Taking Stock of the Effects of Strategies-Based Instruction on Writing in Chinese and English in Singapore Primary Classrooms

  • Lawrence Jun ZhangEmail author
  • Vahid Aryadoust
  • Donglan Zhang
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


Strategies-based instruction (SBI) is widely accepted and successfully implemented in North America in language and literacy programmes, but little has been reported on how this strategy would work in a bilingual/biliteracy learning context. This chapter reports on the efficacy of such an intervention conducted in two Singapore primary schools, where the government implements a unique bilingual/biliteracy policy in education, by which English is offered as the first language and one of the other three mother tongue languages (Chinese, Malay and Tamil) as a second language subject in the national curriculum. Although the Singapore quadrilingual education policy has been internationally acclaimed as being successful, some students face challenges in biliteracy learning, resulting in some students’ underachievement. To help these students catch up with their better-performing peers, we designed an intervention programme to answer the following research questions: (1) When integrated into the regular curriculum, does SBI have an impact on bilingual students’ understanding of the writing processes in their two languages? (2) Specifically, does SBI lead to writing improvement in both languages? The study had an experimental group and a control group. Such a design was intended for comparing the pedagogical efficacy of SBI on student improvement in writing in English and writing in Chinese over a period of one semester (10 weeks of teaching) in the regular school curriculum. Results suggest that the use of SBI not only raised students’ awareness of writing strategies but also improved their English and Chinese writing scores. Thus, we conclude that SBI was a useful dimension to the writing curriculum in the two schools involved in this study.


Score Gain Bilingual Student Chinese Writing English Writing Language Classroom 
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The authors would like to record their gratitude to the Singapore Ministry of Education and the Office of Education Research of the National Institute of Education, Singapore, for their generous funding of the project (Project No. 25/08/OER/LZ) awarded to the Principal Investigator, Lawrence Jun Zhang. They are also obliged to the following for their assistance: the research team members, especially the two Postdoctoral Fellows working on the project at different stages of its development, Dr Wengao Gong and Dr Yajun Zeng, the two collaborating schools and the participating teachers and students who willingly took part in the study. The authors take full responsibility for any error or fault in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Jun Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vahid Aryadoust
    • 2
  • Donglan Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Centre for English Language CommunicationNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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