The topics covered were culture and traditions as suggested by the Chilean curriculum for the EFL subject level. The stages were planning pre-writing , monitoring while-writing , and evaluating post-writing , which are metacognitive writing procedures. First, in pre-writing, the students were taught to brainstorm ideas and write the outline of their draft by considering paragraph structure. In the while-writing stage, the learners produced their draft by monitoring their text, which involved revising it constantly in terms of coherence and cohesion. They then had to carry out the post-writing step, which consisted of proofreading, receiving feedback from the teacher, and editing in terms of textual coherence and cohesion.
It is worth noting that the students had the opportunity to repeat a previous stage when they found it necessary. The metacognition-based writing intervention was carried out in three teaching periods every week 45 minutes each. It lasted nine weeks and was performed by one of the researchers. The research methodologies this study employed were both qualitative and quantitative. A qualitative approach was utilized when collecting information related to the metacognitive procedures the participants stated they used when writing.
Conversely, the quantitative approach was employed for gathering data through L2 writing pre- and post-tests taken by participants. The teacher, who was also one of the researchers, needed to utilize this method in order to identify how well the participants managed coherence and cohesion in their writing production before and after the teaching intervention.
The characteristics of the study were related to two research designs. First, an action research design was implemented because the teacher researcher gathered data concerning the students' learning strengths and weaknesses when writing. This was useful for him to explore his own teaching context by taking a self-reflective, critical, and systematic approach Burns, Second, it incorporated characteristics of experimental studies because the performance of two groups of participants, one which receives treatment and another which does not, was compared Phakiti, This was accomplished by analyzing the results of the pre- and post-research stages.
Two groups of 8 th grade students participated in this research project. First, an experimental group of 19 subjects was studied. They took part in EFL classes focused on a metacognition-based writing intervention implemented by one of the researchers. A control group of 10 students who did not receive any special intervention was also considered in the study. The reason for this was to identify the successfulness of the metacognition-based intervention on the experimental student group's performance.
This was done by comparing the progress of both groups of subjects in terms of their pre- and post-writing production, specifically in the subskills of coherence and cohesion. Regarding the characteristics of all research subjects, they were part of two Chilean public schools and were aged thirteen to fourteen. They often experienced disadvantages in their EFL classes due to their lack of L2 proficiency. The reason for this might be that the participants had had only limited weekly exposure to English during the previous three years. Another similarity was that the EFL teachers of both groups had the same years of experience and graduated from the same university.
They had also worked in these schools for an average of three years. Additionally, the school settings and groups were selected because of access, which is often limited due to the fact that school administrators in Chile are sometimes reluctant to authorize such experimental studies in their classrooms. To collect data concerning the students' L2 writing proficiency, the experimental and control groups took a writing pre- and post-test which consisted of the production of one paragraph. As achievement tests, they were the best way for "assessing an individual's knowledge or proficiency in a given content area" Glanz, , p.
Subsequently, the learners' written paragraph was assessed by the teacher researcher, who referenced the criteria of a rubric see Appendix A. For the purposes of the study, the assessment was focused on coherence logical organization of ideas and cohesion linking devices, relationship between sentences and their parts, paragraph structure, and punctuation marks.
The indicators of this instrument were 1 poor performance , 2 good performance , and 3 excellent performance. In order to identify the initial metacognitive procedures the participants stated they would implement when writing a paragraph in English, the entire experimental group took part in a focus-group discussion before the research intervention started see Appendix B.
A semi-structured interview see Appendix C was used to identify the L2 metacognitive writing procedures the students in the experimental group acknowledged having learned after the intervention. The control group students did not take part in the qualitative data collection procedures focused on.
This was because these learners did not participate in the intervention they were not explicitly trained on how to carry out these metacognitive writing procedures. Both focus-group discussion and semi-structured interview procedures were carried out in the students' mother tongue Spanish. This was done so the experimental students could freely answer the questions and provide meaningful information to the study. Afterward, the teacher researcher transcribed and translated the learners' answers into English for research purposes. All data collection techniques used in this study were validated under expert judgment because few techniques exist for such a study on metacognition and L2 writing.
Three Chilean professors, all experts in EFL and linguistics, contributed to the process. In order to validate the qualitative and quantitative instruments, they evaluated the preliminary versions and provided feedback concerning their limitations. Afterward, the researchers improved the instruments by taking the experts' observations into account. Before the intervention took place, the parents of all the 8 th grade students read and signed an informed consent form.
This document stated that the students' participation was voluntary and that their identity would not be made public. Prior to starting the pedagogical intervention, the teacher researcher carried out a focus group discussion with the students in the experimental group see Appendix B. The purpose of this was to identify the metacognitive procedures the students initially decided to employ when writing in English. Following this, both experimental and control group students took an A2 level pre-test focused on L2 writing.
