A PSYCHOLINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF WRITING IN SELECTED FIRST GRADE STUDENTS (ETHNOGRAPHY, COMPOSITION, SPELLING).
AuthorMILZ, VERA ESTHER.
KeywordsEnglish language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Elementary)
English language -- Rhetoric.
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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 examine the development of writing in first grade children. It provides information about the changes that take place in the children's writing over an eight-month period. The writings of the entire classroom were collected; from these six children's writings were chosen for cross-sectional analysis. Two children from this group were further selected for in-depth case studies. Interviews, parent surveys, and observations were employed to monitor the children's writing development. The data are categorized according to (1) the child's general background, (2) the child as a writer, (3) the child's use of conventions of the writing and spelling systems, and (4) an overview of the child's construction of meaning. The subjects already had a rich, though varied, background of experience with writing when they entered first grade. Many invitations to write were given during the year, which resulted in three major types of writing: journals, notes, and stories. The children were eager to communicate in writing. They grew and developed during the year in a way similar to the way they once learned to speak, learning how to write through their interactions and experiences with others. They became aware of the needs of an audience, could determine the type of writing appropriate to a particular setting, used syntactic features that other writers use, and wrote to fulfill personal needs. As the children wrote, they discovered that certain conventions, such as spelling and punctuation, are used by writers to allow their message to be understood. The rate of development varied according to how critical these conventions were to the ability to communicate. The study demonstrated that children who have a message to communicate construct meaning as their first priority. As they use writing, they gain knowledge of the writing system and change occurs in their understanding of the syntactic, semantic and orthographic systems, allowing them to create more complex meanings for their readers.
Degree ProgramElementary Education