Educational Research Journal


2002.第17卷第2期(Vol. 17 No. 2).pp. 273–288


Primary Students’ Written Narratives in Cultural Context

何黃婉儀(Judy W. Y. HO)





This study compares the narratives written by Australian and Chinese Grade 5 and Grade 6 students and the cultural contexts in which these writings were produced. A total of 198 English narratives collected from four schools of similar socio-economic backgrounds in Sydney and 256 Chinese narratives collected from four classes in one primary school in Hong Kong were analyzed. Besides, an examination of Australian and Hong Kong curriculum documents, a teacher survey, interviews with teachers and classroom observations formed the basis of investigation of contextual factors which might affect the production and interpretation of text. Results show that Australians seem to be more focused on the social purpose and function of text and the effects of audience and context on text, whereas the Chinese language education in Hong Kong places great emphasis on the correctness of both linguistic and moral behaviours. Teachers, being members of the educational system, transmit these ideologies to their students through their teaching practices and affect students’ writings. The paper analyses how students’ narratives are affected by the modes and methods of instruction in Chinese language education, discusses potential problems and makes recommendations to improve the teaching of writing.