A multi-sensory approach to enhancing writing in Chinese

Year: 2007

Author: Ng, Po Chu, Yeung, Alexander

Type of paper: Refereed paper

A multi-sensory approach to instruction on writing is tested in three Chinese language classes (N = 100). The students were taught with the approach in the writing of Chinese essays in three distinct genres: descriptive, narrative, and expressive. Essays were assessed by three assessors: the writer himself or herself, a peer, and the teacher before and after the instruction. A 2 (time) x 3 (style) x 3 (assessor) repeated-measures analysis of variance found statistically significant main effects and also interaction effects. Overall, the approach improved students' writing over time in all three writing genres. However, the effect was found to be stronger for expressive and descriptive writings. The students did not feel the improvement in writing in the narrative genre as strongly as they did in the other genres. To improve students' writing in Chinese, the use of a multi-sensory approach may be helpful especially in the expressive and descriptive genres.