|Budget Amount *help
¥2,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,700,000)
Fiscal Year 2004 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2003 : ¥1,800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,800,000)
A research project in junior high school was conducted in 2003. First, a proficiency test, a pre-research composition and a questionnaire on composition were given to 134 second-year students in three classes. Thereafter all the participants received instruction on coherent writing. From the following week, each class was instructed to write a composition based on three different teaching methods : (a)Method 1, composition with primary focus on coherence and organization without any attention on grammatical errors, (b)Method 2, composition with primary focus on writing as much as possible in a given time, and (b)Method 3, composition after reading a related English paragraph silently and then discussing what to write with a partner. No control group was arranged due to pedagogic consideration. Method 1 and 2 classes were given 15 minutes, and Method 3,25 minutes for the whole process. Instruction was given to each class by a total of three teachers of their high school. Researchers rec
eived compositions and returned them with comments the following week. This was repeated six times. The same investigations as the pre-research ones such as a questionnaire, were done to the participants. The same research method except that there was a control class, was employed in senior high school in 2004 with 139 participants.
The analysis measurements were (a)coherence (Mochizuki, Kubota and Iwasaki's measurement developed by revising Aoki's (1991) method), (b)holistic assessment, (c)grammatical correctness using twelve indices such as the number of error-free T units, (d)quantity using nine indices such as total words, (e)grammatical complexity with four indices such the number of T-units, and (f)vocabulary richness with seven indices such as the number of sophisticated words.
The results of junior high school showed that Hypothesis 1 "Coherence-focused Method 1 is superior to Method 2 and 3 in terms of coherence" was partially supported. Hypothesis 2 "Method 1 is superior to Methods 2 and 3 in terms of grammatical correctness" was supported. Hypothesis 3 "Quantity-focused Method 2 is superior to Methods 1 and 3 in terms of writing more" was not supported. Hypothesis 4 "Method 1,2 and 3 help participants to produce more grammatically complex sentences" was supported. Hypothesis 5 "Methods 1,2 and 3 help participants to use richer vocabulary" was partially supported. For Research Question 1 "Which of the three methods is superior in terms of coherence, grammatical correctness, quantity, and vocabulary richness, respectively?" it was shown that Method 1 was best in terms of coherence and grammatical correctness, that there was no difference in terms of quantity, and that Method 3 was best in terms of vocabulary richness. For Research Question 2 "How do composition abilities and skills relate to English proficiency?" it was shown that holistic assessment correlated highly with English proficiency in Method 3 classes.
The results of senior high school showed that Hypotheses 1 and 2 were both supported, that Hypothesis 3 was partially supported, and that Hypotheses 4 and 5 were not supported. For Research Question 1, it was shown that Method 1 was best in terms of coherence, grammatical correctness and quantity, and that there was no difference in terms of vocabulary richness. For Research Question 2, proficiency correlated weakly with coherence, quantity, and grammatical complexity. Less