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Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Accessing the Workings


of the Mind
From input to intake

By
Li-ling Chuang

Chartridge Books Oxford


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First published in 2016 by Chartridge Books Oxford
ISBN print: 978-1-911033-07-3
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Contents

Encoding Input into Intake

Input-based processing instruction

Components of the second language acquisition process

Top-down and bottom-up encoding processes

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar


Mapping

Dual coding and reading while listening

Story grammar mapping and comprehension

Encoding listening input into intake

11

Experimental study on listening enhancement

11

Participants and instruments

12

Materials and procedure

12

Results and discussion

14

Conclusion

22

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

23

Phonological loop, working memory and language learning

24

Features of songs and chants

25

Encoding language input with songs and chants

27

Experimental study on decoding to comprehend

30

Participants and instruments

30

Materials and procedure

31

Results and discussion

33

Conclusion

38

vi

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

41

Reading comprehension processes and instruction

42

Storytelling and schema

42

Differentiated reading instruction

44

Encoding reading with differentiated storytelling

45

Experimental study on reading enhancement

46

Participants and instruments

46

Materials and procedure

47

Results and discussion

48

Conclusion

60

Conclusion

63

Summary of major findings


Future studies

64
66

References

69

Appendix A: Story Grammar Mapping Worksheet

81

Appendix B: Rhyme and Rhythm Worksheet

83

Appendix C: Differentiated Storytelling Worksheets

85

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank our colleagues from Graduate Institute of


Childrens English who provided insight and expertise that greatly
assisted the research, making the work possible. I want to express
my deepest thanks to them for sharing their wisdom during the
course of this research. Special thanks go to Professor Ping-yan Lai
whose encouragement and comments vastly improved the essence of
the manuscript. I am also immensely grateful to Professor Midori
Inaba, Professor Shao-Kang Chu, colleagues and students at
National Changhua University of Education, who have contributed
to my thinking and writing of the drafts of this work. Last but not
least, this book is dedicated to my beloved family, especially my
parents. Through their enduring love and invaluable support,
I realize what it takes to transform plain input into enlightened
intake.

1
Encoding Input into Intake

Over the past two decades, second language (L2) studies have
considered how instructional options can increase the effectiveness
of formal instruction in second language learning. In the EFL
(English as a Foreign Language) setting of Taiwan, where there is a
lack of native speakers, explicit instruction becomes pivotal as it
influences second language acquisition. Two types of approaches
differ significantly with regard to the most effective type of
instruction, in the context of an emphasis placed on comprehension
versus production (Ellis, 1999).

Input-based processing instruction


Given the distinction between comprehension and production, the
instructional effectiveness of input-based processing instruction and
a traditional type of output-based instruction were measured and
compared to examine the type of instruction that might impact on
L2 learners language developing system (VanPatten and Cadierno,
1993). The findings indicated that that input-based instruction was
superior to output-based instruction in that learners of the former
were better at producing the target structure and message
interpretation, despite not having been instructed on the production
of the form previously. The results lend credence to the claim that
explicit L2 instruction should aim to pave the way for processing the

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

language input, instead of focusing on producing the output. That


is, the proposition has been established that in second language
acquisition, allocating learners attention to L2 input is essential for
further language processing.
VanPatten (1996) further proposed the Input Processing Model,
capitalizing on the processes with regard to how learners should
interact with the input received. Here, input processing refers to
what occurs in the brain while perceiving the input. On this basis, it
is supposed that input processing, once triggered by simple classroom
exposure to input, is mostly insufficient to bring about acquisition
without appropriate attention and effort. This indicates that only
through the processes by which learners notice form and meaning
from the input can the learning of the connection be made possible.
The Input Processing Model advocated consists of three phases of
acquisitional processes: input, intake, and the developing system.
The phases accordingly correspond with locating linguistic data in
the input, converting the input to intake, and making the intake
readily available for integration into the developing language system.
In light of the input-processing framework, it is assumed that to
assist learners in completing the language processing cycle, instruction
should center on the methods employed by learners to process the
input, to convert the input into intake, and subsequently to integrate
the information into the developing system. Based on a number of
studies further explored by VanPatten, among others, the effects of
input-processing instruction and conventional production-based
instruction were again differentiated. It was concluded that learners
receiving input-processing instruction fare better than those receiving
traditional instruction when it comes to comprehension tasks.
Similarly distinguishing input from intake, Ellis (1995) teases
apart explicit knowledge from implicit knowledge by highlighting
the fact that implicit knowledge is precisely the underlying ability
enabling learners to communicate fluently and confidently. Explicit
knowledge indicates the linguistic input provided to learners aiding
language acquisition, which in turn facilitates the development of
implicit knowledge. In this regard, explicit knowledge is considered
critical in having the effect of priming numerous key acquisitional

Encoding Input into Intake

processes, in particular noticing and noticing the gap (Schmidt,


1994). As such, it is suggested that structuring the input of explicit
knowledge to foster implicit knowledge should be the goal of any
language instructional program, given that explicit knowledge
becomes implicit knowledge only if learners have the opportunity
for plentiful meaningful practice (Ellis, 1989; 1995; Gass, 1997;
VanPattern, 1996, 2004). That is, the more communicative practice
the input involves, the more likely the intake is made available for
further language processing.

Components of the second language acquisition


process
In viewing the component parts of the language acquisition process,
the input received in the environment and the intake exploited by the
learner are differentiated. The question then arises as to how a
second language learner, given the reception of the input, could
correctly make use of the available input and arrive at an appropriate
decoding of the target text. Despite the fact that the linguistic input
might be full of relevant data, this data is only useful if L2 learners
are able to identify the essential part of the input and subsequently
use it. In consequence, the success of interpreting a message largely
stems from how able L2 learners are to encode the input into intake.
The way in which L2 learners use the linguistic input is, therefore,
critical for second language learning to take place. As a result, the
recurrent theme of this book will be the exploration of how effective
language instruction can facilitate a learners ability to encode the
data from the input. The issues addressed in the subsequent chapters
concern the type of cognitive processes L2 learners employ to encode
from the input, and the tasks that support the input processing
conducive to the language acquisition process.
To convert input into intake, it is initially important to consider
the components of the second language acquisition process in
relation to second language instruction. The following model
specifies the essential component parts pertaining to the second
language acquisition device.

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Formal instruction

Explicit knowledge

Monitoring

Input

Encoding/
Intake

Implicit
knowledge

Output

Figure 1.1 The Component Parts of SLA Device (Ellis, 1989; 1995;
2005; Gagliardi et al., 2012).

Drawing on the distinction between explicit and implicit


knowledge, the model in Figure 1.1 shows that L2 learners need to
have some way of encoding the input into intake for further
knowledge development. It is assumed that explicit knowledge
requires attention and is stored in analyzed form, while implicit
knowledge is intuitive and exists in an unanalyzed chunklike form,
which is pertinent to language use. With the utilization of the
relevant encoded representations, the explicit knowledge can then be
transformed into implicit knowledge for the developing language
system (Ellis, 1995; Kahneman, 1973; 2011; Gagliardi et al., 2012).
Overall, the subjective experience of input encoding is vital for the
conversion of input to intake for further language development,
given that input is the language learners receive and intake is the
language that learners actually use. With respect to language
processing, it is assumed that comprehension can only be furthered
with the control of attention from the encoded input via bridging
form and meaning (Gagliardi, 2012; Richards, 2005; Skehan, 1998).
Here, the reception of input mainly relies on perceptual encoding,
which is nonetheless interwoven with various elements such as
pattern recognition, audition, memory, theory of mind, etc. That is,
given the reception of the unstructured input, only when the input
becomes noticeably salient and thus encoded can further processing
be possible.

Encoding Input into Intake

As for output, production is suggested to hinge on implicit


knowledge, but can be augmented by explicit knowledge through
monitoring. Here, production does not function as the principal
means for acquiring new linguistic knowledge despite, to some
extent, assisting learners to gain mastery over language features. On
this basis, the extent of the influence of L2 instruction in helping
learners acquire a second language, with a seemingly chaotic input,
is an intriguing puzzle to investigate. Moreover, to what extent can
learners make use of encoding to facilitate language learning? To
enhance instructional efficacy, it is essential to ascertain how the
target input can be made salient to enable effective input filtering
and, in turn, to induce internal language learning.

Top-down and bottom-up encoding processes


The notions of bottom-up and top-down processing are pertinent to
second language learning. According to Schmidt (1994), a direct link
between input noticing and production must be established in
advance to propel language learning. The selective attention allocated
for input encoding thus paves the way for language learning. The
task of encoding input into intake is, in principle, related to bottomup processing and top-down processing. As Carrell and Eisterhold
(1983) suggested, bottom-up (so-called data-driven) processing
makes the language learner sensitive to novel information; meanwhile,
top-down (so-called schemata-driven) processing assists the learner
in the search for possible interpretations of the input. Notice that the
pedagogical dimension of bottom-up and top-down processing has
been widely acknowledged. It is assumed that second language
instruction aligned with both processing modes can be advantageous
to language learning (Moskovsky et al., 2015). Based on the
distinction, Berardo (2006) further pointed out that beginning
language learners generally use bottom-up processing to accumulate
meaning via word-for-word decoding, while proficient learners often
use top-down processing by identifying clues to grasp a global
meaning of the text.

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Given this differentiation, the input can be dealt with accordingly,


employing top-down processing to obtain the message content with
contextual cues. As for bottom-up processes, L2 learners take heed
of specific L2 items working from phonemes to larger linguistic
chunks for further decoding. The intake (i.e. the information the
learners utilize in building the target language system) largely
depends on how learners use these two processes to encode the
input. Appropriate processes employed by learners to structure the
receptive input can propel the development of the linguistic system.
That is, as learners notice the discrepancy between the input and
their own output via top-down and bottom-up processes, L2 learners
are provided with evidence to decide whether an existing hypothesis
regarding a target language structure is correct or not (Schmidt,
1994). These confirming or disproving processes in turn help
establish implicit knowledge for language use. Taken together, it is
thus essential that input-based processing instruction takes account
of top-down and bottom-up processes.
As alluded to above, among the essential component parts of
second language acquisition processes, Chapter 2 of the book
explores how the perceptual saliency encoded with story grammar
mapping develops listening input into intake. Chapter 3 investigates
how encoding via prosodic enhancement helps shape input into a
form useful for further language processing. Chapter 4 considers
how input coding for enacting a diverse linguistic focus of
differentiated practice induces the connection between form and
meaning for appropriate language development. Chapter 5 brings
together the experimental findings discussed in previous chapters for
further discussion pertinent to the theme of the book, referring back
to the distinction between input and intake. As a whole, by carefully
taking account of what type of encoding is necessary, converting the
information available in the input into intake, and fostering the
capabilities of young EFL learners with regard to different language
skills in diverse contexts, this work hopes to assist L2 learners in
advancing their English attainment, ultimately achieving learning
success.

2
Encoding Listening via
Contextual Story Grammar
Mapping

Listening is essential to language learning, as learners listen to


foreign language twice as much as they speak it and four times as
much as they read it (Mendelsohn, 1994; Morley, 2001, Rivers,
1981). To assist EFL learners in developing their English ability,
cultivating listening at grade level would be a valuable starting point.
In spite of its importance, it receives the least attention through
instruction and assessment in the language classroom (Gilakjani &
Ahmadi, 2011; Nunan, 2002). Improving EFL learners listening,
however, is not an easy task. Some EFL listeners ascribe their
frequent misunderstanding of the spoken text to the improbability
of keeping pace with the text to comprehend. It has been suggested
that this is largely due to the learners inclination to analyze words
in isolation, resulting in the decoding of text without comprehension
of the message (Ellis, 1994; 1995). In this context, enabling learners
to notice the listening input by linking the text to the visual stimuli
has been posited as a way to enhance comprehension (Chang &
Read, 2006; Tedjaatmadja, 2012; Ur, 1984). To this end, the
perceptually stimulating Reading-While-Listening (RWL) can be
considered as an initial polestar to facilitate comprehension for
second language listeners.

