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评价理论在高中英语阅读教学中的应用研究

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Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study
Reading has been always emphasized as an indispensable part in learning a languageat home as well as abroad. Silberstein(1933) proposed that reading activities are theprocess of readers’ meaning construction based on their native language as well as theirbackground language. In the meantime, reading activities are interactive process betweenreaders and reading materials which entails complex cognitive activities and results inprogress in different aspects. Krashen (1985) pointed out that reading is beneficial forlearners to master vocabulary and get information from reading materials. Similarly,Carrell (1988) viewed reading as the most important skill of the four basic language skills.He further stressed that reading is a necessary skill for language learners to gaininformation during the process of English learning. Harmer (2000: 67) put forward thatreading should not be regarded as an active skill rather than a passive one. The linguistAnderson(2004) had the same argument with Harmer because he also stated that reading isan active process, in which both readers and reading materials subsume building meaning.Moreover, Richards (2002) divided reading comprehension into four levels. The lowestlevel is literal or superficial comprehension. The second level is inferential understandingwhich means that readers can infer writers’ attitude or intention according to some detailsappeared in reading materials. The higher level of reading comprehension---critical reading,which are strongly advocated nowadays, lays stress on readers’ position and developingone’s own viewpoints on the basis of actively interpreting reading materials. Appreciationis the highest level which put higher request forward readers’ reading competence.
Equally, the importance of reading has also been stressed repeatedly by numerousChinese scholars. Hu Chundong (1998) mentioned that reading is a compulsory element oflearning English and one’s reading comprehension ability can be reflected in the readingprocess. Furthermore, the New English Curriculum Criteria for High School Students(2003) also places a high value on developing students’ reading competence. At last, itmust be pointed out that reading comprehension occupies an important position in CollegeEntrance Examination which is another important reason why we have to improvestudents’ reading competence in senior high schools.
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1.2 Purpose of the study
Even though reading competence is very important for students to obtain information,students’ reading competence in senior high schools is still far from being satisfactory. Forinstance, it is quite common for students to infer the author’s attitude towards a certainperson, thing or event appropriately. Just as Zhu Yanjuan (2004) once mentioned, studentsmainly view reading as a passively receptive process instead of an interactive activitybetween the author and the reader. Put it another way, they have not got themselves reallyinvolved English reading and failed to see the author's viewpoints and underlying valueswhile reading English.
It is because there exist many problems in English reading teaching of senior highschools, how to make the classroom instructions more effectively to arouse students’reading interest, attitude and improve students’ reading competence has become aresearching focus. Consequently, the author of the present study also joins in this researchfield and attempts to explore a way of English reading teaching based on Appraisal Theoryand its application to English teaching of previous studies.
On the basis of Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics(SFL), Appraisal Theorywas brought forth by Martin, focusing on linguistic resources by which a language user can express one’s attitude towards certain people, things or events.
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Chapter 2 Literature Review

2.1 Appraisal Theory
Appraisal Theory developed within the theoretical framework of Halliday’s SystemicFunctional Grammar(SFL) and proposed by James R. Martin and his colleagues in theearly 1980s. In 2000, the publication of Beyond Exchange: Appraisal Systems in English isa signal of the formal establishment of Appraisal Theory. With the publication of thebook The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English in 2005, P. P. R. White and Martincalled forth the appraisal model and framework of Appraisal Theory, which was acceptedas a milestone of in the process of the development. They indicated that Appraisal Theoryfocus on how writers make full use of linguistics mechanisms to express their tastes,emotions and normative assessments. Generally speaking, Appraisal Theory possessed aset of systems of evaluative resources and has been widely used for the analysis ofinterpersonal meaning in various discourses.
Appraisal Theory can be decomposed into three sub-systems which can be dividedfurther: attitude, engagement and graduation (as shown in Figure 2.1 which is extractedfrom Martin and White, 2005).These sub-systems are semantic collections, whose selectioncriteria depend totally on meanings rather than grammatical forms.

