2012 Volume 14 Issue 1 Pages 15-27
This article describes the results of a study on the effectiveness of planning in English composition by Japanese high school students. The study was based on previous researches on pretask planning, incorporating several methodological revisions. In this study, the students in the experimental group were instructed to plan in advance using concept maps, while the students in the control group had no such opportunity and were asked to write a composition in the same limited time. The compositions in each condition were analyzed in terms of their quantity, quality and language accuracy. It was found that there were significantly more words and clauses in the compositions of the experimental group than those of the control group. As for quality, there was a significant difference in content evaluations, indicating that the experimental group outperformed the control group. In terms of language accuracy, there was no significant difference in the percentages of error-free clauses. Overall, it can be said that the instruction of planning using concept maps was effective particularly to encourage students to generate more ideas, and organize them in a coherent manner.