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Assuming that instruction with repetitive practice does not bypass


developmental sequences for L2 acquisition, appropriate explicit
instruction of L2 knowledge is thus of primary importance to
learners (Ellis, 1995; Pinenmann, 1989; Schuman, 1978). As explicit
instruction enables learners to notice the input and obtain intake, the
relevant information stands a good chance of being processed for
storage in memory (Ellis, 1995; 2005). In this regard, developing
story grammar mapping within narratives has been asserted to exert
influence over the process of comprehension (Morrow, 1984;
Rumelhart, 1975; Stein & Glenn, 1975; Thorndyke, 1977; Tsai &
Chuang, 2012). It is, therefore, worth the effort to take account of
story grammar and to acknowledge its importance in the process of
decoding listening text.
As indicated above, in order to develop listening comprehension
for EFL young learners with impoverished aural input, it is necessary
to employ explicit instructional tasks for listening comprehension in
classrooms. Given that learners might not fully encode what is
needed and available in the input, appropriate instruction to assist
with input encoding for intake conversion is critical.

Dual coding and reading while listening


Research studies on Dual Coding by Clark and Paivio (1991),
among others, explained human behaviors in terms of how cognitive
processes operate on the modalities of verbal and nonverbal
representations. According to Dual Coding theory, the imagery
system combines numerous objects with an integrated image and, in
turn, such integration facilitates the learning of new materials.
Mueller (1980) further posited that a single-mode approach suffices
for high proficiency learners while dually-coded material specifically
helps low achievers fill the gaps that may otherwise exist in
previously acquired knowledge. To this end, the use of image
creation and pictures has been suggested to enhance text
comprehension (Denis, 1984). Reading-While-Listening (RWL), the
activity of simultaneous reading and listening to advance listening

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

comprehension, has been asserted to facilitate listening itself


(Vandergrift & Goh, 2011). As reported in Chang (2009, 2011),
combining both input types via RWL was found to enhance the
natural flow of the target language and, significantly, to promote
text chunking for better English learning.
Observe that, despite the aforementioned contribution of the
perceptual saliency to memory, the picture superiority effect is not
without its flaws. When complexity is added to the pictures, the
memory performance is not always increased consistently. Due to
limitations of the human cognitive structure, cognitive overload such
as split attention and redundancy might arise if multiple sources of
information are given during listening. It is accordingly suggested
that pictures are processed with higher efficiency if they can be
semantically encoded (Gardiner & Richardson-Klavehn, 2000;
Weldon & Roediger, 1987). The idea is that remembering is
facilitated relative to the degree of conceptual processing of pictures
(Rajaram, 1993). Likewise, Wiseman & Neisser (1974) contended
that memory performance is dependent on whether the stimulus is
given a meaningful interpretation. On these grounds, the effects of
developing contextual story grammar mapping within narratives
merit attention and are well worth exploring.

Story grammar mapping and comprehension


A number of studies have suggested that children who have stories
read to them tend to develop complex story structures. Raising
childrens awareness to story grammar elements is deemed conducive
to their comprehension (Chomsky, 1972; Morrow, 1984; Sadow,
1982). The major elements shared by most stories include setting,
character, event/plot, problem/obstacle, ending/resolution, and theme
(Morrow, 1984; Rumelhart, 1975; Stein & Glenn, 1975; Thorndyke,
1977). Drawing on the previous work on story elements, the
integrated taxonomy of five story elements, comprising mainly
setting, character, problem, solution, and ending, has been generally
adopted in story grammar instruction (Tsai & Chuang, 2012).

10

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Aiming towards mastery of the narrative essentials, a study


conducted by Boulineau et al. (2004) and Kingston (2007) explored
story grammar mapping in L1 reading. Boulineau et al. (2004)
reported positive results with maintained improvement regarding the
effectiveness of story grammar mapping on third and fifth graders
reading comprehension. In a study implemented by Kingston (2007),
significant impacts have also been unveiled in the listening
comprehension of a mixed aged group of kindergarten children.
Moreover, in Arnold and Brooks (1976) study, to cope with the
limited linguistic knowledge in reading, fifth graders were taught to
read with supported oral input of story grammar. The investigators
assert that children benefit greatly from reading and listening to
stories, with children developing text schemata of story elements as
a result. Likewise, Montague, Maddux, and Dereshiwsky (1990)
examined the correlation between story grammar and story
comprehension. After simultaneous reading and listening to stories
with story grammar, superior effects were found in subjects without
learning disabilities, as they were able to retell significant information
from the stories. In addition, Morrow (1984) corroborated the
finding that story grammar enhanced listening comprehension as
early as kindergarten and could be transferable to future literacy
skills. The role that story grammar instruction plays in ESL contexts,
and the effects it exerts on vocabulary learning, reading comprehension,
and writing performance, have also been unfolded in EFL contexts
(Hou, 2007; Tsai & Chuang 2012; Wu, 2011). Taken together, the
abovementioned studies provide insights into the benefits of
processing narrative input via story grammar mapping.
Despite the positive findings of story grammar instruction, few
efforts have otherwise continued to explore its potential impact on
listening comprehension in an EFL context for young learners. As
the research evidence for young learners in EFL settings was limited,
it is worthwhile to explore how story grammar can potentially shape
listening input into intake.

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

11

Encoding listening input into intake


In second language acquisition, the proposition has been established
that attention to L2 input is essential for input to become intake in
order to further learning. For the conversion of input to intake to
take hold, the subjective experience of input noticing is vital
(Schdmit, 1994; VanPatten, 2002). In this regard, the noticing
hypothesis asserts what needs to be attended to. It is not just the
input in its entirety, but the relevant features of the input for the
target structure in question. Thus, to learn grammar, learners must
attend to grammatical features, while to acquire pragmatics, learners
need to take account of the linguistic forms and the related contextual
features. Given the reception of unstructured input, it is suggested
that only when the features of input become noticeable does further
processing become possible. Moreover, Schmidt (1994) pointed out
that a direct link between input noticing and production must be
established for second language acquisition to occur. The study
discussed below, conducted by the present author and a pre-service
teacher (Chuang & Wang, 2015), expands on previous research
efforts. It attempted to develop listening input into intake by
exploring how the perceptual saliency accompanying story grammar
mapping paved the way for listening comprehension.

Experimental study on listening enhancement


The study reported below combined the perceptually salient visuals
with story grammar mapping to probe into its effects on EFL
learners listening enhancement based on Chuang and Wang (2015).
More specifically, by means of three manipulations (RWL, pictorial
visuals and story grammar mapping), the study hoped to gain an
understanding of what might be reflected as a difference between
input and encoded intake. The study investigated how the input of
Reading-While-Listening encoded with contextual story grammar
mapping affected Taiwanese sixth graders listening comprehension.
Three primary questions addressed by the study were as follows:

12

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

1. To what extent does RWL encoded with contextual story


grammar mapping facilitate EFL young learners listening
comprehension?
2. To what extent does RWL encoded with contextual story
grammar mapping impact on EFL young learners English
proficiency on listening?
3. What are the EFL young learners attitudes toward RWL encoded
with contextual story grammar mapping?

Participants and instruments


The subjects participating in this study included 40 sixth graders
from two complete classes in a public elementary school in Taiwan.
Based on the results of the background questionnaire, it was revealed
that most of the participants had no experience of listening or
reading with the awareness of the story elements. To ascertain the
homogeneity of the two classes regarding their listening and reading
proficiency, pretests modified from the Starters of Cambridge Young
Learners English Tests (Cambridge YLE) were administered before
the intervention.
The instruments employed in the current study consisted of an
English learning background questionnaire, English listening pretests
and achievement posttests, nine immediate listening comprehension
tests, and an attitude questionnaire to triangulate the results.

Materials and procedure


The experiment lasted for 21 weeks. The intervention comprised
nine sessions and was conducted for 40 minutes per week for each
group. With pictures dually coded for stories, aural storybooks were
utilized as the listening materials for the study. Nine storybooks with
salient story structures favorable for EFL 6th graders were adopted.
The first five stories were selected from My Story Box and the
remainder from the Oxford Story Tree series. To take account of
the participants English learning background and their proficiency,

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

13

the Flesch-Kincaid index was used to measure the readability and


difficulty level of the nine selected stories. The story levels were all
below level two, considered relatively easy for sixth graders who
have started formal EFL English lessons for two periods a week since
grade three.
During the intervention, input encoded with story grammar
mapping in the mode of RWL was administered to the experimental
group. In contrast, lessons of RWL with oral rendition only were
delivered to the control group. The instructions for both groups
were carried out in three phases, as illustrated in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1
Group

Lesson Design of Listening Instructions


Pre-Listening Phase

While-Listening Phase

Post-Listening
Phase
1. Story review by
reading aloud
2. Immediate
comprehension
test

The
Experimental
Group

1. Prior knowledge
activation via Q&A
2. Vocabulary preview

1. Reading while
listening to the
story
2. Contextual story
grammar mapping
within small
groups

The
Control
Group

1. Prior knowledge
activation via Q&A
2. Story listening with
vocab input

1. Story review by
1. Reading while
reading aloud
listening to the
2. Immediate
story
comprehension
2. Traditional listening
test
instruction with oral
rendition

The instructor activated students prior knowledge through


listening activities adapted from Underwood (1989) and Richards
(2005). Participants were asked to observe the cover page
and title of the story, seeking information on precisely what they
saw (characters), and what might happen (events) in the story.
Relevant vocabulary was also integrated into the Q&A activity in
this phase. During the while-listening phase, the participants were
asked to read the storybook while listening to the audio recording.

14

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

After listening to the story, story grammar elements were introduced,


including character, setting, problem, solution, and ending, and the
participants were required to identify the story elements given the
story in context. Afterwards, the story map with pictorial clues was
offered as a task for the experimental group to complete within
small groups (e.g. similar to the worksheet provided in Appendix A).
The participants then proceeded to read the story aloud as a review
in the post-listening phase.
In contrast, the control group received RWL with traditional
listening instruction. Based on Morleys (2001) listening and repeating
model, the audio-lingual style of hearing-and-pattern-matching was
featured for listening instruction. The participants were asked to
listen to the story with aural vocabulary input as one of the prelistening activities. During while-listening, students read the story
while listening to the aural input simultaneously. Subsequently,
participants received conventional listening instruction, in which
certain words, phrases, and sentences were repeated a number of
times, and finished by repeated listening with the entire story. After
repeated listening practices, students proceeded to read aloud in the
post-listening phase, followed by a comprehension test.

Results and discussion


This study explores the differences between the listening input with
and without encoding, and the impact it has on listening
comprehension. Results of the tests and the questionnaire administered
are summarized below.
Results of English listening proficiency pretests
To establish the homogeneity of the two groups, the listening
proficiency pretest adapted from Cambridge YLE Test was first
administered prior to the intervention. With the results revealing
no significant difference between the performances on listening
(t = .304, p = .763), the two classes were randomly assigned as the
experimental and control groups as presented in Table 2.2.

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

Table 2.2

15

Results of Listening Proficiency Pretests

Group

Mean

SD

Control

20

8.2

3.50

.304

.763

Experimental

20

7.9

2.67

Note: Maximum score=15. p >.05

Results of immediate English listening comprehension tests


To examine the effectiveness of RWL with contextual story grammar
mapping on listening comprehension, the Independent Samples t-test
was employed to analyze the scoring of the nine immediate
comprehension tests. The results outlined in Table 2.3 showed that
the experimental group made significant gains across nine

Table 2.3

Results of Immediate Listening Comprehension Tests

Test

Group / N

SD

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

7.00
8.90

2.58
1.62

2.793

.008**

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

6.15
8.70

2.18
2.58

3.376

.002**

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

6.50
9.30

2.86
2.45

3.327

.002**

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

8.55
10.05

2.04
1.73

2.508

.017*

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

6.60
9.85

1.96
1.63

5.704

.000***

Control / 20
Experimental/20

7.55
9.70

2.59
2.96

2.448

.019*

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

6.20
9.65

3.58
1.53

3.965

.000***

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

5.55
8.30

3.33
3.18

2.670

.011*

Control / 20
Experimental / 20

5.35
8.50

4.11
3.41

2.639

.012*

Note: Maximum score = 12, *p<.05. **p<.01. ***p<.001

16

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

comprehension tests (Test 1: t = 2.793, p = .008; Test 2: t = 3.376,


p = .002; Test 3: t = 3.327, p = .002; Test 4: t = 2.508, p = .017;
Test 5: t = 5.704, p = .000; Test 6: t = 2.448, p = .019; Test 7:
t = 3.965, p = .000; Test 8: t = 2.670, p = .011; Test 9: t = 2.639,
p = .012).
The results of immediate tests shown in Table 2.3 demonstrated
that the instruction of RWL with contextual story grammar mapping
exerted significant influence over young learners listening
comprehension, resulting in superior performance in the experimental
group. The findings reported are in line with Montague et al. (1990)
in that story grammar instruction cultivates students listening
growth. It can be concluded that, despite the age differences between
the two groups of participants, both studies reveal noteworthy
effects on learners English listening comprehension through listening
instruction integrated with story grammar mapping.
Results of English listening achievement posttests
To probe into the effectiveness of the treatment instruction on
subjects achievement in listening, Cambridge YLE Test was again
conducted after the intervention and the data were analyzed by
Independent Samples t-test. The findings displayed in Table 3.4
showed that the performance of the experimental group on listening
was significantly superior to that of the control group. The results
obtained (t = 2.098, p = .043) were compatible with previous
findings reported by Kingston (2007) and Tsai & Chuang (2012),
indicating that learners profit from story grammar mapping on
comprehension skills, leading to better English proficiency.
Table 2.4 Results of Listening Proficiency Posttests
Group

Mean

SD

Control

20

8.30

3.39

2.098

.043*

Experimental

20

10.35

2.76

Note: Maximum score = 15. *p <.05

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

17

Results of attitude questionnaire


To investigate participants perceived effectiveness of RWL with
contextual story grammar instruction, an attitude questionnaire for
the experimental group was administered after the intervention.
Exploring participants perception toward the treatment received,
four dimensions were considered: participants responses to the
encoded input instruction via contextual story grammar (items 1-7);
participants perception of the effectiveness of the encoded input
(items 8 and 9); their willingness to apply the encoding tasks in
future listening (items 10 and 11); and reflection on specific language
skills related to the progress made via the encoding tasks (item 12).
Regarding the participants response to the input encoded with
contextual story grammar, as presented in Figure 2.1, 95% (n = 19)
of the students agreed that they liked to listen to English stories
Number
20
17

18
16

15
13

14
12
10
8

6
6
4
4
2

2
1

0
1. Through RWL with
contextual story
grammar instruction,
I like to listen to
English stories.