This task consisted of producing one paragraph in English, and its purpose was to identify the students' initial writing performance. Later, the teacher researcher graded the learners' written text by referencing a rubric containing criteria and indicators specifically associated with coherence and cohesion see Appendix A. The scores were then processed by means of SPSS software in which descriptive statistics were employed. The teacher researcher interviewed each student in the experimental group, focusing on the metacognitive procedures they acknowledged using when writing paragraphs in the L2 see Appendix C.
Next, both experimental and control group students took an A2 level writing post-test, in which they once again had to produce one paragraph in English. After these data were collected, the teacher researcher assessed both groups' writing production. The same rubric on coherence and cohesion used for the pre-test was employed see Appendix A. The teacher researcher then compared the results of both groups, identifying the learners' performance in terms of coherence and cohesion in L2 writing.
The conceptual network for writing procedures employed by the EFL students prior to intervention is displayed in Figure 2. It includes the subcategories of pre-writing, while-writing , and post-writing , which were based on student responses in the focus-group discussion carried out with the experimental group before the pedagogical intervention took place. From the oral data collected in the initial focus-group discussion, in the context of the writing procedures employed by the EFL students prior to the intervention see Figure 2 , the participants of this study stated that they did, in fact, undertake certain pre-writing activities, such as thinking about the topic.
One of the early tasks they said they carried out before producing a written text was activating their prior knowledge related to their production's main idea. With respect to this, one student made the following comment: "We have to think about the ideas we're going to write. We can't start without doing that" Participant 07 Another EFL learner had a similar perspective: "Before I start writing, I try to remember everything I know about the topic for the task" Participant 12 Regarding the pre-writing activities chosen by the EFL learners, thinking about lexical items was another task they utilized before they wrote a text.
According to their responses in the focus-group session, the research subjects declared that they activated prior knowledge concerning English spelling. One of the participants explained: "When I start writing, I need to know how to spell the words I'm going to put in my text" Participant 09 Along the same line, another learner pointed out that this was performed in order to overcome the difficulties she usually experienced in EFL class: "Writing in English is really hard because it isn't written the way it's pronounced.
That's why I have to carefully remember the way some words are written" E15 The EFL students also indicated that they developed certain while-writing activities. One of these tasks involved the identification of lexical items. As stated by one of the learners: "While I'm writing a text in English, I need to look for the words I want to use" Participant 06 Furthermore, the participants affirmed that they used resources to include words in their written production.
This is evidenced in the following excerpt: "When I need to write something, the only material I use is an English dictionary. I don't know the words of this foreign language" Participant 07 Other participants likewise acknowledged the use of online translators while they wrote a text in English, with one of the learners asserting, "English class is sometimes hard for me, so when I write I use a web page that translates text from Spanish to English" Participant 11 Further examination of the students' oral answers in the initial focus-group discussion revealed that the identification of lexical items while the students wrote a text also employed support from the EFL teacher.
From the point of view of the EFL students, they asked for the teacher's assistance while writing in English in order to verify correct spelling. Evidence of this is corroborated by one of the learners: "I asked the English teacher about the words to be included in my text" Participant 06 Another learner made a similar comment: "I sometimes do not know how to spell certain words in English, so I show my writing to the teacher, and he tells me if I am writing them well or if I am making mistakes" E19 When the participants took part in the initial focus-group discussion, they also made reference to post-writing activities, confirming their use of a dictionary for revision.
According to the EFL learners' responses, the use of this resource was also focused on identifying the correct spelling of the words in English. The following excerpt is an example of this view: "When I finish writing a text in English, I use a dictionary to make sure the words I wrote are correct" Participant 10 The conceptual network for writing procedures employed by the EFL students after the intervention is displayed in Figure 3.
This includes the subcategories of pre-writing, while-writing , and post-writing , which were based on the students' answers in the interview carried out with the experimental group after the pedagogical intervention took place. In the context of the writing procedures employed by the EFL students after the intervention see Figure 3 , the participants of this study explicitly stated that they developed certain pre-writing activities, such as outlining.
This consisted of making a list of the main points to be covered in their production, which helped the learners to organize their ideas. One of the interviewees stated, "Before I start, I write an outline to make the text's ideas easier to understand" Participant 01 Another student explained why this procedure was helpful for him: "Writing an outline beforehand helps me to be organized when it comes to writing a text" Participant 03 As pre-writing activities, some of the participants also pointed out that they considered paragraph structure , indicating that they had to activate prior knowledge concerning the main components of a basic paragraph topic sentences and supporting details and how it is written.
