Graphic Organizers Support Young L2 Writers’ Argumentative Skills
Learners are increasingly required to analyze critically information presented in languages other than their first to form reasoned opinions and solve problems. It is thus urgent to develop their argumentation skills, needed not only for academic success but also later professional life—and, indeed, by participant citizens in democratic societies. Although there has been some increased interest in teaching argumentation at pre-tertiary levels, this remains a relatively unexplored issue in Colombia (and, indeed, much of the developing world), certainly when considering writing in a second language. This qualitative study analyzed the influence of graphic organizers on the development of argumentative written tasks by a group of sixth-grade English learners. Data was collected through surveys, questionnaires, focus group, a teachers’ journal, and students’ written artifacts and analyzed through the grounded theory approach. Findings revealed that using graphic organizers positively influenced learners’ argumentative writing skills, specifically through supporting strategic information planning and argumentative linearization during the pre- and while-writing stages. These understandings show that younger learners can develop complex argumentative writing skills in a second language, thereby offering significant lessons for teachers of language—and content—in both the first and additional languages.
Alvermann, D. E., & Boothby, P. R. (1986). Children’s transfer of graphic organizer instruction. Reading Psychology, 7(2), 87–100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0270271860070203
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., … Wittrock, M. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Antolini, E., & De Bernardi, B. (2006). Fostering students’ willingness and interest in argumentative writing: An intervention study. In S. Hidi & P. Boscolo (Eds.), Writing and motivation (pp. 183–201). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9781849508216_011
Apothéloz, D. (1990). The development of cohesion in writing: Preliminary research on anaphoric procedures and thematic planning in texts by children. In M. Spoelders (Ed.), Literacy acquisition: A contribution of C&C to the International Literacy Year (ILY) (pp. 53–70). Lier, Belgium: Van In.
Applebee, A. N., Langer, J. A., Mullis, I. V. S., Latham, A. S., & Gentile, C. A. (1994). NEAP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) 1992: Writing report card (No. 23-W01). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED370119
Bamberg, B. (1984). Assessing coherence: A reanalysis of essays written for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1969-1979. Research in the Teaching of English, 18(3), 305–319. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40171021
Baxendell, B. W. (2003). Consistent, coherent, creative: The 3 C’s of Graphic Organizers. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(3), 46–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/004005990303500307
Belland, B. R. (2010). Portraits of middle school students constructing evidence-based arguments during problem-based learning: The impact of computer-based scaffolds. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(3), 285–309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9139-4
Binkley, M., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills. In P. Griffin, B. McGaw, & E. Care (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 17–66). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2324-5_2
Bloom, B. S., Engelhart, M. D., Furst, E. J., Hill, W. H., & Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals, Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York, NY: Longmans, Green.
Boscolo, P. (1995). The cognitive approach to writing and writing instruction: A contribution to a critical appraisal. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive, 14(4), 343–366.
Bromley, K. D. A., Irwin-DeVitis, L., & Modlo, M. (1995). Graphic organizers: Visual strategies for active learning. New York, NY: Scholastic Professional Books.
Brovero, M. D. (2004). For a clearer view: Graphic organizers as writing tools. Book Links, 13(5), 45–46.
Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching: A guide for practitioners. New York, NY: Routledge.
Cameron, J. (2000). Focusing on the focus group. In I. Hay (Ed.), Qualitative research methods in human geography (pp. 83–102). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Capretz, K., Ricker, B., & Sasak, A. (2003). Improving organizational skills through the use of graphic organizers (Master’s thesis, Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL). Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED473056
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). London, UK: Routledge.
Coirier, P., Andriessen, J., & Chanquoy, L. (1999). From planning to translating: The specificity of argumentative writing. In G. Rijlaarsdam, E. Esperet, J. E. B. Andriessen, & P. Coirier (Eds.), Foundations of argumentative text processing (pp. 1–28). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from http://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/27664
Collins, J., Doyon, D., McAuley, C., & Quijada, A. I. (2011). Reading, writing, and deconstructing: Media literacy as part of the school curriculum. In G. Wan & D. M. Gut (Eds.), Bringing schools into the 21st century (pp. 159–185). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0268-4_8
Connor, U., & Lauer, J. (1988). Cross-cultural variation in persuasive student writing. In A. C. Purves (Ed.), Writing across languages and cultures: Issues in contrastive rhetoric (pp. 138–159). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Council of Europe. (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Delrose, L. N. (2011). Investigating the use of graphic organizers for writing. (Master’s thesis, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, LA). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_theses/2537
Dent-Young, J. (1993). Write away: For use of English. Hong Kong, China: Longman.