Strongly Agree

2. Listening to English
3. I feel more
stories becomes more confident of listening
interesting after RWL to English stories after
with contextual story
RWL with contextual
grammar instruction.
story grammar
instruction.

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 2.1 Results of Participants Response to RWL with Contextual


Story Grammar Instruction (I)

18

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

through RWL with contextual story grammar mapping (item 1).


Likewise, 95% (n = 19) of the respondents expressed their mounting
interest and confidence in listening to stories with contextual story
grammar mapping in RWL (items 2-3).
In addition, as shown in Figure 2.2, all of the participants (100%,
n=20) believed that the instruction improved their listening
comprehension (item 4) and indicated a strong desire to listen to
more stories after receiving the intervention (item 5). Notably,
around four fifths (85%, n=17) of the respondents stated that
contextual story grammar mapping helped them recall the important

Number
20
18

17

16

16

15

14
14
12
10
8
6
6
4

2
1

2
0

0
4. I think RWL 5. I want to listen 6. I think RWL 7. In general, I like
with contextual
RWL with
to more English with contextual
story grammar
contextual story
stories after RWL story grammar
instruction can
instruction, can
grammar
with contextual
help me
help me
instruction.
story grammar
memorize the key
comprehend oral
instruction.
information in
stories better.
stories.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 2.2 Results of Participants Response to RWL with Contextual


Story Grammar Instruction (II)

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

19

messages in the stories (item 6). In addition, the majority of the


participants (95%, n=19) said that they liked the contextual story
grammar instruction combined with RWL (item 7).
When asked to comment on their perception toward the
effectiveness of contextual story grammar mapping in English
listening, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, depicted in
Figure 2.3. All (100%, n=20) of the participants preferred to write
the story mapping worksheets with the aid of contextual cueing and
90% (n=18) of them thought that the contextual cues made the
learning task easier (items 8-9).
Number
20
18
16

15

14

14
12
10
8
6

4
2

2
0

0
8. I like to complete the story
mapping worksheets with
contextual cues presented.

Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

9. With contextual cues on PPT


slides, completing the story
mapping worksheets becomes
much easier.
Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 2.3 Results of Participants Perception of the Effectiveness of


Story Maps with Contextual Cueing

Participants were also asked about their willingness to apply


contextual story grammar mapping in future listening practice. The
results of items 10 and 11, as shown in Figure 2.4, demonstrated
that the majority (95%, n=19) of the students believed that the
encoded input of RWL with story grammar mapping would assist
their comprehension in future practice of listening to stories (item 10).

20

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Number
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4

18
14

5
2

2
0

10. RWL with contextual story


grammar instruction can help me
comprehend oral stories in future
listening.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

11. After RWL with contextual story


grammar instruction, I will try to
apply this method to future oral
stories I listen to.
Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 2.4 Results of Participants Willingness for Future RWL


Contextual Story Grammar Application

In essence, students of the experimental group (100%, n=20)


thought that they would like to apply the acquired encoding method
to the oral stories they might listen to hereafter (item 11).
Figure 2.5 outlines the responses regarding participants opinions
toward their overall English improvement after receiving the
intervention. 95% (n=19) of the students felt that their listening
ability had improved through the intervention (item 12-1), and
many also reported progress in their reading ability (90%, n=18,
item 12-3). Reports of progress in the remaining abilities were lower,
distributed across speaking (45%, n= 9, item 12-2), and writing
(40%, n=8, item 12-4). Besides the aforementioned four skills, it is
worth noting that one student (5%, n=1, item 12-5) even mentioned
that the instruction with the encoded input helped her improve her
English vocabulary.
All in all, based on the results of the questionnaire, the majority of
the students held positive views of the listening input encoded with
contextual story grammar mapping, confirming previous findings of
EFL studies reported in Hou (2007) and Tsai & Chuang (2012).

Encoding Listening via Contextual Story Grammar Mapping

21

Number
20

19
18

18
16
14
12
9

10

8
8
6
4
1

0
0
12. What aspects of English abilities do you think you made progress
after RWL with contextual story grammar instruction?
Listening
Writing

Speaking
Others

Reading
None of the above

Figure 2.5 Results of Participants Reflection on Advancement of


Specific Language Skills after Contextual Story Grammar Instruction

In the results obtained by the current study, it is significant that


almost every student responded positively to the experience of
receiving RWL with contextual story grammar mapping. They also
perceived the effectiveness of story mapping worksheets, and more
than half of them expressed the willingness to apply the novel
encoding method in future listening practice. Moreover, the participants
thought that their overall language skills were enhanced, especially
listening and reading. That is, among the four skills surveyed,
improvements to listening and reading abilities in particular were
consistently reported. In addition, the findings further reveal that
there is an evident relationship between listening comprehension and
reading comprehension. The results obtained, along the lines of
Lerkkanen et al. (2004), lend credence to the positive link between
the perceptual language skills in listening and reading, albeit with
some inherent differences.

22

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Conclusion
The current study witnesses the effects of encoded input via
contextual story grammar mapping on young learners listening
development. The proposed encoded method can be readily applied
by English practitioners and, based on the research findings, several
pedagogical implications can be drawn to shed light on listening
instructions in EFL settings.
First, as revealed in the English learning background questionnaires,
students expressed that they had experienced very limited exposure
to the dually coded storybook practice in school and beyond. In light
of the findings of the current study, it is suggested that classroom
materials encoded with conceptually visual enhancement and aural
input seem to have an optimal impact on English learning efficacy.
Secondly, despite the benefits that dually coded text offers,
elementary school students in the EFL setting of Taiwan are rarely
taught how to listen for better comprehension. The superior effects
shown in the results of this study illustrate the importance of
teaching with the encoded contextual input for better comprehension.
A related issue is further identified in students attitudes toward
English learning. The implementation of encoded instruction
highlighted other positive aspects of language learning outcomes:
alongside the conversion of listening input into intake, the participants
not only better enjoyed listening to oral stories but also perceived the
efficacy of this method for their overall language improvement.
Thirdly, the correlations observed in the present findings contribute
to the fields understanding of one specific instructional method, if
appropriately delivered, which could impact on both listening and
reading. Given that listening comprehension and reading
comprehension share reciprocal links, their mutual support is thus
enforced. Simply put, the findings obtained offer insights into ways of
teaching listening, while also informing English teaching practitioners
of the corroborative benefits between listening and reading.

3
Encoding Language Input via
Rhyme and Rhythm

Songs and chants have been acknowledged as effective tools for


engaging young foreign language learners. For young and beginning
learners, the melodic, rhythmic, rhyming, and repetitive nature of
songs and chants can act as predominant language input and mood
setters to facilitate the learning of linguistic skills. In recent decades,
there has been a proliferation of research on songs and chants
concerning elementary English education in various contexts. With
the use of rhyme and rhythm perceived as suitable for children, its
short and long term learning effects have been widely recognized.
Findings of such studies in elementary EFL and ESL settings have
indicated its significant impacts on phonemic awareness (Liu, 2005;
Yen, 2004), spelling (Bryant et al., 1990), vocabulary (Abbott, 2000;
Zhang, 2010), reading (Goswami, 2001; Liu & Chuang, 2008),
learning motivation (Lin, 2005), learning attitudes (Chang, 2013;
Chiang, 2003; Cowen, 1983; Huang, 2007) and remedial instruction
(Lan, 2006). Drawing on these findings, it can be concluded that
songs and chants contain intriguing features that appeal especially to
children during second language acquisition.
In addition to serving as an instructional aid for language
education, songs and chants offer valuable opportunities for
beginning learners to participate in English learning in natural and
enjoyable ways. A great number of researchers and practitioners
contend that songs and chants not only develop language skills but

24

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

also ease affective barriers: they provide a foundation for learning in


an engaging way (Murphey, 2002; Schoepp, 2001; Scott & Ytreberg,
2004; Shtakser, 2001; Tuan & An, 2010; Wilcox, 1995). Children
generally enjoy doing what they are capable of, provided that the
condition of their distinctively playful natures is met. That is,
integrating singing and chanting within language teaching increases
the likelihood that children are learning through the joy of playing
with sounds. As Sokka-Meaney (2008) rightly stated, given the
childrens age, it is only natural to use songs and chants as a means
of teaching new language and other skills. In fact, teaching language
via rhyme and rhythm establishes an inviting, and even potentially
enchanting way for young learners to acquire a second language.

Phonological loop, working memory and language


learning
In the context of the cognitive dimension to language learning, songs
and chants may reinforce the consolidation of ideas in short-term
and long-term memory. According to Krashen and Terrel (1983), it
is suggested that a manifestation of the Language Acquisition Device
is reflected in the brains inclination to repeat what an individual
hears from environmental input. Furthermore, Baddeley and Hitch
(1974) proposed a multicomponent model of working memory to
account for complex cognitive activities such as learning and
remembering. In this model, cognitive functions are carried out by
separate subcomponents of working memory: the central executive,
the visual spatial sketchpad and the phonological loop. The central
executive is taken as an attentionally-limited system selecting and
manipulating material in terms of two slave systems of the visual
spatial sketchpad and the phonological loop (Baddeley, 1986;
Gathercole & Baddeley, 1993).
The subcomponents of working memory are codified in two
aspects: the visual and the verbal. For the visual aspect, the visual
spatial sketchpad is taken to hold visual information whereas the
verbal aspect of the phonological loop is believed to revive memory
traces with auditory information. The phonological loop is deemed

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

25

to be in charge of the retention of verbal information over short


periods of time. It consists of a phonological store holding
information in phonological form, and an articulatory control
system, with a rehearsal process maintaining decaying representations
in the phonological store. This model has afforded a number of
experimental studies. The importance of the phonological loop is
supported by neuropsychological evidence, which indicates that
people with phonological impairments cannot learn a new language
(Rispens & Baker, 2012). Namely, the phonological loop is the
specific site where people encode and rehearse phonological
information before committing the information to long-term memory.
In this regard, the repetitive nature of songs and chants as language
input can be considered as a catalyst for language learning.
Besides the important role the phonological loop plays in language
learning, empirical studies have also taken songs and chants as
instructional aids in language learning, given the phonological loop
feeding information into the working memory. As Wallace (1994)
stated, melody and text cue each other mutually and this cuing
association would remain stable even after a long time delay. To be
specific, during the encoding stage, the brain waves influenced by
music make the brain relaxed and thus the brain becomes more
receptive to language input (Kind, 1980). As for retrieval, because of
the unique association chain made with the integration of melody
and text in memory, the information carried by songs is more easily
accessible. Moreover, in terms of storage, the constant repetition of
language texts in rhythmic song formats plays a firm organizational
role, contributing to the shaping of input into intake (Kilgour,
Jakobson & Cuddy, 2000). According to Abbott (2002), songs and
chants enhance and stimulate memory given that rhythmic coding
facilitates deeper processing and hence results in better retention.

