Authenticity in the writing events of a whole language kindergarten/first-grade classroom.
AuthorWortman, Robert Charles.
KeywordsEnglish language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Kindergarten)
English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Primary)
Language experience approach in education.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to answer the research question: What are the elements of the writing process and written texts of kindergarten/first grade students in a whole language classroom that constitute authenticity? The written texts of twenty-one children from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds were collected over the course of the school year. The tests were categorized according to penpal letters, signs/labels/captions and dialogue journal entries. Each category was analyzed to describe the writer's place in the context of situation, the function that each text served and the interaction of the linguistic cueing systems. The data indicate that the physical elements in the Context of Situation as described by Michael Halliday that proved most important to authenticity are: (1) Availability (proximity) and accessibility of a wide variety of resources. (2) Experience of students in creating and identifying resources in the environment. (3) Many opportunities to interact with audiences. (4) Student ownership of the process. The social relationships within the classroom that proved most important to authenticity are: (1) having a "real" audience for writing. (2) The relationship between the writer and the audience. (3) The degree of invitation with choice of when and where to write. The features of written texts which proved most important to authenticity are: (1) The students' familiarity with the genre of text. (2) The function of the texts to fulfill the purposes of the students. Whole language classrooms such as the one in this study provide a rich source of data for the study of authenticity.
Degree ProgramTeaching and Teacher Education