Exploring the Teaching of Letter Writing in a Primary 1 Singapore Classroom

Quek Hwee Khim Shelly

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 2004

Abstract

This research investigates the nature of how writing is being taught in the new genre-based approach that has been adopted for the teaching of English language in Singapore. This is carried out through an in-depth case study of a teacher teaching the letter writing as a form in a Primary One classroom. Analysis of the teacherís beliefs, his actual classroom practices and the pupils' written texts were obtained and examined in the context of the teaching of writing. Instruments employed for the purpose of data collection, analysis and for drawing conclusions and making recommendations include that of non-participant observation, teacher interview, tape-recordings of lessons taught, focus group discussions and pupils' original letters.

There are quite a number of completed researches on instructional intervention to help students write more effectively and efficiently. However, there appears to be a lack of studies in the area of the actual implementation of the genre-based approach for the teaching of writing. Consequently, this study is an attempt to fill this gap especially since genre-based approaches are now becoming increasingly important in the field of English language teaching. The findings reveal that teachers have to be clear of the theoretical principles behind the genre-based approach and the rationale for using the different pedagogical strategies to aid students in their learning process. The results suggest that with sufficient scaffolding and with knowledge of shared meta-language, students are able to accede successfully to the demands of a writing task.