Features of songs and chants


Songs and chants comprise rhyme and rhythm whose integration
with text often makes the text more accessible to young learners.
The pairing of language input with rhythm and rhyme introduces

26

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

beginning learners in particular to rich language exposure and a


friendly learning environment. That is, rhyme and rhythm make the
text more than just a mixture of words and notes. Text presented
through songs and chants exhibits specific properties different from
plain text, including essential elements such as lyrics and music, as
posited in Opie (2005) and Cook (2000). Here, music indicates the
distinct features that songs exhibit, i.e. rhythm. Lyrics, meanwhile,
refer to a blend of vocabulary, the construction of context and the
formation of repetition and rhymes.
The vocabulary included in songs and chants is composed at
various levels of comprehensibility. First of all, as Opie asserted, the
brief nature of songs and chants makes the length short while the
content remains rich and complex. This brevity enables learners to
be taken into an imaginary world, a historical setting, or a
fragmentary incident within just 4 or 6 sentences. Secondly, the
brevity of songs and chants necessitates words of comparatively easy
level. According to Murpheys (2002) analysis of song discourse, the
reading level was often found to be at the simplest level in terms of
the Fleschs readability index.
Another notable feature of songs and chants is the context
(Pinsonneault, 2008). The context created by songs and chants is
rich and authentic. According to Tuan and An (2010), the vocabulary,
phrases, and sentence patterns of songs and chants were usually
presented in a contextualized manner. Moreover, Read (2007)
pointed out that children make sense of the world and language by
virtue of the context they find themselves within. With songs and
chants exerting their effects on language acquisition, learners
unconsciously immerse themselves in an accessible language
environment. Indeed, songs and chants provide wonderful contexts
that introduce beginning learners to foreign culture as needed.
The repetitive patterns of songs and chants also merit consideration.
The repetitions appearing in songs and chants vary in different units
of linguistic fragments. Refrain, the regularly occurring phrase or
sentence pattern after every verse, is often childrens favourite format
of a song or a chant (Abdellah, 2002; Rixon, 1999). For example, in
The Itsy Bitsy Spider, it provides a pleasant way to introduce and
review repeated phrases and sentence patterns like past tense; for

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

27

example: the itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout, and the itsy
bitsy spider went up the spout again. In addition, occurrences of
rhyming words created a constant repetition of rhymes. Again, in the
song of The Itsy Bitsy Spider, for example, the rhyme /aut/ showed
up repetitively in spout (the itsy bitsy spider went up the water
spout) and out (down came the rain washed the spider out); /n/ in
rain (out came the sun dried up all the rain) and /n/ in again (the
itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again). That is, the repetition of
key words or rhyming words, phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs,
provides extensive exposure to the text and thus cultivates a sense of
familiarity with the reoccurring context. In this way, the text is
turned into predictable literature, leading to active reading
(Douville, 2001).
Strongly-marked rhythm is another unique characteristic of songs
and chants (Opie, 2005). Tuan and An (2010) postulated that songs
and chants are the kind of language patterns that make regular
rhythms the most discernible. One factor making songs and chants
rhythmic is the combination with rhymes. First of all, rhythms exist
in songs and chants inherently because when creating music, writers
consciously or unconsciously weave their inherent linguistic rhythms
into their melodious work. Second, rhythms in songs and chants are
succinct and thereby stand out strongly because stress-timed rhythm
is fundamental to formation of the meter (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996;
Cross, 1999). Furthermore, rhythms in songs and chants are fairly
noticeable since the rhythmic breaks remain consistent with linguistic
boundaries, highlighting the important aspect of speech (Cook,
2000). Taken together, rhythm rooted in melody and merging with
rhyme makes songs and chants strikingly appreciable for learners.

Encoding language input with songs and chants


The potential for using songs and chants in language teaching is
widely acknowledged. With the expanding prevalence of efforts to
teach languages by using music, musical activities have been deemed
advantageous to many aspects of language learning, ranging from

28

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

the affect area to linguistics and to cognitive functions (Huang,


2007; Mizener, 2008; Salcedo, 2002; Saricoban & Metin, 2000). As
mentioned in previous chapters, the input encoding plays a decisive
role in language acquisition. Therefore, efficient encoding requires
certain features to make the input comprehensible, meaningful, rich
in context and extra-linguistically informative to be readily converted
to intake. The characteristics of songs and chants allow them to act
as a potential medium, making encoding language possible. In
addition, songs and chants provide context for language learning.
They create a non-threatening learning environment and present a
gate to foreign cultures. Moreover, the pairing of melody and lyrics
constitutes a mnemonic device, facilitating learning.
In terms of the linguistic and cognitive dimension, Saricoban and
Metin (2000) ascertained that lyrics in songs and chants are optimal
language input because the input chunks provided are manageable
for beginning learners, blending rhythm, stress, rhymes, intonation,
vocabulary, and sentence patterns. The effect of songs and chants
relating to language acquisition specifically lies in the Din phenomena,
which refers to a form of involuntary mental rehearsal in the
phonological loop. According to de Guerrero (1987), it is suggested
that once the language input activates the Din, the input becomes
more comprehensible and hence enhances language learning. This is
in agreement with Murphey (1990), who postulated song-stuck-inmy-head phenomena (SSIMH) and asserted that songs and chants
are beneficial to language acquisition. Overall, songs and chants
serve as the avenue which helps language echo in the mind,
reinforcing it in short- and long-term memory, and resulting in
language growth.
Likewise, language input encoded with songs and chants is
considered to be an effective prompter for developing reading skills.
Songs and chants, as suggested by McCarthy (1985) and Mizener,
(2008), reinforce word recognition, reading comprehension and
literacy appreciation. Songs and chants, rich in repetition and
language patterns, build the concept around print with meaningful
context (Woodall & Ziembroski, 2004). Once the print concept has
been established, learners ability to recognize different words is

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

29

reinforced through repetition of words or phrases. When undergoing


chanting or singing, learners are exposed to limitless opportunities
to experience steady beat and tempo, texture, form, and expression
so that they may proceed to practice decoding skills. That is, the
rhythmical input encoding via songs and chants fosters reading
fluency, which paves the way for reading comprehension. As
indicated in Kenney (2005), many songs and chants are primarily
made up of words in the form of miniature stories. The typical story
plots in songs are suitable for constructing a basis on which to
generate new ideas and to create future stories.
In addition, the belief that songs and chants can develop language
skills and relieve anxiety has also been upheld by a great number of
researchers (Griffee, 1992; Iudin-Nelson, 1997; Murphey, 2002;
Richards, 1969; Schoepp, 2001; Shtakser, 2001; Siek-Piskozub,
1998; Tuan & An, 2010). It is suggested that utilizing songs and
chants in the classroom creates a platform for learning, as they
contribute to forming a friendly learning environment, and fostering
a classroom atmosphere while evoking subconscious learning
resources. Learning is more likely to occur under these circumstances,
because the affective filter is lowered by the rhythmic application.
According to neurological research findings, music was found
to connect the functions in the right and left hemispheres.
Essentially, the brain, when influenced by music, is relaxed and
therefore more receptive to language input (Kind, 1980; Somers,
2000). Moreover, music has also been revealed to exert an influence
on the rhythm of breathing, in turn relaxing the body and thus
heightening learning awareness and mental receptivity. Such
relaxation is proclaimed to arise from the rhyme and rhythm in
songs and chants, assisting learners to overcome anxiety, fear, and
inhibition when faced with unknown situations. Beyond simply
breaking down the affective learning barrier, it is also reported that
young learners who participate in songs and chants are more
prepared to listen, more receptive and alert, and more active in their
responses (Cooper, 2010; Iudin-Nelson, 1997; Murphey, 2002;
Williams, 1983). Overall, songs and chants help create a less
threatening learning environment and ultimately foster learning

30

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

growth. Encoding language input with rhyme and rhythm can be


optimal for leaning, as this format stimulates the subconscious
resources required for language acquisition. This stimulation could
have further influence, resulting in longer retention and better recall
of vocabulary and language structures, and enhancing the rapport
between teachers and students.

Experimental study on decoding to comprehend


To attest to the encoding effects of songs and chants on English
learning, the present author and a pre-service teacher conducted a
study in an EFL remedial class in an elementary school of Taiwan. It
aimed to explore the extent to which text encoded with songs and
chants might assist low-achieving students in text decoding (Chuang
& Wang, 2015).

Participants and instruments


For this study, we recruited 11 participants, mainly low-achieving
elementary students with reading difficulties. This means that they
had problems in understanding and using the alphabetic principle to
acquire words accurately. In general, they were not proficient with
the knowledge and strategies needed for comprehension of written
material. Moreover, they lacked initial motivation to read, and may
even have failed to develop a mature appreciation of reading. The
subjects participating in this study were considered as students of a
remedial group, with mixed third and fourth graders. The selected
students were screened by the average results of their English tests
administered by the school. The students were a group with English
learning difficulties in need of instructional help, especially in
reading.
To assess their proficiency in early literacy skills, a pretest adapted
from DIBELS was administered before the intervention. The
instruments employed in the study included DIEBELS pretest and
posttest, and an attitude questionnaire after the intervention.

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

31

Materials and procedures


The experiment lasted for 12 weeks with intensive reading instruction.
The intervention consisted of 10 sessions and was conducted for
80 minutes each week consecutively. In the study, ten storybooks,
with salient story structures favorable for third and fourth graders,
were used as teaching materials. To take account of the participants
English proficiency, the Flesch-Kincaid index was used to measure
the readability and difficulty level of the selected stories. The story
levels were mostly around level one, considered relatively easy for
participants of a third and fourth grade level in a remedial group,
who had received English instruction at the elementary level for
2 periods per week since grade three.
During the intervention, the participants received story input
encoded with songs and chants. The instructions were carried out in
three phases, illustrated in Table 3.1. The way in which songs and
chants were integrated into the reading instruction was holistic in
nature, according to Porter-Reamer (2006). Here, the holistic
integration indicates that the meaning of songs and chants is
reinforced through the interface between lyrics and the text in
question. It is also worth noting that besides singing to an unfamiliar
tune, singing to a familiar tune was also included as it did not
require students to know how to read music, and the students
familiarity with the tune could help move the song forward (Woodall &
Ziembroski, 2004). To this end, the type of song tasks employed in
Table 3.1

Lesson Design of Remedial Instruction


Post-Reading
Phase

Group

Pre-Reading Phase

While-Reading Phase

The
Experimental
Group

1. Prior knowledge
activation &
prediction via
video plus Q&A
2. Vocabulary and
phonics preview

1. Review the
1. Story reading via
story by readPPT slides
aloud and
2. Review phonics &
lyrics
vocabulary with
chanting
individual worksheet
2. Song singing
3. Task with a
related theme
of the song

32

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

the proposed study included singing songs with familiar as well as


unfamiliar tunes to provide reading fluency practice and, furthermore,
to add motivation to continually practice the newly acquired words
via singing.
In the pre-reading phase, the instructor showed students the cover
of the story, instigating students to make predictions about the story.
In addition, the teacher also showed a brief song video clip related
to the theme of the story so that the subjects could brainstorm
guessing what the story was about. During this phase, questions
were also asked to activate subjects prior knowledge about the topic
and the key vocabulary, attempting to help the participants learn
new words and phonics. In the meantime, they were also asked to
practice pronouncing the new words to discern the correspondence
between letters and sounds. After the question and answer and
vocabulary preview activities, the instruction proceeded to the
while-reading phase. The instructor read the story to the class with
slides imitating the story characters and ways of their speaking to
give a dramatic narrative effect. If there werent any characters in the
story, the instructor would read the story with tempo to help students
grasp the phrasing patterns more easily. At that time, the instructor
did not focus on explaining the meaning of vocabulary but on
helping students understand the content and plot of the story. After
listening to the story, the review worksheets of relevant phonics and
vocabulary were distributed to every student in order to consolidate
the participants learning of the vocabulary and the story content.
Then the instructor would ask the whole class to read the story
together and chant the lyrics of the theme song (e.g. similar to the
activity provided in Appendix B). After completing the reading
aloud and chanting, the instructor proceeded to the song singing
section. In this section, students were asked to sing alone with the
song video, followed by an activity related to the theme of the video.
The singing and chanting activities aimed to provide opportunities
for young learners to consolidate their learning of words, phrasing
and, hopefully, comprehension related to the teaching materials. In
doing so, it was expected that singing and chanting could be an
effective way for young learners to build up their language
competence, and moreover, to assist with phonics learning and
language acquisition (Huy Le, 1999).

