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Applying a socio-cognitive model to the teaching of expository writing: A pedagogy for shaping student thinking and genre practice
Issue Date: 
Proceedings of the Redesigning pedagogy: culture, knowledge and understanding conference, Singapore, May 2007
This paper reiterates the issues and problems of the teaching and writing of expository essays in Singapore secondary schools and argues for a socio-cognitive view of language which links language to its cultural context. Such a view of language (Halliday, 1985, 2004) shows how different communities in the culture will use language in different ways. More specifically, the paper will provide pedagogic scaffolds which will assist students to help shape writing with an understanding of the cultural practices that embed writing. The paper is in two parts. The first provides a pedagogic framework for writing as a social practice. Using the Curriculum Cycle (Callaghan and Knapp, 1989) the paper will discuss the social contextual dimensions of writing an expository text: the field, the tenor and the mode. The role of the teacher and the student will be tracked through the three phases of the pedagogic framework, the modeling, the joint-construction and the
independent stages. Some activities for explicit instruction, joint negotiation of meaning and independent instruction will be discussed. The second part of the paper will draw from some Singapore classroom practices to demonstrate the kind of instructional
scaffolding provided by the teacher for shaping student thinking and genre practice in line with the social contextual dimensions of expository writing. Implications of the pedagogical approach documented will be discussed from the teacher's perspective. The viability of adopting the approach to help students gain mastery in the control of other school genres will also be explored.
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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