Title

Concept mapping strategy to facilitate foreign language writing: A Korean application

Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Leadership

Advisor(s)

Tiffany A. Koszalka

Keywords

Concept mapping, Foreign language, Writing, MANCOVA, Korean as a foreign language, Pre-writing strategy, Collaborative writing planning

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of concept mapping as a pre-writing strategy on second language learners' writing performance in a college-level Korean language program context. The study assumed that concept mapping, used as a pre-writing strategy, can reduce cognitive demands for second/foreign language writers. It was also expected that collaborative concept mapping tasks would engage language learners in communicative interaction to promote their writing.

One hundred and twenty-three undergraduates from Korean Language courses in a state university in the United States participated. There were three different proficiency level classes (beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes) represented in both the treatment and comparison groups. Data were collected during three writing sessions: (1) pre-test of writing, (2) individual planning, and (3) collaborative planning. The treatment groups were encouraged to develop concept maps to plan their compositions in the second and third writing sessions. To analyze the findings, the study used a repeated measure, analysis of covariance and multivariate analysis of covariance on composition scores. Correlation coefficients between concept map scores and composition scores, and analysis of variance of survey responses were also used for data analysis.

The results indicated that the treatment groups who used concept maps scored significantly higher than did the comparison group on a composition profile at both sessions. The effect of collaborative concept mapping on composition subscales significantly differed across the three classes. The correlation analysis revealed that the number of propositions in concept maps was significantly correlated with composition scores at the individual writing session, while the collaborative map scores were not significantly correlated with composition scores. Findings from the survey on the concept mapping groups' perception suggested that most participants were satisfied with collaborative concept mapping activities for writing. But some of advanced class students expressed reservation on group collaboration.

The study provided experimental evidence that using concept mapping as a pre-writing strategy in a foreign language learning context is beneficial. It was concluded that the concept mapping strategy has the potential to promote the writing process. Further research should consider the practical limitations challenging the use of collaborative mapping tasks in second language writing classes.

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