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

33

Results and discussion


In order to determine the effectiveness of the input encoded with
songs and chants in text decoding for low-achieving students, the
results of the pretest and posttest adapted from DIBELS were
compared. The findings (t = 2.645, p = .029), as summarized in
Table 3.2, revealed that students of the remedial group exhibited a
significant improvement to their decoding abilities after the treatment,
indicating that the input encoded with rhyme and rhythm was
advantageous to the students decoding development.

Table 3.2 Independent Samples T-test of Pre- and Posttest


Experimental
Group

Mean

SD

Pretest
Posttest

11
11

31.00
36.11

14.27
10.99

2.645

.029**

Note: Maximum score = 50. **p <.01

The result demonstrated that the participants made significant


gains in early literacy skills as shown in the tests of DIBELS.
Consistent with previous studies, encoding language input with
songs and chants was found to facilitate English decoding, memory
and recall, as music serves as a viable vehicle for second language
acquisition (McCarthy, 1985; Mizener, 2008).
In order to find out students attitudes toward the intervention, a
questionnaire focusing on subjects thoughts about the instruction of
the encoding of songs and chants was distributed and analyzed. Four
aspects of the subjects opinions were explored: the participants
general attitudes toward song singing (items 1-2); their perceived
effectiveness toward English learning with song singing (items 3-6);
their willingness to apply the input encoded with singing and
chanting to English learning in the future (items 7-8); and, moreover,

34

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

their reflection on specific language skills related to the progress


made via the intervention (item 9). All questions were scored using
a four point Likert scale, ranging from strongly agree and agree,
to disagree, and strongly disagree.
Regarding the students general attitudes toward singing songs, as
shown in Figure 3.1, more than 90% of the remedial group students
(n=10) indicated that they often sang songs in the school curriculum;
not as many, approximately 73% (n=8) reported that they would
sing by themselves in their free time.

Number
9
8
8
7
6
5
4

4
3
3
2
2
1
1
0

0
0
1. In my free time, I like to
sing songs.

Strongly Agree

Agree

2. In school curriculum, we
often practice singing
songs.
Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Figure 3.1 Results of Participants Attitudes toward Singing Songs

Regarding the perceived effectiveness of English learning with


songs, as can be seen from Figure 3.2, only about half of the students
(55%, n=6) reported that in their previous English learning
experience, they enjoyed singing English songs. It is important to
observe that this remedial group of students was considered to be
significantly behind their peers in English learning. Indeed, according
to their homeroom teacher and the academic director (p.c.), most of

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

35

Number
7
6

6
5
5
4 4

4
3
3
2

2
1

1 1

1
0
5. While learning 6. While learning
3. I like to sing
4. During 10
English, I think
songs in previous weeks of English English, I think
English classes.
instruction,
singing songs to singing songs to
singing songs
familiar tunes unfamiliar tunes
does not affect
makes English
relieves my
my English
Learning easier.
anxiety and not
Learning pace.
afraid to speak
English.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 3.2 Results of Participants Perception toward English Learning


with Songs

the students surveyed were generally reluctant to engage in English


learning, rarely participating in classroom discussion in English.
They would frequently remain silent in their English classroom and
refrain from speaking in English, let alone singing. However,
following the 10-week intervention of encoding the reading input
with songs and chants, almost two thirds of them (73%, n=8) felt
that song singing practice could, in fact, relieve their anxiety about
English learning, and the majority (82%, n=9) thought that singing
songs to more familiar tunes facilitated their English learning. It is
worth noting that if the tunes of the songs were unfamiliar to the
participants, they felt that the effects of song singing were
compromised to some extent. That is, only about 64% (n=7) asserted

36

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

that English song singing to unfamiliar tunes promoted their English


learning, a difference of approximately 18% (n=2).
As for their willingness to integrate song singing and chanting
practice into English classes in the future, as shown in Figure 3.3,
almost all of them (91%, n=10) expressed their desire to learn
English through singing and chanting English songs in their classes.
About two thirds of them (73%, n=8) indicated that they would sing
and chant English songs themselves to advance their English learning.
Given the results, even for students who were considered students at
risk in English learning, the intervention provided them with an
opportunity to develop and hone their language skills. It was
considered quite an achievement for this group, as they at first
rejected English learning and sometimes did not even care about
learning English. After the encoding instruction of songs and chants,
however, they started to think that English learning could be fun and
useful.
Number
7
6
6
5

5
4
3
2

2
1

1
1
0
0
7. I hope teachers can integrate
English songs and chants into
English classes in the future.
Strongly Agree

Agree

8. I think I will utilize English


songs and chants to learn
English in the future.
Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 3.3 Results of Participants Willingness to Apply Songs and


Chants into English Learning

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

37

Item nine depicted in Figure 3.4 below in particular investigated


the learners attitudes toward how encoding reading text with rhyme
and rhythm affects the learning of phonics, vocabulary, sentence
patterns and comprehension of story content. The results revealed
that the participants held positive views toward the instruction
encoded with songs and chants. More than half of the respondents
agreed that the intervention helped them with a better understanding
of vocabulary, phonics, sentence patterns, and story content, which
is in line with the significant gains made in the achievement test.
The results revealing the efficacy of the input encoding via songs
and chants in this study were reminiscent of the findings of previous
studies (McCarthy, 1985; Mizener, 2008; Woodall & Ziembroski,
2004), in which most students indicated that the instruction with
text encoded with rhyme and rhythm is advantageous to students
English decoding and learning.
Number
9

8
7
7
6

6
5
4
3
2
1
0
9. After the English lessons with song singing and
chanting, I think I have learned _______.
Phonics

Vocabulary

Sentence Patterns

Story Content

Figure 3.4 Results of Participants Reflection on Advancement of


Specific Language Skills after the Intervention

38

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Drawing on the reported positive results, it may be observed that


encoding reading text via songs and chants influenced elementary
students English growth and, in addition, promoted their interest in
learning English. In combination, the findings implied firstly that the
repetitive nature of songs and chants made students use the singing
tasks effectively for tuning in to the recognition of the sound-letter
correspondence (Huang, 2006; Yen, 2004). Additionally, the lyrics
aided the learning of patterns for word recognition and sentence
structure (Saricoban & Metin, 2000). More specifically, the encoding
intervention improved students English learning motivation, and
hence boosted their confidence in English learning, which was in line
with previous studies on integrating songs and chants into EFL
classroom settings (Chang, 2013; Chiang, 2003; Huang, 2007).

Conclusion
Childrens speech essentially adheres to rhythm and melody. English
is a rhythmical language by its nature, as illustrated not only by
poetry, but also in childrens nursery rhymes and jazz chants. As
Graham (2006) rightly puts it, chants develop an ear for recognizing
correct stress and intonation patterns of spoken language and,
moreover, they reinforce grammar and enact practice of vocabulary
and everyday conversation. In addition, the repeated patterns of
chants foster childrens facility for memorization.
Song singing extends childrens imagination and life experiences
with multisensory input. Songs, tailored to different teaching
objectives, proficiency levels, and learners needs, can act as a
teaching catalyst to cultivate childrens language awareness, leading
to literacy skill development. Therefore, exposing children to a wide
variety of English songs and chants can contribute to successful
language learning, enhancing and accelerating development of the
language skills required for future academic pursuits. The findings
revealed in the current study are aligned with the previous study
conducted by Bryant et al. (1990), showing a close link between

Encoding Language Input via Rhyme and Rhythm

39

childrens knowledge of rhymes and rhythm and their developing


phonological skills, as well as their success in both reading and
spelling.
Some pedagogical implications can be drawn from these findings,
particularly concerning implementation of the reading instruction
encoded with songs and chants. Firstly, the results revealed that
employing the instruction encoded with songs and chants promoted
participants English learning motivation. In the encoding instruction,
students were accordingly encouraged to use English through the
rehearsal of rhyme and rhythm, without creating an excessive
increase of work for the instructor. Krashen and Terrell (1983)
posited that the best learning occurs in the least inhibited, low
anxiety, and non-threatening environment, given the Affective Filter
Hypothesis. The lyrics of songs and chants are mostly interesting
with various embedded topics related to childrens personal
experiences, which can bring in positive attitude and learning
motivation. After providing the encoded language input with songs
and chants, the children became more willing to communicate with
the people around them in English. Given that the participants
learned and used English in a lower pressure setting, it was an
optimal learning environment for EFL young learners.
Secondly, songs and chants help children develop concentration
and memory, and foster development of reading strategies such as
prediction, making inferences, elaboration, and organization skills.
Music, with its evocative power, aids recall and better predicts the
content of the lyrics, while lyrics connect with childrens schema,
helping encode information, and aiding comprehension of the
hidden messages in songs and chants. That is, the encoded use of
songs and chants could be viewed as a genre that opens vistas for
learners to achieve their learning goals in an effective but less
threatening manner. As the findings show, the encoding instruction
benefited students overall language learning, even for a group of
students who were previously considered as demotivated low
achievers.

40

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Thirdly, the encoded use of songs and chants with reading in


EFL elementary classrooms provided students with more opportunities
to practice English in a meaningful context. Songs and chants lend
support to validate meaningful learning, which takes place when
newly learned items are associated with ones previously acquired
knowledge. With the cultural components naturally infused into
songs and chants, children can accordingly learn with authentic
resources, broadening their global horizons, and further developing
their cultural competence. Furthermore, songs and chants also serve
as social resources to encourage children to share experiences with
their instructor and classmates, to learn how to cooperate with
people well, to develop a group identity, and to cultivate their critical
thinking ability in a stepwise fashion. All in all, songs and chants
help students learn English in an engaging and fun way, and enable
the full advantage of converting the unknown into the known via the
natural rehearsed use of the target language in question. All things
considered, it can be concluded that employing songs and chants as
a carrier to encode the language input not only assists learners in
achieving their learning goals but also paves the way for effective
English learning.

4
Encoding Reading via
Differentiated Storytelling

Reading has been recognized as a vital source of input for language


learning, especially for learners in an environment where fluent
English speakers are not available to provide other forms of language
input. Moreover, reading is regarded as a means to enhance students
general language abilities as it forms a foundation for the development
of other language skills (Grabe & Stoller, 2001; Krashen & Terrel,
1983). In light of the belief that language learning is a process of
building up linguistic competence via accessing L2 input,
comprehension of the reading input is a factor in the process of
second language acquisition. In this regard, it is advised that second
language classrooms should be supplied with plentiful comprehensible
reading input in the form of natural context (Higgs, 1985; Krashen,
1985). Despite the emphasis of input proliferation, when reading
instruction focuses only on word decoding, it is probable that
reading input goes unnoticed, rendering the effort futile (Chung &
Nation, 2009). Among various reading instructions, the effectiveness
of storytelling (referring to teachers reading aloud and students
receiving aural input through narrative interaction) has been upheld:
storytelling could promote learners reading comprehension, thereby
shaping reading input into intake (Huang, 2006; Roney, 1996).

42

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Reading comprehension processes and instruction


Reading comprehension hinges on processes ranging from a basic
level of decoding print to high level integrative processing involving
discourse as well as the readers global knowledge (Nassaji, 2003).
It is suggested that effective reading consists of the top-down process
of meaning prediction and the bottom-up process of data-driven
meaning checking. That is, when readers progress through a passage,
they need to infer with both processes to comprehend text. As
Gass et al. (1998) maintained, the interactions brought about
through negotiation for meaning have positive effects on the readers
production, and are thereby conducive to learning.
To advance reading comprehension, readers search for the meanings
of unknown words in text from their mental lexicon in terms of the
bottom-up process. They simultaneously construct the meanings of
the text from their background knowledge and experience via the
top-down process. During the interactive processing, the reader
comprehends the text not only through utilizing decoding skills, but
also by applying prior knowledge and experiences. When it comes to
reading instruction built on the interactive processes, the following
tactics are suggested for teachers implementing comprehension-based
instruction: (a) making instruction explicit; (b) implementing
facilitators to facilitate learning; (c) using interactive groups;
(d) providing chances for interactive dialogues; and (e) ensuring that
the building blocks of reading are based on an interactive processing
perspective (Gersten et al., 2007; Vaughn, Gersten, and Chard,
2000). Storytelling, a form of two-way communication, encompasses
the aforementioned tactics, as the sharing of stories induces readers
to learn in a community through social narrative interaction
(Lawrence et al., 2006; Roney, 1996).

