. Finally, the record of learners’ questions and problems can be useful for teachers to check back on when needed by using an email. From all of the advantages of e-mail stated above, it is interesting to investigate the effectiveness of the use of e-mail. We would also like to learn about the problems arising, and how to solve them so that it can be used more effectively.

Suwannaramwittayakom School, is secondary and high level school. There are 3 computer rooms with at least 45 computers for students which all were installed with licensed and original software and completed with audio hardware, and internet connection. Students can learn basic IT skills clearly and teachers can also use them to instruct students more effectively. So the student can use technology through these facilities. About the classrooms for secondary level, there are 45 students per class but not include the IP program room. And participant in this research we will use the IP program room which has 26 students.

Significance of study

This study highlights the writing difficulty of the students by using web- based approach to improve the ability of writing English. The students who are poor with written English are often at serious risks of failure in an academic study program so this research will help the students to be able to write the letters in English through the E-mail. The reason why we choose teaching writing trough E- mail because we think that nowadays technology has a lot of influence for teenager for example using internet in every their life and chatting, so we choose an E- mail for teaching the students and the students can use it in the future too.

Research Questions

  1. Can web-based instruction helps Mattayom Suksa 3 students enhance their writing ability?
  2. How do Mattayom Suksa 3 students feel after using web-based instruction?

Objectives

  1. To enhance Mattayom Suksa 3 students’ writing ability through using web-based instruction.
  2. To study Mattayom Suksa 3 students’ opinion after using web-based instruction.

Hypothesis

  1. Web-based instruction can help students of Mattayom Suksa 3 enhance their writing ability.
  2. Students enjoy and have positive opinion after using web-based instruction.

Definition of terms

Web-based instruction is teaching and learning supported by the attributes and resources of the Internet (Khan, 1997; Relan & Gillami, 1997). Khan defined Web-based Instruction (WBI) as ’a hypermedia-based instructional program which utilizes the attributes and resources of the World Wide Web to create a meaningful learning environment where learning is fostered and supported’.

E-mail, literally is electronic mail. E-mail is a way that a computer user connected to the Internet can communicate with other connected users through text. E-mail also allows users to send documents, images, sound clips and video between computers. Three general types of e-mail service are web mail, POP3 and IMAP. Versature’s small business communications platform includes e-mail services with a wide variety of features. (http://www.versature.com/resource/glossary-of-terms)

The Email (also known as e-mail, eMail, e-post) refers to the transmission of messages over communication networks. As an electronic method of messaging, it is fast and convenient, and includes all the steps of the delivery of a message to a recipient – writing, sending, receiving and saving. A received message can be handled in a variety of ways – it can be stored in a text file, forwarded to other users or just deleted. (http://www.ntchosting.com/email/)

Students are 26 students of Mattayom Suksa 3 at Suwannaramwittayakom School who learn English with Ms.Pattheera.

Writing ability, the terms of writing have several meanings. Many experts have proposed the definition and explanation of writing. Widdowson (1978:62) states that writing is the act of making up correct sentences and transmitting them through the visual medium as mark on paper. Hornby (1974:996) states that writing is in the sense of the verb ‘write’. Write is to make letters or other symbols (egideographs) on a surface, especially with a pen or a pencil on a paper. Troyka (1987:3-4) states that writing is a way of communicating a message to a reader for a purpose. The purposes of writing are to express one’s self, to provide information for one’s reader, to persuade one’s reader, and to create a literary work. The term of ability is defined as skill or power. Concisely, writing ability is the skill to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings to other people in written symbols to make other people or readers understand the ideas conveyed. (http://teachingenglishonline.net/definition-of-writing-ability/)

Feedback is an essential part of education and training programmes. It helps learners to maximize their potential at different stages of training, raise their awareness of strengths and areas for improvement, and identify actions to be taken to improve performance.

Feedback can be seen as informal (for example in day-to-day encounters between teachers and students or trainees, between peers or between colleagues) or formal (for example as part of written or clinical assessment). However, ‘there is no sharp dividing line between assessment and teaching in the area of giving feedback on learning’ (Ramsden, 1992, p. 193). Feedback is part of the overall dialogue or interaction between teacher and learner, not a one-way communication. (http://www.faculty.londondeanery.ac.uk/e-learning/feedback/what-is-feedback)

Gloria states that feedback often challenges students to change the way that they express ideas, or change what they write about or change the way that they think. At times, the feedback asks them to change who they are. These requests can shape students’ lives in the long term and the cultural contexts they inhabit. Feedback also has the power to strengthen or hinder their identity as learners by affirming and praising what they know or focus on their deficiencies. It seems that feedback at its best fosters learning that is built on and can be transferred to other situations. Effective feedback can also encourage students to unlearn in order to re-learn.

