Secondary teachers’ conceptions of integrated writing skills: Are teachers’ conceptions aligned with the curriculum objectives

Guan Ying Li, Xinhua Zhu (Corresponding Author), Choo Mui Cheong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Integrated writing skills that emphasize integrated use of language skills and multiple source materials have attracted increasing attention in language education globally and locally in Hong Kong. This study examines teachers’ conceptions of integrated writing skills and interviewed twenty-five Chinese language teachers. Three conceptions emerged from the data, representing writing as a composite of disconnected parts (Category1), a logical inquiry (Category 2), and a developmental process (Category 3). As the categories move up, the alignment between teachers’ conceptions and the curriculum objectives increases accordingly, with the purpose of writing instruction ranging from fulfilling examination requirements, enhancing reasoning skills, to developing integrated use of language skills. The findings also reveal that although the development of integrated writing skills has been a critical component of the Chinese language curriculum since the first public examination in 2007, teachers’ receptivity toward it still varied greatly. Insufficient professional training, the legitimacy of integrated writing as a curriculum component, and the fossilization of the public examination were the factors that accounted for the differing attitudes among the teachers. The discourse of integrated writing in the Hong Kong context has been centered around high-stakes testing. The unbalanced discourse resulted in an oversimplified view that conflated the teaching and learning of integrated writing with integrated writing assessment. The study contributes to the conversation between integrated writing curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Implications for teacher professional development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-391
Number of pages13
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Chinese language
  • Curriculum objective
  • Integrated writing
  • Practical knowledge
  • Teacher conception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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