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2.2 The Definition and Nature of Reading
The traditional view regards reading a process of passivity which indicates thatreaders could not understand the main idea of reading materials unless they totally knowthe meanings of words, phrases and sentences. Gough(1972) is a representative figure ofthis kind of traditional view who claimed that readers obtain information from bottom suchas the smallest unit---graphemes and words to top such as phrases and sentences. Specially,readers start to recognize graphemes, words or phrases to get their meaning. Next they tryto understand the meaning of sentences based on their grammatical knowledge and further comprehend the main idea of the whole reading material. Goodman also had the similardescription of reading process. Goodman proposed that reading, as a kind of receptivelanguage process, starts with a linguistic representation encoding thought as language by awriter and ends up with decoding language to meaning or thought, which the readerconstructs(Goodman, 1967). Afterwards, some scholars began to question the traditionalview of reading. More and more linguists agree that reading is an active and interactiveprocess. For instance, Ellis stated that reading is a process in which a reader engagehimself in reading actively and interpret a writer’s language into his own thoughtselectively (Ellis, R.B, 1981). In 1989, Goodman developed the definition of reading. Heargued that readers, on the basis of previous knowledge and experience, try to assess,foresee and infer the content of reading materials by actively selecting a variety of valuableinformation through the whole reading passages. Harmer (2000: 67) put forward thatreading should not be regarded as an active skill rather than a passive one. The linguistAnderson(2004) had the same argument with Harmer because he also stated that reading isan active process, in which both readers and reading materials subsume building meaning.Silberstein(1933) proposed that reading activities are the process of readers’ meaningconstruction based on their native language as well as their background language. In themeantime, reading activities are interactive process between readers and reading materialswhich entails complex cognitive activities and results in progress in different aspects.
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Chapter 3 Research Methodology...............................16
3.1 Research Questions.................................... 16
3.2 Research Subjects.....................................16
3.3 Research Instruments............................... 17
Chapter 4 Results and Discussion............................... 24
4.1 Analysis of the Questionnaires...............................................24
4.1.1 Data Analysis of the Pre-questionnaires about Students’ Reading Interestand Attitude.......................... 24
4.1.2 Data Analysis of the Post-questionnaires about Students’ Reading Interestand Attitude..................... 25
Chapter 5 Conclusion......................................37
5.1 Major Findings.............................. 37
5.2 Implications of the study....................................39

Chapter 4 Results and Discussion

4.1 Analysis of the Questionnaires
The first two research question can be answered through data analysis ofquestionnaires in chapter 4. The adoption of questionnaire is to explore the changes ofstudents’ reading interest, attitude and their usage of reading strategies before and after theexperiment.
4.1.1 Data Analysis of the Pre-questionnaires about Students’ Reading Interest andAttitude
Before the experiment starts, both CC and EC are required to partake in thepre-questionnaires. The Independent Sample T Test is used to check whether significantdifferences exist in the scores of students’ English reading interest, attitude, and their usageof reading strategies between EC and CC. The results are shown as follows.

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Chapter 5 Conclusion

5.1 Major Findings
By means of the qualitative and quantitative studies, the present thesis contrasts theeffectiveness of bottom-up model and the reading teaching model based on AppraisalTheory among students in a senior high school. Several conclusions have been drawn asfollows:
Firstly, the students’ reading interest and attitude towards English reading has beenchanged through the application of Appraisal Theory to senior high school English readingteaching. Students’ English reading interest in EC has been enhanced greatly after theexperiment.
On the one hand, the application of Appraisal Theory to senior high school Englishreading teaching transfers English reading from a passive process to an interactive process.Many scholars have testified that interaction plays a crucial part in the learning process.The application of Appraisal Theory can make students aware that reading is an enjoyableprocess which can satisfy students’ mental needs. For instance, some students in EC thinkthat they act like “detectives” when they look for and analyze appraisal resources ofreading passages under the guidance of Appraisal Theory. They try to dig out and infer thewriter’s attitudes and intentions toward a certain thing or person according to the “givenclues” in the context. In other words, reading has become a bilateral activity which meansthat the writer has a dialogue with readers. So readers partake actively in the readingprocess and try their best to interpret the purposes of writers.
On the other hand, students as readers are not simply passive receivers of only a fewnew words, phrases and grammatical items. The application of Appraisal Theory to Englishreading teaching has changed the traditional way in which teachers are dominant in classesand students depend largely on teachers to explain reading passages. In the process of thereading teaching model based on Appraisal Theory, it emphasizes student-orientation andis beneficial to bring students’ subjective initiative ability into play. Students become the real masters of learning because Under the guidance of English teachers, they can activelyparticipate in the whole reading process under the guidance of English teachers. In thisreading teaching method with the application of Appraisal Theory, students’ roles haveswitched from passive readers to critics. It is this reading approach that makes differentlevels of students can arouse their reading interest and benefit from it. In a word, Englishreading teaching method based on Appraisal Theory can make students become moreinterested in English reading, improve their attitude towards English reading, enhance theirusage of reading strategies and foster their progress of reading competence ultimately.
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