ERIC Number: ED318010
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Word and the World: Reconceptualizing Written Language Development or Do Rainbows Mean a Lot to Little Girls? Technical Report No. 42.
Dyson, Anne Haas
Current research has fragmented educators' vision of both written language and development. A more integrative vision, one that preserves the integrity of written language as a symbol system, is based on five principles that characterize written language development: (1) the establishment of equivalences; (2) exploration and orchestration of the system; (3) reliance on shifting relationships of form and function; (4) differentiation and integration of symbolic functions; and (5) participation in social dialogue. These principles highlight the dialectical relationship between function and form, between child construction and adult guidance. The articulated vision of development differs in fundamental ways from most current viewpoints, as it does not consider written language as simply an extension of the child's oral language but as the evolution of a distinct symbolic option with links to the child's entire symbolic repertoire. Viewing written language growth in this way may allow for a more open-ended vision of its development, and the developmental principles discussed may suggest some possibilities for negotiation between whole language and basic skill proponents. (One hundred fourteen references are attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.