Research code: 7756
Ethics code: -
Clinical trials code: -

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Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies
Abstract:   (130 Views)
Introduction: writing can be narrowly viewed, as a particular kind of verbal production skill where text is manufactured to meet a discourse demand, or more broadly as a complex, integrated performance that cannot be understood apart from the social and cognitive purposes it serves. Cognitive models consider writing as problem solving activity which alike other complicated intellectual ones involves the coordination of multiple cognitive processes. The findings of Daneshgar in Academy of Persian Language and Literature revealed that Iranian students possess limited writing ability in comparison with reading, speaking and listening skills. This approach provided the basis for the research main question that how the Iranian primary school students’ descriptive writing skill can be improved through teaching construal operations like perspective and figure-ground. The research aimed at developing an educational package consists of perspective and figure-ground construal operations and investigating its effect on the sixth-grade primary school students’ writing skill. The research questions were: (1) in describing a scene, what is the ground and what factors influence the choice of perspective; (2) how is it possible to teach the offered educational package to the students; and (3) how can the effectiveness of the educational package on the student writing skill be evaluated.
Method: The present study was mixed (qualitative-quantitative) in terms of research paradigm, applied in terms of purpose and quasi-experimental with a pretest-posttest design with a control group in terms of method. The statistical population included all sixth-grade male and female students of the primary school in Rasht in the academic year 2020-2021 of which 40 students were selected by random sampling method and assigned in the experimental and control group (20 people in each group). Due to the fact that there was no writing test corresponding to the present research purpose, the research instrument included the 10-item researcher-made questionnaire in which cognitive skills of creative thinking, information processes, reasoning and decision making, memory thinking and awareness, information assessment, problem solving, research and perception were evaluated in relation to the construal operations of perspective and figure-ground. To assess the validity of the test, it was given to four experts in the fields of cognitive linguistics, cognitive psychology, cognitive education, curriculum planning and a sixth-grade teacher. Its content validity was determined 80% by Content Validity Index (CVI). The reliability of the tests was measured by reference to the retest method. Specifically, the test was conducted twice on the same samples in the period of ten days. Then the correlation between their different sets of results were calculated. The reliability of the test was assured by the correlation of 86%. For designing and compiling a training package, the theoretical concepts of construal operations of perspective and figure-ground were studied in the reliable sources and the affecting factors on choosing perspective or figure were identified. The designed package was assessed by the experts then the revised version was applied in the training sessions. The experimental group received the training package while the control group were trained by the usual method based on curriculum of Ministry of Education. The revised form of the training package was developed by TBLT method during 13 45–60-minute sessions in two sessions per week for the experimental group. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the training was conducted virtually using Adobe Connect Application. After completion of instructional program, a posttest was given to both experimental and control groups under the same condition. Data were analyzed using the analysis of covariance in SPSS 26.
Results: The result showed the utilization of theoretical concepts of construal operations including perspective and figure-ground made the producing of writing educational package possible. For adequately fulfilling this aspiration, theoretical concepts of cognitive linguistics and cognitive education were closely integrated This package established a basic framework of key components of perspective and figure-ground to promote students’ descriptive writing skill.  Students acquired familiarity with the ground and the influence factors on choosing perspective in a scene. Moreover, the findings of the research introduced TBLT as a practical method for teaching the offered educational package to the students. Since through task cycle, generating, organization and goal-setting occur. In addition, the result revealed that the education package of cognitive construal operations affected students’ descriptive writing (P< 0.01). In other words, the score of writing in students participating in cognitive construal operation training sessions increased significantly in comparison with the control group.
Conclusion: In line with McGutchen (2008) and Bazerman (2009) writing is a problem-solving task. Therefore, designing writing educational package based on cognitive construal operations introduces greater transparency into the trainers at primary school. This package accurately determines the cognitive components that are relevant for descriptive writing. Teaching educational package using TBLT method which aligns with Hayes and Flower’s (2017) three stages of planning, translation and reviewing facilitates students’ writing skill. Consequently, the implementation of writing educational package makes the students perform better in writing descriptive texts. As a result, the educational package of cognitive construal operations can be suggested as a facilitator in teaching descriptive writing to both teachers and students.
The present article is taken from the research project entitled The Effect of Teaching Construal Operations such as Perspective and Figure-ground on the Sixth-grade Primary School Students’ Writing by the code number 7756. The researcher expresses her profound gratitude to the Cognitive Sciences and Technologies Council for its financial support.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with Ethical Guidelines
Among the ethical principles observed were not violating the rights of individuals participating in the research, respecting human rights and keeping the results of their research confidential. Before the intervention, the participants were explained of the study’s objectives and informed consent was obtained from them. Also, after completing the training sessions on the training groups and performing the posttest, the treatment sessions were intensively performed on the control group to observe the ethical principles. This research has been carried out in accordance with the ethical principles of the Journal of Advances in Cognitive Sciences and also based on the ethical codes of the International Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE).
Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2021/10/13 | Accepted: 2022/04/13

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