The study examined the efficacy of teaching Theme Theory (|TT) in an academic English writing course to 16 graduate students studying on a TESOL program. A course syllabus was designed accordingly to incorporate this theory together with the practices of process writing, peer review, and collaborative learning. Students received training on theme and rheme and four basic types of thematic progression patterns at the beginning of the experiment. They would in turn apply this to their own writing and to reviewing their peer‘s writing samples. They were required to write three expository essays, with three drafts for each essay (3x3=9). There were two revisions for each essay subjected to peer review as well as teacher‘s review. In the peer review, students acted both as the review giver and receiver; they gave feedback to and received it from at least two to three different peers during the experiment. Teacher‘s reviews were given during the class with one individual review in private toward the end of the experiment. All revisions focused on the issues of cohesion and coherence. Students were also required to write two reflections on their perception and experience of the entire process. TOFEL writing rubrics were applied to the 1st and 6th draft and found significant improvement in cohesion and coherence. Content analysis on their reflections shows they all regarded TT extremely important to their writing quality and critical thinking skill; the training they received was important to their peer review quality. Finally, they considered both peer and teacher's review were equally important.
2015 The 10th Annual Conference on Applied English at CYUT: Innovations in Language Teaching and Business Communication ,pp.45-60=2015第10屆朝陽科技大學應用英語學術研討會論文集