ERIC Number: ED235505
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Progress of Early Writers as They Discover Written Language for Themselves.
Dobson, L. N.
A study examined the hypothesis that if young children are immersed in a social and psychological setting appropriate for language learning they can learn to write simply by writing. Placed in a supportive classroom environment, 24 first grade students were expected to communicate in writing in any way they could from their first day at school. Teachers encouraged children to find their own strategies to solve problems with spelling and other conventions of written English. They accepted all representations and responded to the meaning of the children's work, rather than to its form. An analysis of the written work, collected daily over an 8-month period, was conducted in terms of R. L. Gentry's developmental stages (precommunicative, semiphonetic, phonetic, and transitional). The results indicated that children can discover the writing system for themselves, and in so doing produce writing that is fluent and comprehensible. Over time, the children demonstrated increasing control over all aspects of the writing process. Each child's writing exhibited characteristics common to those of other young writers, yet each was unique. (Examples of children's writing are appended.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Child Language, Classroom Environment, Classroom Research, Classroom Techniques, Communication Skills, Developmental Stages, Discovery Learning, Grade 1, Learning Strategies, Phonics, Primary Education, Skill Development, Spelling, Writing Instruction, Writing Processes, Writing Readiness, Writing Research, Written Language
Educational Research Institute of British Columbia, 601 West Broadway, Suite 701, Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4C2 ($4.60).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Authoring Institution: Educational Research Inst. of British Columbia, Vancouver.