In this article, we examine why writing is important, how it develops, and effective writing practices. We situate the 5 articles in this special issue of Reading and Writing in this literature, providing a context for the contribution of each paper.
"The impact of the Common Core on the writing instruction for students with disabilities remains unclear . Compared with their nondisabled peers, students with disabilities frequently struggle with most aspects of composing, including quality, ideation, organization , vocabulary, sentence fluency, spelling, grammar, and genre elements (Graham & Harris, 2013). Concerns have been voiced about how realistic the Standards are relative to challenges faced by students who struggle with the writing process (Kibler, Walqui, & Bunch, 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current research on instructional practices for secondary student writing reveals little emphasis on compositions requiring analysis, interpretation, and argumentation. Indeed, written expression in English language arts classes is generally confined to writing assignments of very limited length. Additionally, recent efforts for educational reform have led the United States to adopt national academic standards. This article examines the current focus on composition instruction for secondary students as girded by recent influences of the Common Core State Standards and within the context of four teacher surveys that investigated secondary instructional practices for writing. Questions are addressed regarding what and how often students write, influences of standardized testing, instruction for struggling writers, and teacher preparation. Opportunities are described for improving secondary writing instruction while building on the potential effects of the Common Core.
"These students were asked to produce narrative and expository texts on four different topics in both Spanish and English. This database provided a unique opportunity to consider misspellings within the context of genre since genre influences how writers approach the composition process (Graham, Gillespie, and McKeown 2013). It may be possible that genre knowledge influences spelling as well. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the Spanish and English spelling patterns of bilingual adolescents, including the cross-linguistic effects of each language, by applying a fine-grained measure to the differences in spelling in naturalistic writing. Spelling errors were taken from narrative and expository writing samples provided by 20 Spanish–English bilingual adolescents (n = 160). Errors were coded by categories (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) and specific linguistic features affected and then analyzed by language and genre. Descriptive analyses noted similarities and differences among error patterns in both languages as well as language transfer (i.e., borrowings and code-switching). Statistical analyses revealed language differences in proportions of misspellings across linguistic categories. More fine-grained analyses indicated linguistic feature patterns that were shared across languages and unique to each language. Finally, borrowing, while infrequent, was noted more frequently in English compositions. This investigation appears to demonstrate that spelling, when approached as both a cognitive and linguistic activity, is complex since multiple knowledge systems must be coordinated. The use of triple word form theory to analyze misspellings in emerging bilingual writers suggests that discerning patterns of misspellings in each language provides more insight than does transfer alone into the extent that phonology, orthography, and morphology are becoming unified.
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 01/2015; 18(1):73-91. DOI:10.1080/13670050.2013.878304 · 0.81 Impact Factor
"While each aspect of literacy is critical, Graham, Gillespie, and McKeown (2013) advocated that writing was of particular importance due to its power as a learning tool and an instrument for communication, and by extension, persuasion. Graham et al. (2013) also asserted that writing has a significant impact on an individual's reading ability, which is an essential academic skill with all students, particularly in the content areas (Swanson, Wanzek, Vaughn, Roberts, & Fall, 2015). Traditionally, language arts teachers have borne the responsibility of teaching students how to write, but Johnson et al. (2011) alleged that the inclusion of writing during instruction throughout all content areas has the potential to foster deeper understandings about content among students. "
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