About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2010-2021
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

LEARNER’S ATTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN LEARNING WRITING:A CLASSROOM RESEARCH IN A SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN TAIWAN

H. Tai, M. Pan

Chang-Gang Institute of Technology (TAIWAN)
Research of applying attribution theory into investigating learners’ perceptions of their foreign language learning has been discussed in the recent decades. However, most of them focus on the level of language learning in general. Less literature discusses attributions for a specific language skill such as writing.

This article is a qualitative study to approach the issue of learners’ perceptions of attributions towards writing learning in a language classroom in a senior high school in Taiwan. The aims of this study are: (1) to investigate students’ initial attributions for their success and failure in learning English writing skills; (2) to investigate the learners’ final attributions after one year’s writing learning; and (3) to examine the issue of individual differences through knowing the learners’ attributions.

Convenience sampling strategy was adopted to select this case. Participants include 42 students and their English language teacher. Most of the students are females including 35 females and 7 males aged from 16 to 19 although the majority (25 pupils) are 17 years old. 3 types of data collection instruments including questionnaire, learners’ interviews, and the teacher’s interview were used. A newly developed questionnaire designed by Williams et al. (2004) who propose a simple questionnaire consisting of 3 open-ended questions without being influenced by pre-determined categories was adapted. 42 questionnaires were distributed with 28 valid responds.

Results of participants’ responses are analysed qualitatively by means of a grounded theory approach. We derive categories directly from the data without any pre-determined categories.

Initial attribution survey conducted on 5/18/2005 shows that learners with successful perceptions supplied 3 major attributions - ‘competence in grammar’, ‘competence in vocabulary’, and ‘can write adequate content’ – out of 13 in total. On the other hand, learners with negative perceptions mainly attributed their failure to 3 similar causes – ‘lack of vocabulary ability’, ‘lack of grammar ability’, and ‘lack of practice in writing’ out of 20 categories.

Final attributions survey conducted on 2/23/2006 shows that irrespective of giving positive or negative perceptions, all learners tended to attribute their success/ failure to 2 linguistic factors, i.e. vocabulary and grammar ability, and a non-linguistic factor – lack of creativity/imagination/inspiration. Although the ‘patterns’ of these learners’ attributions are identified, individual differences still exist between these students.

A teaching implication extended from this study suggests that it is crucial to know the factors that may influence the learners’ perceptions and how they have attributed. Language teachers should realise those variables that may affect their students’ attributions so that they can develop effective teaching strategies to best help their learners individually.

@InProceedings{TAI2009LEA,
author = {Tai, H. and Pan, M.},
title = {LEARNER’S ATTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN LEARNING WRITING:A CLASSROOM RESEARCH IN A SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN TAIWAN},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2010-2021}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Tai AU - M. Pan
TI - LEARNER’S ATTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN LEARNING WRITING:A CLASSROOM RESEARCH IN A SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN TAIWAN
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 2010
EP - 2021
ER -
H. Tai, M. Pan (2009) LEARNER’S ATTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN LEARNING WRITING:A CLASSROOM RESEARCH IN A SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN TAIWAN, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 2010-2021.
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