Dooly, M., Moore, E., & Vallejo, C. (2017). Research ethics. In Qualitative approaches to research on plurilingual education/Enfocaments qualitatius per a la recerca en educació plurilingüe/Enfoques cualitativos para la investigación en educación plurilingüe (pp. 351–362). Dublin, Ireland: Research-publishing.net. http://dx.doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2017.emmd2016.634
Dowell, J., Tscholl, M., Gladisch, T., & Asgari-Targhi, M. (2009). Argumentation scheme and shared online diagramming in case-based collaborative learning. In C. O’Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th international conference on computer supported collaborative learning (Vol. 1, pp. 567–575). Chicago, IL: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Ellis, E. S., & Howard, P. W. (2007). Graphic organizers (Go for it): Power tools for teaching students with learning disabilities. Current Practice Alerts, 13, 1–4. Retrieved from http://teachingld.org/alerts#graphic-organizers
Emerson, K., & Maxwell, T. W. (2011). Graphic organisers and writing performance: Improving undergraduate competence using action research in a workplace internship. Work Based Learning E-Journal International, 2(1), 5–23. Retrieved from http://wblearning-ejournal.com/archive/10-10-11/
Flower, L. S., & Hayes, J. R. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication, 32(4), 365. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/356600
Freedman, A., & Pringle, I. (1984). Why students can’t write arguments. English in Education, 18(2), 73–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-8845.1984.tb00668.x
Graff, G. (2004). Clueless in academe: How schooling obscures the life of the mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London, UK: Pearson Longman.
Harland, D. (2003). Using asTTle persuasive writing: A case study of teaching argument writing (asTTle Technical Report No. 29). Auckland, Australia: University of Auckland/Ministry of Education.
Hawkins, L. (2011). The use of graphic organizers in supporting primary aged students in genre specific writing tasks (Master’s thesis, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, Brockport, NY). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/ehd_theses/17
Hayes, J. R., & Flower, L. S. (1980). Identifying the organization of writing processes. In L. W. Gregg & E. R. Steinberg (Eds.), Cognitive process in writing: An interdisciplinary approach (pp. 3–30). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Hillocks, G. J. (2010). Teaching argument for critical thinking and writing: An introduction. English Journal, 99(6), 24–32. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20787661
Hillocks, G. J. (2011). Teaching argument writing, grades 6 – 12: Supporting claims with relevant evidence and clear reasoning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Hirose, K. (2003). Comparing L1 and L2 organizational patterns in the argumentative writing of Japanese EFL students. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(2), 181–209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1060-3743(03)00015-8
Hirvela, A., & Du, Q. (2013). “Why am I paraphrasing?”: Undergraduate ESL writers’ engagement with source-based academic writing and reading. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 87–98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2012.11.005
Jiang, X., & Grabe, W. (2007). Graphic organizers in reading instruction: Research findings and issues. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(1). Retrieved from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2007/jiang/jiang.html
Jonassen, D. H., & Kim, B. (2010). Arguing to learn and learning to argue: Design justifications and guidelines. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(4), 439–457. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9143-8
Kirschner, P. A., Buckingham Shum, S. J., & Carr, C. S. (Eds.) (2003). Visualizing argumentation: Software tools for collaborative and educational sense-making. London, UK: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-0037-9
Kuhn, D. (1991). The skills of argument. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Lancaster, K. (2013). An examination of using graphic organizers to teach writing: A case study. Research in Action, 1–42.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2004). A handbook for teacher research: From design to implementation. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press & McGraw-Hill.
LeCompte, M. D., & Goetz, J. P. (1982). Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research. Review of Educational Research, 52(1), 31–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/00346543052001031
Lee, C.-C. (2007). Graphic organisers as scaffolding for students’ revision in the pre-writing stage. In R. J. Atkinson, C.
