ERIC Number: ED365981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Functions of Written Language in a First-Grade Classroom.
Meyer, Richard J.
A study examined and analyzed the functions of written language for one writer during her first-grade year. Data included 516 pieces of writing done by the subject, transcriptions of interviews with the subject, and field notes. Results indicated that: (1) sources of the subject's writing ranged from extremely structured situations to "creative writing time"; (2) regular writing activities included phonics worksheets, books and stories, and formal handwriting; (3) infrequent writing activities included lists, captions, and journal writing; (4) nonlanguage functions of writing involved the subject's desire to be seen by the teachers as a good student and a good worker; (5) written language activity was also used to maintain order and quiet; and (6) written language activity also assumed an economic function in the classroom--certain writing activities had to be completed before students were allowed to work at centers, read silently, or write about things they chose. Findings suggest that: teachers need to look at the function of each writer's engagement in written language activity to understand if the writer is writing the way "real" writers write; a writer's agenda is inextricably linked to ownership; and teachers may see richer, more authentic, and more powerful student writing if teachers allow writers to write from their own agendas rather than from the teacher's agenda. (Three tables of data are included; contains 19 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (43rd, Charleston, SC, December 1-4, 1993).