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Silver, Rita
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the viability of self-transcription as an alternative to the traditional detailed correction of grammatical verb tense errors in students' writing in the context of secondary schools in Singapore.

A quasi-experimental study was undertaken to study the effects of using a self-transcription activity on Secondary Five Normal Academic students from an autonomous school in Singapore. The students were selected to represent local students of an average level of language proficiency who exhibit lapses in their use of grammar despite having at least ten years of English learning experience.

Students in the classes were randomly assigned into two groups for the study conducted over four weeks. The Comparison Group received no treatment and took the pre- and post-tests in the form of a writing activity. The Intervention Group underwent an additional process in which they recorded their verbal production, transcribed and edited their recording in writing. The effects were measured in terms of the change in the accuracy scores in the use of grammatical tense in their writing from pre- to post-test. Qualitative analyses were conducted on writing by the Intervention Group students to study instances of self-repair that indicated focus on form, and also the kinds of grammatical forms students paid attention to.

An analysis of the quantitative data showed that the Intervention Group students did not show improvement in the grammatical accuracy of their use of tenses. It was postulated that this might have happened as there was little room for further improvement due to the high accuracy scores at pre-test. A qualitative study of students' writing and the nature of the changes showed some evidence of focusing on form, including linguistic elements other than tenses.

The results suggested that while transcription produced positive results in past research, the benefits might not have been manifested in the current study due to the different procedures used and conditions. Two key conditions for transcription to be a viable means of students’ self-repair seemed to be the availability of teacher feedback and the use of repetition to help students to adapt to working entirely on their own. More research is needed to study if students can experience the positive effects of transcription if these conditions are met.
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PE1068.S55 Tha
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Appears in Collections:Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics)

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