Effects of the Somebody-Wanted-But-So (SWBS) Chart as a Text Structure-based Technique on Second Language Narrative Prose Comprehension

By Ming-chun Sinn.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Key themes in English language arts teaching include text schemata and comprehension, and the quest for suitable instructional approaches. This article presents a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest classroom-based research study conducted by a trainee teacher documenting the effects of teaching the Somebody-Wanted-But-So (SWBS) chart as a text structure-based technique on second language (L2) narrative prose comprehension. Subjects were 68 Secondary Six ESL students in S.T.F.A. Leung Kau Kui College, an English medium school in Hong Kong. By collecting quantitative data including the pretest and posttest scores and running inferential statistical analysis, it was found that the use of SWBS significantly enhanced the experimental subjects’ narrative prose comprehension at sentence level and supra-sentence level. Pedagogical implications are then discussed from the point of view of first, encouraging teachers to consider explicit instruction of narrative text structure knowledge through the use of SWBS in upper-intermediate ESL classrooms; second extending SWBS to teaching writing short stories and to speaking activities in class; and third encouraging secondary level students to become independent readers after being equipped with narrative text structure knowledge.

Keywords: Narrative Text Structure-Based Techniques, Narrative Text Schemata, Narrative Text Comprehension, SWBS, ESL, Hong Kong

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.41-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.236MB).

Ming-chun Sinn

Final-year undergraduate, B.A.(English Studies) and, B.Ed. (English Language Education), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Anson Ming-chun SINN is now a final-year English Language Education student aspiring to choose teaching as a career. During his undergraduate study, Sinn has actively assisted professors from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with research projects including “Academic literacy” and “Reading English language across the curriculum.” With determination and persistence, he co-authored with Ms. Mhairi Mackay, an instructor working at the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) in CUHK, a life history research paper entitled “Autonomous Learning as Keeping On and Taking Charge: A Learner’s Story.” As a Hong Kong-based student, Anson SINN has developed versatile interests and hobbies—from academic to non-academic, from music to films, from writing to community services. As a productive student, he was recruited as a freelance movie columnist working for English Street, Hong Kong Economic Times. For writing is discovery, Sinn builds on reflections and seeks perspectives through ten years experience of leisure writing. In addition to creative journalism, he once held the post of Editor-in-Chief for his high school newspaper, Whats’Up, and now, as an undergraduate Editor-in-Chief, helps run Netter, a blog under the project “English Teacher Education on the Net” (ETENet) launched by the Faculty of Education, CUHK.


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