English Teaching & Learning

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Writing responses to images when developing higher-order thinking: A case study of EFL college students in Taiwan

  • Hsiao-chien Lee
Original Paper


In a democratic society students need to cultivate independent and higher-order thought processes, and school curricula should provide students with activities facilitating this. This mode of teaching, however, is not always present in subjects like English as a Foreign or Second Language, where the focus of the instruction tends to be solely on its linguistic attributes. Thus, the researcher conducted an online historical image response project with an attempt to encourage higher-order thinking into the EFL writing course. The wiki was employed as a platform for the researcher's 18 Taiwanese university students to post responses to images for a group of American university students. The study aims to find out what higher-order thinking, if any, the participating students exhibited throughout the process, what transformation, if any, the student final writings exhibited after the implementation of the project, and what the students self-reported about the impact the project had on their thought processing. Various sources of data were collected and analyzed, including the participating students' postings on the wiki, pre-test and post-test essay writings, open-ended retrospective written surveys, and follow-up interviews with five randomly selected students. The findings indicate the following: The students exhibited higher-order thinking, especially evaluation and analysis, in their writings; their final writings displayed more thorough understandings and judgmental opinions toward the historical events than before; in addition to considering the project beneficial to their English learning, the students found it also fostered independent and critical thinking skills. In this paper the researcher reports the theoretical background that guided the construction of the project, the process of the project implementation, and the results of the project on students’ thought processes. In the end, pedagogical suggestions are made based on the findings.


Thinking on writing EFL writing instruction the wiki case study 


在民主社會中學生需要涵養獨立及高階的思考能力,而學校的課程理應配合此目標實施,然而,在英語為外語教學的課程中,往往須重視學生語言技能的增進而無法兼顧此目標。本研究採用回應歷史圖像的寫作練習來企圖促進大學生的高階思考能力,wiki平台作為參與研究之十八位台灣大學生與美國筆友分享寫作內容的工具。本研究的目的在於探究此歷史圖像寫作回應分享過程中,學生展現了何種思考能力、他們的思考內容是否有所轉變、以及學生如何看待此學習經驗。研究收集並分析了多樣性數據,如學生的前後測寫作內容、學生在wiki 平台上的貼文、學生的回顧性問卷、以及隨機抽樣的追蹤訪談。研究結果顯示:學生展現了高階思考能力,尤其以分析及評量能力居多,而學生的文字內容也更成熟並具批判性思考,同時,學生普遍認為這項活動增進了他們的寫作能力及思考能力,研究者據此於文末提出教學與研究上的建議。


紙上思考 語為外語之寫作教學 維基平台 個案研究 



The author would like to thank Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan for financially supporting this research work under Contract No. NSC 102-2410-H-022-001. The author would also like to thank Mr. David Dry and his class for helping with this project. In addition, the reviewers’ insightful comments are sincerely appreciated.


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© National Taiwan Normal University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Kaohsiung University of Science and TechnologyKaohsiung CityTaiwan

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