Is instructional scaffolding a better strategy for teaching writing to efl learners? A functional mri study in healthy young adults

Hung Cheng Tai, Chun Ming Chen, Yuan Hsiung Tsai, Bih O. Lee, Yulis Setiya Dewi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To test the scaffolding theory when applied to the teaching and learning of writing English as a foreign language, this cross-sectional study was conducted to collect physiological data. A total of 53 participants were randomly assigned into two groups, and brain activity was investigated during a guided-writing task using storytelling pictures. The writing task was further divided into four parts using graded levels of difficulty. The experimental group performed tasks in sequence from easy to difficult, whereas the comparison group performed the tasks at random. Outcomes included handwriting assessments and fMRI measurements. Writing outcome assessments were analyzed using SPSS, and scanned images were analyzed using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) software. The results revealed a positive learning effect associated with scaffolding instruction. The experimental group performed better during the writing tasks, and the fMRI images showed less intense and weaker reactions in the language processing region than were observed in the comparison group. The fMRI results also presented the experimental group with reduced motor and cognitive functions when writing in English. This study provides insight regarding brain activity during writing tasks in humans and may have implications for English-language instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1378
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Brain neural connections
  • EFL teaching and learning writing
  • English as a foreign language
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Left inferior frontal gyrus

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