27 SES 03 B, Beginning Literacy : Reading and Writing
The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011 points out that “fifty-four percent of eighth-graders and 52 percent of twelfth-graders performed at the Basic level in writing in 2011”. In this report, the Basic level denotes “partial mastery of the prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade” (IES, 2012:2). In the same line, the interest of the European Union on this issue has been shown, among others, in the document entitled Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (2001). This makes us reflect on the educational challenges of the XXI century, especially regarding the teaching of written language. Despite these evidences, it is noteworthy that international assessments (PISA 2012, PIRLS 2011) do not incorporate writing as a subject of evaluation.
In the Spanish context, the assessment of writing have revealed that students in primary and secondary education are not able to meet the skills that are necessary to communicate with others according to the demands of the current society and shows that the education system is not providing an effective response in order to improve independent writing from 2006 to today (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/education/agaeve/web/agaeve/reports-and-studies-publications).
Currently the instruction of written expression in education has many shortcomings (Garcia et al, 2010; Torrance, Fidalgo & García, 2007). The incorporation to Spanish curriculum of the key competence communication in the mother tonguehas failed to achieve significant changes in teaching habits and students’ learning (Carmena & al., 2002, Tolchinsky & Simó, 2001). In the same line, the schooling policy of all the children from 3 to 5 years and an early literacy have not increased efficiency in writing skills, in comparison to other OECD countries.
The role teachers play in the teaching and learning process of writing is fundamental to improve writing skills (Graham & Harris, 2005). Hence, new strategies are explored and assessed to verify its effectiveness (Roth & Guinee, 2011). In order to develop a writing for communication effectively in the school, we have adopted the model of guided writing that has been shown in several recent studies that exerts a statistically significant influence on the development of independent writing. A guided writing occurred when teachers give students a writing assignment and directe them to use a particular format, genre or topic.
The proposal of guided writing is based on the idea that children at early years are able to build their knowledge of writing as a cultural object included in their social environment (Ferreiro & Teberosky , 1979; Teberosky , 1992; Tolschinsky , 1993 ) . Thus, writing is one of the curriculum's elements inarly childhood education, giving a new value to the pre-writing stage of development and transforming the methodology in the classroom (Alonso-Cortés et al, 2012; Rios Fernandez & Gallardo, 2012; Sanchez & Alonso- Cortés, 2012; Tolchinsky, Bigas & Barragan, 2010).
This research was aimed to answer the following question: Does guided writing improve communication skills? In line with this issue, our goal is to determine to what extent the use of an guided teaching method at an early years brings on the development of communication skills of children through an guided writing.
- Carmena, G. (2002). La enseñanza inicial de la lectura y la escritura en la Unión Europea. Madrid: CIDE. - Council of Europe (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre1_en.asp). - Culham, R. (2005). 6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The complete guide for the Primary Grades. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. - Graham, S. & Harris, K.R. (2005). Improving the writing performance of young struggling writers: Theoretical and Programmatic Research from the center on accelerating student learning. Journal of Special Education, 39 (1), 19-33. - Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1986). From metaprocesses to conscious access: evidence from children’s metalinguistic and repair data. Cognition, 23, 95-147. -Teberosky, A. (1992). Aprendiendo a escribir. Barcelona: Universidad de Barcelona/ICE. - Rijlaarsdam,G. Van den Bergh, H. and Couzijn, M. Eds., Effective learning and teaching of writing. A handbook of writing in education. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 17-30. - Roth,K. and Guinee, K. (2011). Ten minutes a day: The impact of Interactive Writing instruction on first graders’ independent writing, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 11(3) 331–361. - Tolchinsky, L. (1993). Aprendizaje del lenguaje escrito. Barcelona: Anthropos. - Tolchinsky, L., Bigas, M. & Barragán, C. (2010). Pedagogical practices in the teaching of early literacy in Spain: voices from the classroom and from the official curricula. Research Papers in Education, 27 (1), 41-62. - Tolchinsky, L. & Simó, R. (2001). Escribir y leer a través del currículum. Barcelona: ICE/Horsori. - Torrance, M., Fidalgo, R., & García, J.N. (2007). The teachability and effectiveness of strategies for cognitive self-regulation in sixth grade writers. Learning and Instruction, 17(3), 265-285.
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