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Applying a socio-cognitive model to the teaching of expository writing: from theory to instructional materials
Issue Date: 
Proceedings of the Redesigning pedagogy: culture, knowledge and understanding conference, Singapore, May 2007.
The conventional method of teaching expository writing in Singapore schools tends to be limited to suggesting topic content and providing a list of words relevant to the topic. This end-product focused teaching approach has not always been as effective as desired because many students are unable to use the content and vocabulary appropriately in their essay. Two alternative approaches to writing instruction are the cognitive and the social models which, respectively, view writing as
a decision-making, problem solving activity (Flower & Hayes, 1981) and as meaning-making
social activity (Halliday, 2004; Street, 2001). This paper presents an attempt to integrate the two models in a socio-cognitive framework for guiding the planning of learning activities and the writing of instructional materials in a research project to teach expository writing in two Singapore Secondary Schools. The paper begins by arguing for the pedagogical application of a theoretical view of school-based expository essay writing as a set of genre practices that issue from socio-culturally situated thinking processes. How a social cum cognitive model translates into classroom texts and activities that explicitly teach genre practices and associated thinking processes will be demonstrated with excerpts from the instructional materials written for the research project. The discussion section of the paper addresses some of the problems
encountered in realizing a socio-cognitive model in materials design and in aligning teachers’classroom behaviours with the model.
Paper was presented as part of the symposium titled: "Applying a socio-cognitive model to the teaching of expository writing"
Project number: 
CRP 5/04 AC
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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