 

Chapter 2

 Literature Review

(Dudeney, 2007) Introduces a variety of Internet tools teachers can use to promote learning through affiliation with students in other parts of the world to include email changes, discussion lists, webquests, blogs, wikis, online groups, and chat.

(Hyland & Hyland, 2006) Giving feedback is one of method to evaluate writing of students. In the past teacher was the one who give feedback to students. But nowadays it is proved that peer feedback is an effective tool. Giving feedback or comment through internet is real time way so students will learn from their friends not only from teacher.

(Hyland & Hyland, 2006) Nelson and Carson‘s “Cultural issues in peer response: Revisiting culture” provides a detailed review of various issues related to culture in peer response. Computer-mediated feedback has been used widely because everywhere in the world has internet connection. Warschuer et al. (1996) stated that peer feedback encourages students to participate and learn from their friends via comment in a sense of community.

(Yang, Ko, & Chung, 2005) Studied the development and evaluation of a web-based interactive writing environment designed for elementary school students. The result is students can improve their writing skills by participating in the writing environment, writing many essays, contacting their peer to give comment and discuss. The comparison result of early and late student writing also shows the improvement of writing. It is persuaded this writing environment capably helps students to write with designed social interaction, creative writing themes, and reflective assessment criteria.

(Al-Jarf, 2007) The study recommends interactive writing spent more time than individual writing. Students’ work should publish online. And the reader statistic should be reported to see frequency of read time. And the study indicates that when teacher and student work together on poetry, they exchange idea into poetry in the same aspect. Using online instructor supports the creativity in work.  Persuading students to sign up for a class blog, where students can post their writing and get feedback from their peers.

(Gao, 2007) Besides teacher written feedback, alternative feedback could be introduced into the writing classroom, such as self-assessment; peer group feedback; student-teacher conferencing. According to alternative feedback, the study shows that the result of teaching writing in Chinese is enhanced.

(Krajka, 2000) The issue of using the web pages for teaching writing is raised in the paper “Using Cooperative Learning to Integrate Thinking and Information Technology in a Content-Based Writing Lesson” by Tan et.al. (1999). The first part of the paper deals with the question of cooperative learning in an on-line classroom, and the authors demonstrate and discuss different types of co-operation. The article begins with discussion of how cooperative learning promotes effective instruction of thinking skills and creativity. Next, the authors describe a writing lesson for secondary school students in Singapore in which cooperative learning is integrated with thinking, creativity and information technology. The lesson has a similar format to the ones adopted in the my paper, namely some off-line work on structures and language, on-line search, then off-line discussion of results and analysis of the pieces written by students.

(Krajka, 2000) How to use e-mail in the classroom is the focus of the paper by Nagel (1999), “E-mail in the Virtual ESL/EFL Classroom.” It deals with more advanced issues connected with the use of e-mail in teaching, and specifically with how to be most effective and to get optimal results in the use of e-mail as an instructional tool. This paper tries to achieve these goals by illustrating the difference between e-mail and academic writing, considering how e-mail functions as a learning tool, and whether to use a LISTSERV or not. It also addresses a number of other problems painful for a wired classroom, trying to propose some workable solutions to them. Some of these issues are: managing large volumes of mail, making workgroups work by dealing with problems of non-response, the role of motivation and interpersonal relations, the use of e-mail either as an add-on or as core, the role of the learning facilitator and the future of e-mail in the educational environment.

Chapter 3

Research Methodology

Sample

Sample: 26 students of Mattayom Suksa 3 at Suwannaramwittayakom School who learn English with Ms.Pattheera.

Research Instruments

-  4 lesson plans of web-based instruction

-  questionnaire for asking students’ opinion after using web-based instruction

-  pre-test/post-test (using rubric score for grading students ability)

Research Design:

Group

pretest

treatment

posttest

RE

T1

X

T2

 

RE:        Randomized the sample of study

T1:         Pre-test

X:           Learning through using web-based instruction

T2:         Post-test (as same as pre-test)

Data Collection:

  1. Random a class of students from 12 classes to be the sample of this study. Introduce about processes of learning by using web-based instruction, student roles, teacher roles, purpose of study, and assessment.
  2. Provide pretest to students.
  3. Use 4 lesson plans which use web-based instruction to teach writing. In each lesson plan, students would have writing task for drilling their writing.
  4. Provide posttest to students (same as pretest) after using 4 lesson plans completely.
  5. Provide questionnaire for asking students’ opinion after used web-based instruction.

Data Analysis:

  1. Grade students’ writing test by using writing rubric score.
  2. Calculate mean score of pretest and posttest by using Microsoft Excel 2010.
  3. Calculate standard deviation.
  4. Compare score between pretest and posttest.

 

Chapter 4

Results

Results of pre-test and post-test.