McBeath, S. K. A. Soong, & C. Cheers (Eds.), ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning: Proceedings ASCILITE Singapore 2007 (pp. 544–553). Sydney, Australia: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/singapore07/procs/lee-cc.pdf
Lee, C.-C., & Tan, S.-C. (2010). Graphical representations and transfer of ideas between multi-draft pre-writing stages. In C. Steel (Ed.), Proceedings of ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2010 (pp. 528–538). Sydney, Australia: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE).
Long, M. H. (2005). Overview: A rationale for needs analysis and needs analysis research. In Second language needs analysis (pp. 1–16). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Mannes, S. M., & Kintsch, W. (1987). Knowledge organization and text organization. Cognition and Instruction, 4(2), 91–115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0402_2
Marzano, R. J., Brandt, R. S., Hughes, C. S., Jones, B. F., Presseisen, B. Z., Rankin, S. C., & Suhor, C. (1988). Dimensions of thinking: A framework for curriculum and instruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED294222
Meyer, D. J. (1995). The effects of graphic organizers on the creative writing of third grade students (M.A., Kean College of New Jersey, Union, NJ). Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED380803
Miller, S. A. (2011). Using graphic organizers to increase writing performance (Master’s thesis, State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1951/57455
Morgan, W., & Beaumont, G. (2003). A dialogic approach to argumentation: Using a chat-room to develop early adolescent students’ argumentative writing. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 47(2), 146–157.
Myrick, J., & Siders, J. (2007). Comparison of the effectiveness of learning styles using graphic organizers versus traditional text-based teaching on vocabulary development. The University of Alabama McNair Journal, 7, 115–128.
Neff-van Aertselaer, J. (2013). Contextualizing EFL argumentation writing practices within the Common European Framework descriptors. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 198–209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2013.03.010
Newell, G. E., Beach, R., Smith, J., & VanDerHeide, J. (2011). Teaching and learning argumentative reading and writing: A review of research. Reading Research Quarterly, 46(3), 273–304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RRQ.46.3.4
Nippold, M. A., Ward-Lonergan, J. M., & Fanning, J. L. (2005). Persuasive writing in children, adolescents, and adults: A study of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic development. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 36(2), 125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2005/012)
Nussbaum, E. M., & Schraw, G. (2007). Promoting argument-counterargument integration in students’ writing. The Journal of Experimental Education, 76(1), 59–92. http://dx.doi.org/10.3200/JEXE.76.1.59-92
Oblinger, D. G., & Oblinger, J. L. (Eds.) (2005). Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: Educause. Retrieved from https://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/educating-net-generation
Ong, J., & Zhang, L. J. (2010). Effects of task complexity on the fluency and lexical complexity in EFL students’ argumentative writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19(4), 218–233. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2010.10.003
Reyes, E. C. (2011). Connecting knowledge for text construction through the use of graphic organizers. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 13(1), 7–19.
Roa Pinzón, M. A. (2012). Making connections: Impact of graphic organizers in reading comprehension and summarization (Master’s thesis, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10818/3348
Robinson, D. H., & Kiewra, K. A. (1995). Visual argument: Graphic organizers are superior to outlines in improving learning from text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 455–467. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-06188.8.131.525
Ruddell, M. R. (2001). Teaching content reading and writing (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.
Sakta, C. G. (1992). The graphic organizer: A blueprint for taking lecture notes. Journal of Reading, 35(6), 482–484. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40007564
Santangelo, T., & Olinghouse, N. G. (2009). Effective writing instruction for students who have writing difficulties. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42(4), 1–20.
Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (Eds.) (2008). Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, research, and applications. New York, NY: Erlbaum.
Scott, C. L. (2015). The futures of learning 3: What kind of pedagogies for the 21st century? (Education Research and Foresight Working Papers No. 15). Paris, France: UNESCO. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002431/243126e.pdf
Toulmin, S. E. (2003). The uses of argument: Updated edition (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
van Eemeren, F. H., Grootendorst, R., & Snoeck Henkemans, F. (2002). Argumentation: Analysis, evaluation, presentation. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Victori, M. (1995). EFL writing knowledge and strategies: An interactive study (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.