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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


FIGUEROA, Javiera; MENESES, Alejandra  y  CHANDIA, Eugenio. Performance in the quality of explanations and arguments in 8th Chilean graders. Rev. signos [online]. 2019, vol.52, n.99, pp.31-54.  Epub 15-Mar-2019. ISSN 0718-0934.

Writing is a task that involves high cognitive and linguistic demands. This difficulty is increased with written academic texts; therefore, students need to learn the specific language to produce different discursive genres. The purpose of this research is to analyze the quality of writing of explanations and arguments produced by Chilean students. 153 Chilean 8th graders of three schools with different socioeconomic levels (high, medium and low-medium) produced an explanation and argument on the same topic (using tablets). The results revealed that students’ writing show a basic level of achievement in both tasks. Non-parametric analysis were performed to determine the statistical differences according to task and socioeconomic levels. Regarding the differences, the Wilcoxon test shows a similar distribution in explanations and argumentation. However, significant differences are observed in the textual productions regarding the socioeconomic levels with Kruskal-Wallis test. Likewise, the development of ideas shows a low performance, therefore, an explicit intervention for improving this dimension is suggested. This study shows the relevance of assessing and teaching writing according to the characteristics of each task rather than focusing on general communicative skills, since this can be an effective use of language.

Palabras clave : Explanations; arguments; writing quality.

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