To date there have been no systematic studies examining the ways in which teachers in England focus and adapt their teaching of writing. The current study addresses this gap by investigating the nature and frequency of teachers’ approaches to the teaching of writing in a sample of English primary schools, using the ‘simple view of writing’ as a framework to examine the extent to which different aspects of the writing process are addressed. One hundred and eighty-eight staff from ten different schools responded to an online questionnaire. Only the data from class teachers (n = 88) who responded to all items on the questionnaire were included in the final analyses. Respondents enjoyed teaching writing and felt prepared to teach it. However, despite feeling that they were effective in identifying approaches to support students’ writing, nearly half reported that supporting struggling writers was problematic for them. Overall teachers reported more work at word level, occurring several times a week, than with transcription, sentence or text levels, which were reported to occur weekly. Planning, reviewing and revising occurred least often, only monthly. For these variables no differences were found between teachers of younger (age 4–7) and older students (age 8–11). By contrast, an examination of specific aspects of each component revealed differences between the teachers of the two age groups. Teachers of younger students focused more frequently on phonic activities related to spelling, whereas teachers of older students focussed more on word roots, punctuation, word classes and the grammatical function of words, sentence-level work, and paragraph construction.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 21, 2015
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