No.

Pre-test (Total 15 points)

Post-test (Total 15 points)

1

6

9

2

7

9

3

5

9

4

8

12

5

4

9

6

6

12

7

5

12

8

4

9

9

7

12

10

6

13

11

4

9

12

5

9

13

8

10

14

3

8

15

6

10

16

5

10

17

4

11

18

4

11

19

6

13

20

7

12

21

4

10

22

5

12

23

6

10

24

6

10

25

5

12

26

7

12

27

9

13

28

3

8

29

5

10

30

6

12

mean

5.53

10.6

We can conclude that students have higher writing ability. When we look at pre-test and post-test, all of students get average score of pre-test at 5.53 points. Then after using web-based instruction they get mean score at 10.6 points. Students use variety of vocabulary than before.

In order to answer research objectives to study lower 1 students’ opinion after using web-based instruction we use questionnaire. Questionnaire is included 10 items and rated 5 Likert scales from 5 (Maximum) – 1 (Minimum).

Questionnaire is developed from Lina Lee (2005).

Item statements

Mean

1. I believe Blackboard was useful to me.

3.4

2. Online activities helped me improve my English writing.

3.8

3. I felt comfortable using e-mail.

4.2

4. I enjoyed writing topic-based e-mail.

3.7

5. I believe writing e-mail have improved my writing skills.

4.2

6. I think sending e-mail has enhanced my communication skills.

3.8

7. Working with someone online was beneficial to me.

3.6

8. I found the topics to be interesting assignments.

4.3

9. Feedback from teacher helps me to do better writing task.

3.9

10.  I will continue to explore Internet technology beyond this course.

3.6

In summary, most of students enjoy using e-mail to do writing task. They feel free to write e-mail to teacher and their friends.

The students opinions toward using e-mail for promoting their writing ability

For the comments, students wrote it in Thai because they could express their opinion independently, and  researchers translate it into English.

“I enjoy and comfortable to write by e-mails because it easy to submit the work and edit the text. I like it”

“I think it help us save the time for writing because I can edit rapidly.”

“Writing through e-mails is good because the program will check spelling during I wrote it, it save the time for checking correctness”

“I think it good, but sometimes I confuse about how to use an e-mails”

“Sometimes, the internet was down and we did not save the draft, so, it waste time for rewriting it again”

Those were examples of opinion of students who using e-mail to promote their writing ability. Almost of them enjoy and feel comfortable for sending e-mails to submit their work because it decrease the time and the program would check the spelling and a little bit structure for them. A few of students confused about how to use the e-mails for submitting their work, and sometimes the internet was not work. So, for solving problem, the teacher should teach how to use an e-mail to sending file, submit their work , and saving draft during writing an e-mail before provide the task for them. That helps them can be used e-mails more effectively.

 

Chapter 5

Summary and Discussion

We can conclude that students have higher writing ability. When we look at pre-test and post-test, all of students get average score of pre-test at 5.53 points. Then after using web-based instruction they get mean score at 10.6 points. Student use variety of vocabulary than before.

We can see that students have improved their writing ability after using web-based instruction. So we can use this method in other skill for example reading skill, listening skill and speaking skill. Students are satisfied when using e-mail and can connect to their friend to show feedback and share idea with their friends. According to Gao(2007) claimed that written feedback, alternative feedback could be introduced into the writing classroom, such as self-assessment; peer group feedback; student-teacher conferencing. Likewise Yang, Ko, & Chung (2005) stated that the development and evaluation of a web-based interactive writing environment designed for elementary school students. The result is students can improve their writing skills by participating in the writing environment, writing many essays, contacting their peer to give comment and discuss.
Almost of them enjoy and feel comfortable for sending e-mails to submit their work because it decrease the time and the program would check the spelling and a little bit structure for them. A few of students confused about how to use the e-mails for submitting their work, and sometimes the internet was not work.

For future research we can use other web-based instruction such as blog or web board to have students join and upload their writing.

References   

Yang, J. C., Ko, H. W., & Chung, I. L. (2005). Web-based Interactive Writing Environment: Development and Evaluation. International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS) , 214-229.

Al-Jarf, R. S. (2007). Online Instruction and Creative Writing by Saudi EFLFreshman Students. Professional Teaching Articles .

Dudeney, G. (2007). The Internet and the Language classroom. In The Internet and the Language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge university press.

Gao, J. (2007). Teaching Writing in Chinese Universities: Finding and Electic Approach.Professional Teaching Articles .

Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). An intoduction: Contexts and issues in feedback on L2 writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Krajka, J. (2000, November 11). Using the Internet in ESL Writing Instruction. Retrieved September 22, 2012, from The Internet TESL Journal: http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Krajka-WritingUsingNet.html

 

 

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