Storytelling and schema


It is generally believed that readers do not simply perceive the
meaning that is in text. A text carries little meaning itself but
provides clues and directions for readers to reconstruct the authors

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

43

original meaning from their previously acquired knowledge (Carrell


& Eisterhold, 1983; Pearson et al., 1992). Notice that it is not the
meaning of printed words, but the prior knowledge that the reader
brings to the reading that influences comprehension. From a schematheoretical perspective, reading comprehension is considered to
involve the readers schema activation and the inferences they make
beyond the literal meaning of a text.
Schema theory is a model explicating how readers deal with new
information and construct meanings by evoking their background
knowledge to comprehend and recall (Arbib, 1992; Axelrod, 1973).
With the simultaneously interwoven effects of formal and content
schemata such as information, knowledge, emotion, and culture,
texts become easier to comprehend (Al-Issa, 2006; Carrell, 1987).
A number of studies have shown that comprehension requires
coordination between processing and storage. Furthermore, every
readers understanding of a text largely depends on how many
related schemata one possesses while reading (Pearson et al., 1992).
Simply put, reading involves understanding of words, syntax, and
connections between elements of texts and prior knowledge of the
topic. Storytelling indeed attests to the full exploitation of the
schema theory. By guiding readers through pre-, during-, and postreading phases of storytelling, reading sessions are not simply
isolated but make full use of the readers prior knowledge and the
requisite skills in a coherent manner (Alyousef, 2005; Lawrence
et al., 2006; Roney, 1996).
Storytelling has been found to exert influence over reading, given
that it helps maintain improvement in learning. Moreover,
vocabulary is another area that benefits from storytelling. As stated
by Carrell (1987), storytelling provided the opportunity to work on
vocabulary in the meaningful context of the whole text. With reading
through storytelling providing opportunities to speak the language
creatively, it prompts readers to integrate information from other
sources to facilitate comprehension and learning (Isbell et al., 2004).
Despite the positive effects of storytelling, it remains unclear how
students at differing levels could equally benefit from storytelling
instruction in the English classroom, especially low-level students

44

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

(Al-Mansour & Al-Shorman, 2011; Huang, 2006). To enhance


reading efficacy and meet the diverse needs of the classroom, catering
storytelling instruction to distinct levels of students should be
considered.

Differentiated reading instruction


The aim of differentiated instruction is to maximize each students
individual success by assisting the learning process in the same class.
Differentiated instruction is specifically put forward as a response to
addressing learner variance (Subban, 2006). Previous studies have
shown positive effects of the use of differentiated instruction for
reading, as it enhanced students learning motivation, cultivated
their reading habits, and helped develop the use of reading strategies
(Hall, 2002; Johnsen, 2003; Schumm et al., 2000). In terms
of reading in the classroom, it is suggested that teachers may
integrate four differentiating elements: content, process, products,
and learning environment (Mulroy & Eddinger, 2003; Tomlinson,
2000).
A study of differential pacing of vocabulary and reading
achievement was conducted by Barr (1973). Findings indicated that
young children who paced differentially outperformed those of one
pace in comprehension. In addition, with differentiation focusing on
reading groups, Schumm et al. (2000) investigated 29 third-grade
teachers perceptions toward whole-class instruction in comparison
with the use of mixed-ability grouping practice. The findings
indicated that whole-class instruction, in contrast to differentiated
grouping, required more intensive and explicit instruction to better
meet students specific reading needs. Likewise, Blum, Lipsett, and
Yocom (2002) divided eighth and ninth graders into groups
implementing reading with literature circles. Each student in the
group is assigned to a specific role, for example, a discussion leader,
an illustrator, a connector, a character captain, a researcher etc., and
asked to share the ideas with other students in the allotted circle.
The results revealed that students with special needs in particular
were found to improve their reading and analyzing ability.

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

45

Encoding reading with differentiated storytelling


Differentiated storytelling instruction has been proposed to allow
students to work within capable learning tasks. Here, the instructor
makes modifications based upon readiness, needs, abilities and
personal form of differentiation. In Chiens (2013) study, Taiwanese
elementary students were assessed depending on their language
levels, with varied reading tasks and worksheets provided in four
learning corners. Drawing on Raphaels (1982; 1986) Question
Answer Relationships (QARs), the worksheets mainly consisted of
four types of questions: (a) Right There, asking direct answers; (b)
Think and Search, requiring readers to make inferences; (c) Author
and You, requiring readers to answer questions by using their prior
knowledge; and (d) On Your Own, inviting readers to express their
feelings about the story. The higher-level students were asked to
complete two more corners than lower-level students, or could even
generate their own questions related to the story if they felt the
questions were too easy. The findings indicated that storytelling with
differentiated corners significantly engaged students in constructing
meaning of the text, given that it allowed them to work within
appropriate learning tasks.
Within English education in Taiwan, it has been noted that the
major difficulty that elementary English teachers are faced with is
the bimodal distribution of students performance. That is, there is
a wide knowledge gap in Taiwanese EFL students English proficiency
levels in the English classroom (Chiang, 2003; Wang, 2010). To
dissolve the dichotomies, differentiated instruction is worth the
effort to respond to variance needed among learners. In an attempt
to bridge the gap, and in the belief that reading encoded with
differentiated retelling can assist different levels of learners, the
present author and a pre-service teacher conducted an experimental
study exploring the effects of encoding reading input with
differentiated storytelling (Lin and Chuang, 2015).

46

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Experimental study on reading enhancement


With tiered activities encoding storytelling tailored to the participants
varied proficiency levels, the current study adopted four elements of
differentiated instruction with the adapted question format of Right
There and Think and Search from QARs (Chien, 2013; Raphael,
1982; 1986). Three research questions were accordingly addressed
as follows:
1. To what extent does reading encoded with differentiated
storytelling impact on EFL young learners reading
comprehension?
2. What is the correlation between reading encoded with
differentiated storytelling and EFL young learners reading
achievement?
3. What are EFL young learners attitudes toward reading encoded
with differentiated storytelling?

Participants and instruments


Thirty-three fifth graders from two intact classes in an elementary
school of Taiwan participated in this study. To determine the
homogeneity of the two classes, the reading proficiency pretest was
administered to the subjects, including a test modified from the
Cambridge Young Learners English Starters (Cambridge YLE) and
one story reading comprehension test. With the results of Independent
Samples T-test revealing no significant differences between the
reading performances as shown in Table 4.1, the two groups were
considered homogeneous in their English reading proficiency (t =
0.89, p = 0.576), and accordingly assigned to the experimental
group (n=18) and the control group (n=15) at random.
Six instruments implemented in this study consisted of an English
learning background questionnaire, an English reading proficiency
pretest, seven immediate story reading comprehension tests, an
English reading achievement posttest, an attitude questionnaire, as
well as an interview of the participants from the experimental group.

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

Table 4.1

47

Results of English Reading Proficiency Pretest

Group

Mean

SD

.089

.576

Experimental

18

17.89

2.82

Control

15

17.80

2.90

Note: Maximum score = 30.

Materials and procedure


Seven storybooks with pictures and salient text structures were
selected. The former three stories were selected from the series of
Twin Texts, and the latter four were from that of My Story Box.
The experiment lasted for 16 weeks and was conducted for each
group in a 40-minute period per week. As shown in Table 4.2, the
experimental group received storytelling encoded with differentiated
instruction while the control group received conventional teacherled storytelling instruction, the difference of which was specifically
reflected in the during-reading phase.
Table 4.2

Instructional Procedure of Reading Instructions

Group

Pre-Reading Phase

During-Reading
Phase

After-Reading
Phase

The
Experimental
Group

1. Background
knowledge
activation via
Q&A
2. Prediction based
on the cover
page
3. Vocabulary
preview

1. Storytelling
instruction
2. Worksheet
completion with
heterogeneous
grouping
3. Group storytelling
followed by Q&A
activity

1. Vocabulary
review
2. Reflection
sharing
3. Immediate
reading
comprehension
test

The Control
Group

1. Storytelling
1. Background
instruction
knowledge
2. Worksheet
activation via
completion
Q&A
individually
2. Prediction based
on the cover page 3. Whole class
storytelling
3. Vocabulary
followed by Q&A
preview
activity

1. Vocabulary
review
2. Reflection
sharing
3. Immediate
reading
comprehension
test

48

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Before the experiment, 18 students of the experimental group


were divided into three levels based on the pretest results, namely
low-level, intermediate-level, and high-level, respectively. The
instructor first asked questions by showing the cover of
the storybook, encouraging the subjects to make predictions. In the
during-reading phase, the instructor explained the story via
PowerPoint slides. Meanwhile, all participants received the
worksheets containing three sections with illustrations and sentences
designed for distinct levels of practice: (a) section one with unknown
single words for the low-level subjects; (b) section two with unknown
phrases for the intermediate-level subjects; and (c) section three with
uncompleted sentences for the high-level participants (e.g. similar to
worksheets provided in Appendix C). During the task, they jointly
learned stories under differentiated instruction, firstly discussing and
completing the tasks individually and then storytelling in groupwork shortly afterwards. In the after-reading phase, the participants
were asked to share their reflections about the story.
The story instruction in the control group, meanwhile, was
conventionally teacher-centered, targeting the intermediate-level
achievers. The main instructional difference of the two groups
resided in the during reading phase. Without being arranged into
groups, the participants did not participate in in-group discussion
but worked on the undifferentiated worksheets individually, followed
by whole-class storytelling and Q&A activity.

Results and discussion


Results of immediate story reading comprehension tests
To determine the impact that the input encoded with differentiated
storytelling instruction had on EFL fifth graders reading
comprehension, the results of the seven immediate story reading
comprehension tests were gauged by the independent samples t-tests.
The results displayed in Table 4.3 revealed that the experimental
group gained significant growth across seven tests.
The significant findings, as shown by the results summarized in
Table 4.3, were in line with previous empirical studies. Namely,

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

Table 4.3

Results of Immediate Story Comprehension Tests

Test

Group

SD

Experimental

18

8.72

1.22

2.132

.039*

Control

15

7.53

1.84

Experimental

18

7.44

1.19

1.822

.041*

Control

15

6.27

2.25

Experimental

18

8.44

1.19

1.799

.030*

Control

15

7.33

2.12

Experimental

18

7.11

2.13

2.028

.044*

Control

15

5.87

1.35
2.767

.029*

1.964

.005**

2.237

.034*

49

Experimental

18

8.72

2.21

Control

15

7.00

1.30

Experimental

18

8.61

1.42

Control

15

7.33

2.16

Experimental

18

8.11

.96

Control

15

7.07

1.58

Note: Maximum score = 10. *p < .05. **p < .01

storytelling with differentiated instruction is conducive to the


enhancement of learners English reading growth (Blum et al., 2002;
Chien, 2013). These significant results lend credence to the assertion
that differentiated instruction, based on appropriate content for the
learners, is advantageous to students learning and knowledge
development.
Results of English reading achievement posttest
To uncover the relationship between the encoding of the input with
differentiated storytelling and EFL fifth graders reading achievement,
both groups took English reading achievement posttests after the
intervention. Table 4.4 shows that the experimental group
outperformed the control group on measures of reading achievement,
indicating that implementing the input encoded with differentiated
storytelling enhanced young learners reading development.

50

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Table 4.4 Results of English Reading Achievement Posttests


Group

Mean

SD

Experimental

18

22.89

1.49

4.125

.019*

Control

15

19.60

2.77

Note: Maximum score = 30. *p < .05

Comparison between English reading pretest and posttest


In addition to the aforementioned analysis of Reading Achievement
Posttests, paired samples t-tests for intra-group comparisons were
further computed in order to find out: (i) the probable improvement
in the English pre- and post-tests of the two groups; and (ii) the
performances of each level in the experimental group. Table 4.5
illustrates that the experimental group showed greater improvement
in overall reading growth than the control group, although
improvement was seen in both groups. It can be posited that the
significant results showing increased scores in the control group
were largely due to the effect of storytelling, in accordance with the
findings of previous studies in that storytelling enhances reading
skills (Alyousef, 2005; Isbell et al., 2004).
It is worth noting that further comparison between the pre- and
post- test scores of the experimental group among the low-level,
intermediate-level, and high-level participants revealed that there
were significant differences among their reading growth.

