Tamkang University (TAIWAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 1952-1961
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In this paper I will present some results of a project entitled Application Research of Schema Theory to Spanish Discourse Teaching, sponsored by the National Science Council of Taiwan and developed from August 2009 to January 2011. The main goal of this project was to check the effectiveness and validity of Schema Theory –a cognitive theory about learning processes especially relevant in the field of Experimental Sciences– in the teaching of writing to Taiwanese students of Spanish as a foreign language.

Firstly, I will establish the theoretical foundations of my investigation. On the one hand, I explain the concept of schema as an abstract structure of knowledge that allows us to explain how prior knowledge affects the understanding process: to understand a message it is necessary to activate or to build on an existing schema into which described objects and events will be inserted. On the other hand, I describe David P. Ausubel theory’s of advance organizers, a kind of cognitive schema which provide scaffolding or support for new information. According to several investigations, visual organizers and pictures are one of the best methods to teach thinking skills, to work with ideas, and to present varied information, because they teach students how to clarify their thinking, as well as how to process, organize, prioritize, retain and remember better new data, in order to integrate it meaningfully into their background knowledge.

Next, I will present the results of an innovative Spanish Grammar teaching experience in Taiwan, based on a visual learning method, in order to check the functionality of the cognitive models mentioned above in this particular educational context. This visual method essentially consists of the projection of simple pictures to the students, without any additional text explanation, in order for the students to understand the meaning and usage of past tenses in Spanish.
Schema, cognitive, visual, learning, organizer, spanish, grammar, taiwanese.