About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4613-4618
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1238

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

MAKING A SUMMARY IS NO EASY TASK. A TEACHING-LEARNING PATH FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUMMARIZING SKILLS IN PRIMARY STUDENTS

A. Piu

University of Valle D'Aosta (ITALY)
Recognizing that summarizing skills contribute to the development of communicative, linguistic, and textual competence, in the current paper I present a proposed research project for designing, implementing, and testing a teaching-learning path aimed at developing primary students’ ability to formulate oral and written summaries of narrative texts.

I first draw on the linguistics and education literatures to demonstrate the complexity of the skills required to summarize and the need to consider the cognitive load involved in a given summarizing task, which will pose more or less of a challenge depending on the learning subject’s current level of expertise (Paas, Renkl & Sweller, 2003). Indeed, making a summary demands the capacity both to understand and to produce text, and presupposes the mutual integration of both logical-inferential and more purely language-related abilities (Balboni, 2006).

In relation to writing, understood as a complex combining of information processing (Bereiter & Scardamaglia, 1987) and problem-solving processes (Hayes & Nash, 1996) that is guided by meaning, I identify reviewing as a key step in handling information and matching form with content that can reduce the cognitive load associated with progressing from oral to written production. I also discuss the role of a sense of self-efficacy (Zimmerman & Bandura, 1994) in enhancing both subjects’ motivation to write and their writing performance, as well as the benefits of a dialogical approach to analysing and reflecting on the concepts used to communicate or think.

Given this theoretical framework, I outline the principles underpinning the proposed teaching-learning path:
- breakdown of the path into learning units composed of in-class simulation games, lessons, and labs that have been specifically designed to foster acquisition of the different skills involved in summarizing;
- gradualness of the path, in terms of the incremental difficulty of the texts and a progressive shift in learning focus through: - consolidation of the cognitive processes involved in receiving and understanding a text to be summarized; - guided review of summaries provided by the teacher to practice identifying, selecting, or devising appropriate contents and linguistic forms; - production of original summaries.
- provision of meaningful and collaborative learning environments with the power to elicit inductive and discovery processes that enhance learners’ understanding of the pragmatic function of language and trigger processes of linguistic reflection.
- flexible modification of the path in response to the learning needs of individual students and their cognitive and affective-motivational traits.

The aim of the research project is to investigate whether and how the proposed teaching-learning path is effective in: - enhancing students’ awareness of the pragmatic function of language; improving their processes of text comprehension and production of oral and written summaries; increasing their perceived self-efficacy in relation to their writing abilities.

A case study method will be adopted to pilot the path with two third-grade primary school classes over a two-year period.

The path will be evaluated via: quali-quantitative measures of students’ comprehension of narrative texts and production of oral and written summaries and the processes involved; instruments for monitoring the teaching-learning process; and a scale of perceived self-efficacy in writing.
@InProceedings{PIU2017MAK,
author = {Piu, A.},
title = {MAKING A SUMMARY IS NO EASY TASK. A TEACHING-LEARNING PATH FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUMMARIZING SKILLS IN PRIMARY STUDENTS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1238},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1238},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4613-4618}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Piu
TI - MAKING A SUMMARY IS NO EASY TASK. A TEACHING-LEARNING PATH FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUMMARIZING SKILLS IN PRIMARY STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1238
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 4613
EP - 4618
ER -
A. Piu (2017) MAKING A SUMMARY IS NO EASY TASK. A TEACHING-LEARNING PATH FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUMMARIZING SKILLS IN PRIMARY STUDENTS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 4613-4618.
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