Table 4.5 Compared Results of English Reading Achievement Pretest


and Posttest
Group

Test

Mean

SD

Experimental

18

Pretest

17.89

2.82

-6.7

.000***

18

Posttest

22.89

1.49

08

Control

15

Pretest

17.80

2.90

-2.4

15

Posttest

19.60

2.77

60

Note: Maximum score = 30. *p < .05. ***p < .001

.027*

51

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

As follows from the figures shown in Table 4.6, the results


demonstrated the participants performances at each level before
and after the intervention. From the results, it can be seen that with
the encoding of differentiated storytelling, the low-level subjects
benefited from the assignment appropriate to their levels. The
practice promoted their learning.
Consider Table 4.7, which shows that there were significant
differences among three levels of subjects of the experimental group,
given the results of One-way ANOVA. Significant difference existed

Table 4.6 Results of Participants English Reading Achievement Pretest


and Posttest of the Experimental Group
Group

Test

Mean

SD

Pretest

15.17

2.13

-6.789

.001***

Posttest

21.67

.516
-5.546

.003**

-4.392

.007**

I
H

Pretest

18.00

2.19

Posttest

23.50

1.64

Pretest

20.50

.837

Posttest

23.50

1.37

Note: Maximum score = 30. **p < .01. ***p < .001
L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

Table 4.7
Group

Results of Posttests among Participants in the Experimental

ANOVA
Grp

Mean

SD

6 21.67

.516

6 23.50

1.64

1.37

2.50

The Post-Hoc LSD Test


F

(I)
level

(J)
level

(I-J)
MD

L
4.144

.037*

I
H

Note: Maximum score = 30. *p < .05.


Grp = group, L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

-1.833

.025*

-1.833

.025*

-1.833

.025*

.000

1.000

1.833

.025*

.000

1.000

52

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

between the low-level group and the other two groups, while no
significant difference existed between the intermediate-level and the
high-level groups.
Through post-hoc analysis of the increased scores among the three
levels of subjects in the experimental group shown in Table 4.8, it is
shown that significant difference only existed between the low-level
and the high-level groups (F (2 , 15) = 4.153, p < .05). That is, the
input encoded with differentiated storytelling exerted considerable
influence over the low-level group but not the intermediate-level or
the high-level groups.
Table 4.8 Results of Gain Scores among Three Levels in the
Experimental Group
ANOVA

The Post-Hoc LSD Test


(I)
level

Grp

Mean

SD

6.50

2.345

5.33

2.338

4.153
H

3.00

1.673

(J)
level

(I-J)
MD

1.167

.360

3.500

.013*

.037*
H

-1.167

.360

2.333

.079

-3.500

.013*

-2.333

.079

Note: *p < .05.


Grp = group, L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

In considering the efficacy of the intervention, we can determine


that differentiated storytelling implemented in this study specifically
promoted the low-level subjects reading growth. This finding is
further corroborated by the pre- and post- test results of the control
group, as shown in Table 4.9, Table 4.10, and Table 4.11.
From the figures demonstrated above, it can be seen that the
results in Table 4.10 specifically indicate that the lack of differentiated
practice led to resistance to reading advancement across the three

53

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

Table 4.9 Results of Three-level Subjects English Reading Pretest and


Posttest in the Control Group
Group

Test

Mean

SD

Pretest

13.67

.577

-3.212

.085

Posttest

18.33

2.517

Pretest

16.60

1.342

-1.124

.324

Posttest

17.80

1.095

Pretest

20.43

.787

-.956

.376

Posttest

21.43

2.760

I
H

Note. Maximum score = 30. *p < .05.


L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

Table 4.10 Results of Posttests among Three-Level Participants in the


Control Group
ANOVA

The Post-Hoc LSD Test


F

(I)
level

G N

Mean

SD

18.33

2.517

17.80

1.095 4.218 .041*

H 7

21.43

2.760

(J)
level

(I-J)
MD

.533

.756

-3.095

.074

-.533

.756

-3.629

.019*

3.095

.074

3.629

.019*

Note. *p < .05.


G = group, L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

Table 4.11 Results of the Gain Scores among Three-Level Subjects in


the Control Group
ANOVA
G

Mean

SD

4.67

2.517

I
H

5
7

1.20
1.00

2.387
2.769

The Post-Hoc LSD Test


F

(I)
level
L

4.159

.064

I
H

(J)
level

(I-J)
MD

3.467

.093

3.667

.064

-3.467

.093

.200

.898

-3.667

.064

-.200

.898

Note. G = group, L = low-level, I = intermediate-level, H = high-level

54

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

groups, resulting in no significant increase in their reading


performance. These results corroborate previous research findings
(Chien, 2013; Johnsen, 2003) in affirming that the encoding of
differentiated storytelling is more facilitative than the conventional
storytelling instruction with regard to reading development, especially
for low achievers.
Results of participants attitude questionnaire
To find out the perceived efficacy of the encoding instruction
amongst participants, a questionnaire was given to the experimental
group after the instruction. Three aspects of the effects of the
intervention were explored: the participants perceptions of
the efficacy of the encoded differentiated storytelling (items 1 to 6);
the participants attitudes toward the encoding within heterogeneous
grouping (items 7 to 17); and the participants opinions of the effects
of the encoding on their English reading and learning (items 18 to 23).
As shown in Figure 4.1 and Figure 4.2, 67% (n=12) of the
participants showed positive responses toward overall differentiated
storytelling instruction (item 1). 78% (n=14) of the participants
indicated that, when given the encoding instruction, they could
accordingly identify characters (item 2), and more than 90% (n=17,
item 3) and 72% (n=13, item 4) agreed that they could point out
where and when the stories happened, respectively. 72% (n=13)
reported that they understood what problems characters encountered
(item 5), and 83% (n=15) knew what happened at the end of stories
(item 6). All in all, the results revealed that the encoded input with
differentiated storytelling was conducive to the majority of the
participants reading advancement.
The questions of the second section related to the participants
attitudes toward text decoding within group learning, as depicted in
Figure 4.3. It was revealed that 78% (n=14) of the participants could
recognize more words and phrases after engaging in the differentiated
tasks with their group members (items 7 and 8), while 67% (n=12)
mentioned that they could understand previously difficult sentences
more easily (item 9).

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

Number
12
11

11

10
9
8
8
6
6

4
3

2
1

1
0

1
0

0
1.
Overall, differentiated
storytelling instruction
helps me understand
the stories.

Strongly Agree

2. Through
3. Through
differentiated
differentiated
storytelling
storytelling
instruction, I can clearly instruction, I can clearly
identify major
identify where the story
characters.
happens.

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Figure 4.1 Participants Perceptions / Attitudes toward Differentiated


Storytelling Instruction (I)
Number
12

11

10

9
8

8
6
6

3
2

1
0

0
4. Through
differentiated
storytelling instruction,
I can clearly identify
when the story
happens.
Strongly Agree

5. Through
differentiated
storytelling instruction,
I can clearly identify
the problems the main
characters encounter.
Agree

Neutral

Disagree

6. Through
differentiated
storytelling instruction,
I can clearly identify
what happens in the
end.
Strongly Disagree

Figure 4.2 Participants Perceptions / Attitudes toward Differentiated


Storytelling Instruction (II)

55

56

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Number
12

11
10

10

10

8
6
6
4

4
4

3
2

2
0

0
7. After discussing with
my group members, I
better understand the
vocabulary in the story.
Strongly Agree

8. After discussing with


my group members, I
better understand the
phrases in the story.
Agree

Neutral

Disagree

9. After discussing with


my group members, I
better understand the
sentences in the story.
Strongly Disagree

Figure 4.3 Participants Attitudes toward Word Recognition Learning in


Heterogeneous Group

Concerning the participants attitudes toward heterogeneous


grouping shown in Figure 4.4, 83% (n=15) of the participants
indicated that they could better understand the stories (item 10).
Once given the encoding instruction, 67% (n=12) considered that
they could complete the task by themselves (item 11), and 78%
(n=14) expressed their willingness to ask for help (item 12). As for
the affective dimension, 72% (n=13) of the participants thought they
completed the tasks without losing confidence and motivation
(item 13). In addition, 88% (n=16) agreed that they had more
opportunities to express their viewpoints during discussion (item
14), and 78% (n=14) of the participants thought that they could
better concentrate their efforts on the reading in question (item 15).
As shown in Figure 4.5 below, the majority (78%, n=14) indicated
that they liked to learn and cooperate with their classmates, although
6% (n=1) expressed a dislike for group learning (item 16). In contrast
to teacher-led instruction, 72% (n=13) preferred group learning
(item 17). All in all, the results from items 10-17 were consistent
with Mulroy & Eddinger (2003); namely, within the learning of
differentiated input, learners receive an optimal learning experience.

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

Number
14

13
12

12
10
10

9
8

8
6
6

5
4

4
4

33

2
2
00

00

2
0

0 0

00

0
10. Group 11. Through
learning
group
helps me
learning,
better
I can
understand complete
the stories.
my own
part of the
worksheets.
Strongly Agree

12. Through 13. Through


group
group
learning,
learning,
I am willing I have less
learning
to ask
classmates
pressure.
for help.

Agree

Neutral

14. Through 15. Through


group
group
learning,
learning,
I have more I concentrate
more on
chances to
reading.
discuss and
express
myself.

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Figure 4.4 Participants Attitudes toward Heterogeneous Group


Learning (I)
Number
12
10
10

5
4

4
3
2

1
0

0
16. I like to learn and cooperate
with my classmates.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

17. I like group learning more


than the teacher-led instruction.
Disagree

Strongly disagree

Figure 4.5 Participants Attitudes toward Heterogeneous Group


Learning (II)

57

58

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Regarding the effects of differentiated storytelling encoding on


learning attitudes, Figures 4.6 and 4.7 revealed that most participants
(88%, n=16) thought that providing appropriate levels of task is of
importance to their reading and learning (item 18). The results of
items 19 and 20 suggested that providing opportunities for students
to discuss the questions with peers in class enhanced their willingness
and motivation in reading (67%, n=12; 94%, n=17). Moreover,
72% (n=13) attested that they enjoyed learning with their classmates
through the cooporative opportunity offered (item 22). After the
encoding intervention, 67% (n=12) of the participants reported that
they would like to read more English storybooks (item 21), and 83%
(n=15) stated that they would prefer to learn under similar settings
in the future, if possible (item 23).

Number
12

11
10

11

10

10
8
6

4
2

1
0 0

0 0

1
0 0

0
18. I think group
learning in class
this semester is
fit for my English
learning.

Strongly Agree

19. Through
group learning, I
am willing to
answer the
teachers
questions.
Agree

Neutral

20. Through
group learning in
class, I am more
confident of
reading in
English.
Disagree

21. Through
group learning in
class, I would like
to read more
English
storybooks.
Strongly disagree

Figure 4.6 Participants Opinions of Storytelling with Differentiated


Instruction (I)

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

59

Number
12
10
10
8
8
6

4
2
2

1
0

0
22. Through group learning in
class, I like to learn with my
classmates.
Strongly Agree

Figure 4.7

Agree

23. Through group learning in


class, I hope to learn in group in
English classes.
Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Participants Attitudes toward Group Learning (II)

In conclusion, the favorable responses that learners provided


through the questionnaire evince the positive impacts of the encoded
differentiated storytelling, indicating that through interactions with
group members, EFL young learners made improvements in English
learning. Learning rose through completing tasks appropriate to
their ability levels and, above all, a low-anxiety classroom
environment boosted their confidence.
Results of the interview
To investigate the participants in-depth emotions, motivations and
attitudes towards the encoded differentiated storytelling, three
subjects from each level of the experimental group were randomly
selected for an individual interview. A low-achieving student,
A, stated that differentiated storytelling facilitated her word
recognition and sentence pattern learning. The results were indicative
of the fact that reading comprehension excels when readers are
equipped with good word recognition and contextual word meanings

60

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

(Carrell, 1987). In a response provided by a high achieving student,


G, it was mentioned that the interaction among group members
enabled him to allocate more attention to the contents of the texts.
In combination, the interviewees responses can be summarized as
follows. First, once given the encoded input, storytelling through
questioning and exchanging helped participants understand the
basic word elements and contents of the stories. Second, students
found that being given worksheets tailored to their levels and
working in groups was conducive to learning. Almost all the
interviewees reported that they liked to work with classmates in
groups, especially knowing that classmates were there to rely on.
Third, regarding the overall instruction, the participants interviewed
strongly valued the effort put into differentiated storytelling, not
only in terms of interacting with group members but also with the
instructor. Indeed, through this process, reading stories became more
interesting, and furthermore, opportunities of speaking English
increased as a result. In summary, all of the interviewees responded
that they preferred group learning to teacher-led instruction. It is
worth noting that the collected responses from the interviewees were
affirmative and consistent with the results of the attitude questionnaire,
corroborating the positive effects of reading input encoded with
differentiated storytelling instruction.