One of the students acknowledged, "First, you have to write a sentence that includes the general idea of the text. This helps to give context. Then, I write three sentences including details" Participant 04 Another interviewee reported a similar perspective: "I think about all the information I will put in the text. First, you need a title, then the first general sentence, and afterward three sentences with details" Participant 05 In examining the answers reported by the participants of the study in the post-interview, it was found that most of them expressed that they engaged in while-writing activities.
One of these tasks involved checking ideas from the outline done prior to writing, meaning that the learners based their production on the general points included in the initial list they made. Regarding this, one of the students stated, "While writing, I read over all the ideas I included in the outline I made. This helps me to write a better organized paragraph" Participant 11 Another interviewee presented a similar point of view: "I check the outline I made before so I know what I'm going to write about" Participant 19 An additional procedure implemented by the students while they were producing a text in English was writing lexical items.
For this dimension the learners expressed that they specifically focused their attention on writing words during text production. They also indicated that they were very concerned about language accuracy when producing, especially in terms of vocabulary spelling. An example of this was reported by one of the participants: "I include vocabulary words when I write my paragraph.
I'm very careful to spell them correctly" Participant 07 Another interviewee made reference to a resource used to implement this task: "I write words in the text during the task. If I don't know one of them, I use the dictionary" Participant 06 Due to the learners' concern about spelling words correctly, they expressed that the revision of lexical items while writing was needed.
They stated that, during their writing tasks in English, they confirmed they were not making mistakes in terms of vocabulary spelling in the L2.http://cubosoft.net/libraries/490/citas-chica-busca-chica.php
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An example of this was shared by one interviewee: "I revise everything I write by looking in the dictionary" Participant 05 Likewise, another learner asserted: "We write and, at the same time, we revise by checking that every word is spelled right" Participant 18 Concerning while-writing activities, the participants also considered writing connectors.
For this dimension they pointed out that they focused their attention on the use of linking words-useful for joining ideas from one sentence to the next-during the production of their texts. Likewise, another student explained the reason why connectors should be used during writing: "When you write a text, you have to organize what you write.
You can do that by thinking about linking devices" Participant 08 In the context of writing connectors while producing a text, the participants also mentioned the necessity to revise the inclusion of these elements while they were writing. According to the research subjects, this is done in order to verify the correct usage and spelling of such linking words. One example of the students' answers was the following: "I revise while I write a text to see if I used the connectors correctly.
This helps me to tell if my writing is well organized" Participant 07 Another learner reported how he revised these elements: "While I write, I'm worried about revising the connectors. Sometimes I check to see if I spelled them correctly by using a dictionary. Other times I tend to verify whether they make sense within the text" Participant 13 In their oral responses in the final interview, the students also exhibited the use of post-writing procedures. One of them was related to the revision of lexical items after writing : the EFL learners indicated that, after having written their texts, they made sure there were no mistakes in terms of how they spelled the words.
This is illustrated in the following interview excerpt: "When I finish writing a text in English, I check the dictionary to confirm all the words are spelled correctly" Participant 02 Another participant held a similar point of view: "I have to make sure all the words are spelled right after I finish the text. The reader or the teacher might not understand what we wrote" Participant 08 The students who took part in this study also identified the revision of connectors as a post-writing activity.
According to them, this was implemented to avoid making mistakes concerning the spelling of the linking words in English, as stated by one of the interviewees: "Before I hand in my paragraph to the teacher, it's really important for me to make sure the connectors were spelled right and that they make the ideas in the text logical" Participant 08 With a similar perspective, another participant reported: "In order to make the text cohesive, I check how I included the connectors in the text, and the punctuation" Participant 13 A final post-writing activity identified by the learners in the post-stage interview was the revision of ideas.
The interviewees stated that, once they had finished their production, they verified that the ideas included in their paragraphs were coherent and could be understood by other readers. An example of this can be found in the following excerpt: "After I wrote my text, I checked the ideas in it, and whether they were coherent from one to the other" Participant 09 Another participant held a similar perspective: "When I finish writing, I usually read my paragraph before handing it in.
I do this to make sure all the ideas I wrote make sense to the readers" Participant 12 Table 1 displays the mean M and standard deviation SD for each independent variable related to coherence and cohesion as taken from the writing pre-tests for both control and experimental groups. In Table 1 , both the control and experimental groups scored similarly on the writing pre-test focused on coherence and cohesion. Although both groups seemed to manage the logical organization of ideas in their production, they were weak in other areas, especially linking devices.
This was evidenced by the fact that the mean score was a 1. The EFL students' writing performance was analyzed in a post-test after nine weeks to identify the effects of the metacognitive intervention on the way the learners in the experimental group used coherence and cohesion in a text. For this purpose, independent t-tests were considered.
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