ERIC Number: ED163478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Syntactic Maturity in Children's Writing: A Cross-Cultural Study.
Two sentence-combining tests and one piece of free writing per student provided the data in a study designed to determine whether the heavy writing emphasis given British children in their elementary years gives them significantly greater writing skill than their counterparts in the United States, who write comparatively infrequently. The data from 516 children (ages 8 through 11) in 19 classrooms in Great Britain and the United States include words per T-unit, words per clause, clauses per T-unit, time spent writing, composition length, syntactic maturity level, socioeconomic status, and sex. Results show that the British students spend much more time writing each week, that they score from two to three grades higher in syntactic maturity and write longer compositions than the U.S. students, that socioeconomic level is a stronger predictor of syntactic development for British children than for U.S. children, and that British children may also be better readers than U.S. children, based on the reading materials they use and the evidence that reading comprehension scores in the study correlated highly with syntactic maturity level scores. The results imply that U.S. educators need to reexamine the role of writing in their educational curricula. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL. Research Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo.
Identifiers: England; Syntactic Maturity