Conclusion
As stated above, this study was conducted to explore the effects
of reading input on reading comprehension when the input is
encoded via differentiated storytelling. Reading intake, reading
comprehension, and overall reading achievement were taken as
the resultant variables. Based on the research findings, some
conclusions can be drawn regarding the pedagogical implications
for implementing the encoding of differentiated storytelling in EFL
classrooms. Firstly, the results of the posttest confirmed that the
learners access to reading comprehension and vocabulary recognition
could be assisted via the encoded input generated by conversational

Encoding Reading via Differentiated Storytelling

61

interaction with differentiated grouping (Al-Mansour & Al-Shorman,


2011; Schumm et al., 2000). Secondly, as differentiated instruction
organizes students into heterogeneous groups, it affords low
achievers an opportunity to undertake reading on their own and
provides high achievers with an environment to support the learning
of lower achievers. With low achievers feeling less stressed in the
process of learning, their performance is accordingly enhanced. As
Tomlinson et al. (2003) rightly stated, students should work at a
level of moderate challenge to enable learning to occur. Thirdly,
given the findings reported in this study, the encoded use of
storytelling and differentiated instruction was found to benefit
students reading growth and to exert positive influence over English
learning. Overall, the insights gained from the findings of this study
of differentiated storytelling can suggest ways for EFL practitioners
to integrate the encoding of differentiated reading input into the
classroom instruction. In this regard, reading input coding for
enacting diverse linguistic focus with differentiated practice could
indeed propel comprehension and learning forward.

5
Conclusion

This work attempts to identify ways to help EFL young learners


advance in their English learning. In view of the components that
make up second language acquisition, this approach capitalizes on
the need for an appropriate encoding of the linguistic input into
intake to facilitate the process of second language acquisition. That
is, to acquire a second language, L2 learners need to take the
available input in the environment, deduce what linguistic features
could have generated the target input, and subsequently use the
encoded input (i.e. the intake) to further develop the language system
in progress. As there appears to be asymmetry between the input and
the intake, filtering out extraneous noise and ascertaining the core of
the content is essential. In doing so, L2 learners can accordingly rely
on the encoded input for propelling language acquisition further as
needed.
As examined in previous chapters, it is apparent that, given the
complexity of the language, L2 learners cannot infer the linguistic
features of the input in isolation. On the other hand, it is also clear
that L2 learners must make efficient use of the available data to
analyze the data in input, enabling them to acquire the language.
This means that how L2 learners deal with the input data is critical
for L2 development. In an effort to assist EFL young learners in
selecting aspects of knowledge and allocating appropriate attention
and efforts for input encoding, this book supplies EFL learners with
a repertoire of specific language tools to tackle the receptive input,

64

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

including contextual story grammar mapping for listening


enhancement, songs and chants of rhyme and rhythm for text
decoding, and differentiated storytelling for reading comprehension
advancement.

Summary of major findings


The essence of the findings reported in Chapters 2 to 5 is that to
attain target objectives of L2 learning, it is necessary that language
instruction takes account of learners processing of input encoding,
and not merely of efforts devoted to production. Chapter 2 showed
that listening materials encoded with visual enhancement combined
with story grammar mapping make an impact on listening
comprehension as well as English learning. Two participating groups
of sixth graders were initially considered homogeneous in their
listening abilities. After the intervention with listening text enhanced
with contextual story grammar mapping, however, significant
influence on their listening had been uncovered. That is, given the
conversion of listening input into intake, students not only better
enjoyed listening to oral stories but also perceived the efficacy of
the contextual encoding for their overall language improvement.
The findings regarding encoding via contextual story grammar
mapping highlight the necessity to ascertain what is available in the
input, and what can be readily accessible to learners. With explicit
contextual encoding instruction equipping learners to notice and
transform the input, and thus to obtain the intake, the relevant
linguistic processing can in turn facilitate further language
construction. It can, therefore, be concluded that the perceptual
saliency displayed in the contextual visual clues accompanying story
grammar mapping establishes a foundation for young learners
language growth, especially in listening.
Chapter 3 explored the effects of rhyme and rhythm in songs and
chants on EFL remedial decoding instruction. A group of lowachieving third and fourth graders with reading difficulties was
recruited for the study. Initially, most of the participants experienced
problems with understanding English and using the alphabetic

Conclusion

65

principle to acquire English words, not to mention reading. Given


that the participants had difficulties in decoding and reading,
fostering their baseline ability in lexical retrieval was an appropriate
starting point to navigate how input encoding could affect English
learning. The results revealed that reading text encoded with songs
and chants promoted learners knowledge of phonics as well as word
decoding. The results also indicated that young learners who receive
input encoded with songs and chants are more apt to read, more
receptive and alert, and most of all, more enthusiastic in their
responses. This leads to the conclusion that lyrics in songs and
chants are an optimal resource for beginning language learners
because the lyrical chunks contain manageable language building
blocks such as stress, rhymes, rhythm, intonation, vocabulary, and
even sentence patterns. Likewise, the repetitive nature of the lyrics
enhances learning by utilizing implicit knowledge, as postulated
in Ellis (1995). Furthermore, music activities, apart from assisting
learners in developing language abilities, can also provide a break
from regular classroom routines. Given that children can easily
sing songs, the rhythmic flow of language unconsciously instills a
sense of achievement, conducive not only to learning but also to
motivation. In summary, input encoded with songs and chants is
considered as an effective prompter for developing decoding abilities
and fostering baseline reading skills for beginning language
learners.
Chapter 4 investigated reading enhancement through text encoded
with differentiated storytelling. While studies of storytelling have
been extensively explored, its pertinent effect on the text reading
process has not yet been discovered. Specifically, it has been shown
that low-achieving students were often disengaged from meaningful
discussion in the heterogeneous EFL classroom, resulting in low
efficacy of reading attainment. Further, given the widening discrepancy
of English levels in the EFL classroom, low-achieving students are
greatly at a disadvantage. The study presented in this chapter aimed
to investigate how differentiated reading input helped EFL students
with diverse ability levels in enacting various linguistic focuses. Fifth
graders from two intact classes in an elementary school participated
in the study. The results revealed that the encoded differentiated

66

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

instruction had made a significant difference to young learners


reading comprehension, particularly for the low achieving learners.
With the positive findings identified in reading growth, it can be
concluded that the cookie cutter approach of reading input
provision is less likely to meet the needs of diverse language learners.
As differentiated instruction organizes students into heterogeneous
groups, it allows low achievers to undertake reading on their own
and high achievers to provide learning support. The results further
reveal that learners access to comprehension and vocabulary
recognition is significantly supported by the conversational
interaction that differentiated grouping generated. In conclusion,
once a fundamental understanding of the reading process has been
established, input can be appropriately structured, and can cater to
learners requirements for further learning advancement. Indeed, the
proposed input encoded with differentiated storytelling demonstrates
such a steady growth.
In considering second language acquisition with its component
parts of explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge, input, and intake,
this book aims to show that combining insights from processes of
second language acquisition with adequate instructional methods
can assist L2 learners to make progress in developing appropriate
language skills. Given the limited input received during second
language acquisition, this becomes all the more important for EFL
young learners. This work seeks to support second language learners
in making effective use of the available input and, subsequently, in
potentially achieving successful learning of the target language.
Drawing on the distinction between input and intake, this work
suggests that intake (the information meaningfully utilized by the
learners) should be the goal towards which every instructor directs
students efforts. Designing and delivering effective language
instruction for encoding input is the catalyst by which instructors
can help learners convert input into intake. As intake aids language
processing, the development of intake in turn fosters the ongoing
accumulation and use of implicit language knowledge.

Conclusion

67

Future studies
Encoding input into intake is considered critical because of its effect
of priming numerous key acquisitional processes. Appropriate
encoding bridges the gap between meaning and form, providing the
link between explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge, and
organizing unstructured input into patterns of ideas for further
language processes. Optimal inferences that language learners could
draw to advance second language growth were considered in cases
like contextual cues from story grammar mapping, songs and chants
with rhyme and rhythm, and differentiated storytelling. The approach
advocated in this book can be considered as a step to advance
classroom instruction for EFL young learners. With the significant
findings uncovered, there is a continuing need for further practical
methods of encoding input into intake.
A significant impact has been made in terms of noticing input
through the perceptually salient aids as well as musical cues.
However, it is also well worth the effort to respond to variance of
learning needs among diverse learning situations and language skills.
It might not be straightforward to include all the essential components
that make up the diversity of EFL young learners and learning
environments. Nevertheless, specifying how instructors may use
second language acquisition components contributes to the combined
effort towards solving the complex problem of limited input
regarding second language acquisition.
In conclusion, with a better grasp of how second language learners
can encode and convert input into intake, practical applications of
the proposed work are possible. This work presented the encoding
tasks with visually and aurally salient elements as well as differentiated
grouping. Given the effects reported, it would not be possible to
include all essentials related to the quality of the input that young
learners are disposed to receive. It is hoped that, given an
understanding of what EFL young learners need to explicitly encode
to acquire the target language, instructors can potentially intervene
to construct the appropriate input for the successful advancement of
language learning in second language classrooms.

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Appendix A

Story Grammar Mapping Worksheet

Problem

Mr. Lion and His Friends

Characters

Ending
Ending

Solution

Setting: When & Where

Appendix B

Rhyme and Rhythm Worksheet


Chant and Sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Teacher asks, Can you __________?


Students answer, I can do it? I can __________.
head (turn my head)

shoulders (raise my shoulders)

knees (bend my knees)

toe (wiggle my toe)

arms (wave my arms)

neck (bend my neck)

hands (clap my hands)

foot (stomp my foot)

back (arch my back)

legs (kick my legs)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes


Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Arms, neck, hands, foot, back and legs
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Appendix C
Differentiated Storytelling Worksheets
Pink Worksheet

Some Clothes for Scarecrow

Fill in the Blanks with Words from the List


Scarecrow stands in a _____ field.
Scarecrow has no _____ to put on.
He asks the sun to help him. The
sun does not answer. Scarecrow feels
very _____. He asks the wind to help
him. The wind does not answer.
Scarecrow feels very _____.
Scarecrow tells a swallow he wants some clothes. Later, the swallow
brings back some _____ for Scarecrow.
When the rain falls,
He has some green
flowers
grow
on
white clothes. When
Scarecrow,
he
has
The swallow comes
Scarecrow
is
very

the seeds grow _____.


clothes. When the
Scarecrow, he has some
berries
grow
on
beautiful red clothes
to _____ all the time.
happy.

cold

leaves

hot

rice

clothes

visit

seeds

86

Accessing the Workings of the Mind

Yellow Sheet
Fill in the Blanks with Complete Phrases of the Word List

Scarecrow stands in a _____. Scarecrow has no


clothes to _____. He asks the sun to help him
find some clothes. The sun does not answer.
Scarecrow feels very hot. He asks the wind to
help him. The wind does not answer. Scarecrow
feels very cold. A swallow asks him why he is
sad. Scarecrow tells her he _____. Later, the
swallow ______________________________.

When the rain falls,


He has some green
flowers
grow
on
some white clothes.
bees visit him. When
Scarecrow, he has
The swallow ________
______________________
happy.

the seeds _______.


clothes. When the
Scarecrow, he has
Many butterflies and
berries grow on
beautiful red clothes.
and play with him
Scarecrow is very

field ____________ field put-put ___________


want wants _________ grow grow _______
bring brings _____________________________
visit ___________ visit all all ______________

87

Appendix C

Blue Sheet

Fill in the Blanks with Sentences


______________________________ (a. stands).
____________________________ (b. hasput).
Everyone is scared of him. ___________
(c. sad). ___________ (d. asks) find some
clothes. The sun does not answer but shines
very brightly. Scarecrow feels very hot. He asks
the wind to help him. The wind does not
answer but blows very hard. Scarecrow feels
very cold. A swallow asks him why he is sad.
Scarecrow tells her he wants some clothes.
Later, ___________ (e. brings) for him.

When the rain falls,


has some green
happy.
When
Scarecrow, he has
Many butterflies
is
very
happy.
Scarecrow, he has
The swallow comes
him all the time.
(g. happy).

a. Where is Scarecrow?
b. What is his problem?
c. How does he feel?
d. Who does he ask to help him?
e. What does a swallow do?
f. What do the seeds grow into?
g. What happens in the end?

_________(f. grow). He
clothes. Scarecrow is so
the flowers grow on
some white clothes.
and bees visit him. He
When berries grow on
beautiful red clothes.
to visit and play with
______________________