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An explicit multicomponent alphabet writing instruction program in grade 1 to improve writing skills

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Abstract

Learning to write involves the acquisition of several skills, not the least of which is handwriting. Indeed, studies in cognitive psychology have clearly demonstrated that it takes time to acquire this complex skill. The present study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an explicit multicomponent alphabet writing instruction program implemented in grade 1. Using a quasi-experimental design, this study was conducted in first grade classrooms. Classrooms were assigned to either the experimental or control group. Eighty pupils in grade 1, aged 6 (mean age, 6.2), participated in the study and had their handwriting and spelling skills assessed prior to and immediately following the eight-week intervention. The results show that the experimental group (n = 40) had significantly higher writing outcomes in handwriting and spelling compared with the paired control group (n = 40), suggesting a positive effect of the intervention. These findings highlight the relevance for teachers of implementing and using an explicit multicomponent alphabet instruction program in grade 1 to support the development of writing skills. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10212-019-00428-6

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... First, direct handwriting instruction, when implemented consistently, positively impacts handwriting legibility and compositional fluency Graham et al., 1997Graham et al., , 2000. Second, direct handwriting instruction has been shown to improve spelling skills (Lavoie et al., 2019;Berninger et al., 2002). Third, handwriting instruction as it relates to these interventions appears to provide additional benefits in transcription and related reading skills (Berninger et al., 2006;Case-Smith et al., 2014;Lavoie et al., 2019;Berninger et al., 2002). ...
... Second, direct handwriting instruction has been shown to improve spelling skills (Lavoie et al., 2019;Berninger et al., 2002). Third, handwriting instruction as it relates to these interventions appears to provide additional benefits in transcription and related reading skills (Berninger et al., 2006;Case-Smith et al., 2014;Lavoie et al., 2019;Berninger et al., 2002). However, merely adding handwriting into an existing reading program may not have positive effects on word reading (Berninger et al., 2006). ...
Article
Reading and writing rely on related foundational literacy skills (e.g., phonological processing, phonological memory, phonemic awareness; Brooks et al., 2011; Graham & Hebert, 2010, 2011; Sanders et al., 2018). Therefore, students struggling with reading often have writing problems, including handwriting (Kandel et al., 2017; Sanders, Berninger, & Abbott, 2018). It is often difficult to determine the source of writing difficulties as they could come from uncertainty in how to form the graphemes, poor spelling skills, or organizational deficits (Berninger et al., 2008). This study aimed to determine the usability, feasibility, and promise of an integrated handwriting intervention on 33 students struggling with handwriting and word-level reading or spelling difficulties in second- and third-grade. Researchers randomly assigned participants to receive the Write Sounds integrated handwriting intervention or a BAU control condition. Due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, all the participating schools closed, and the university suspended all in-person research. Therefore, the study ended abruptly, and the participants were unable to complete the intervention or posttest assessments as designed. The researchers used the Write Sounds Mastery Check 1 as a proxy for the posttests. At posttest, students who received the Write Sounds intervention (n = 17) significantly outperformed the control group (n = 16) on researcher-created measures of handwriting quality and overall legibility. The data presented should be interpreted cautiously as the small sample size and adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the original study methodology may have impacted the results.
... Peu de travaux sont identifiés dans le domaine de la production orthographique. Pourtant, dès 5-6 ans, l'apport d'un enseignement explicite est mis en évidence (Lavoie, Morin, Coallier et Alamargot, 2020). Pour pouvoir concevoir et tester des outils basés sur les preuves scientifiques, alors l'enjeu premier sera de mieux comprendre ...
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L’écriture de mots nécessite l’acquisition du code alphabétique et la maîtrise du geste graphique. L’objectif de cette étude est d’évaluer avec des enfants de 5 ans : (1) l’effet du feedback visuel dans l’exploration motrice des lettres sur le tracé de lettres ; (2) l’effet du développement des processus moteurs sur la transcription de pseudo-mots. Un design pré-test / entraînement (avec ou sans feedback visuel) / post-tests est utilisé. Les principaux indices dynamiques qui reflètent les processus moteurs sont identifiés et analysés.
... Accordingly, even if in 2015 Santangelo and Graham showed that their aggregated research results on Handwriting Without Tears did not allow them to prove its effect, it is probable that the addition of many research results which recount effects would change the conclusion of this accordingly increased corpus. Lavoie et al. (2020) organized a study of 80 pupils who benefited from the En mouvement j'écris (I Write in Motion) program (Lavoie et al., 2016) and 80 other students to whom teachers taught letters as usual and assessed them before and after teaching. Through correction of the effects related to differences in pupils of the two groups at the beginning of experimentation, the authors concluded that students who had undergone the En mouvement j'écris program became better in the tasks of spelling and writing the alphabet from their recollections. ...
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Learning how to trace out letters constitutes an important technical element in the mastery of writing. Teaching students how to do so requires decision-making: either teaching manuscript writing, cursive writing or both and choosing which instructional practices to favor. This synthesis aims to take stock of the knowledge that comes from the research that can allow us to shed light on these choices. In the footsteps of a synthesis published in 2012, we found 41 scholarly writings published between 2012 and 2021. These articles confirm and specify some elements of this synthesis through a snapshot of choices made according to country: learning prerequisites for handwriting acquisition and the effect of different types of intervention on the handwriting acquisition. These scientific papers also highlight new knowledge that concerns learning how to handwrite in general and the consequences of choices made on the learning of reading and writing.
... Certaines études ont été alors plus loin que la simple mise en évidence de corrélations, en cherchant à objectiver le lien de causalité. Tel est le cas de travaux : recourant à des régressions linéaires multiples ou des équations structurales (Berninger et al., 1991) ; comparant les performances orthographiques chez des groupes de scripteurs forts et faibles sur le plan graphomoteur (Fayol & Miret, 2005) ; proposant un entraînement graphomoteur spécifique pour en apprécier l'effet sur l'amélioration des performances orthographiques (Lavoie et al., 2019) ; comparant les modalités orale et écrite de production (Bourdin & Fayol, 1994) ou encore manipulant la complexité des traitements graphomoteurs chez un même scripteur (Simard-Dupuis, 2019), pour constater les effets sur la réussite orthographique. ...
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This article aims to provide an in-depth description of the relationship between handwriting skills and spelling performance in primary-school students. After reviewing research highlighting this relationship at different grade levels and for different orthographic systems, we present the results of a study conducted among French primary-school students with three objectives: (a) assess the extent to which this relationship persists among French fourth graders; (b) characterize this relationship according to the type of lexical or grammatical spelling being considered; and (c) analyze the usefulness of the BHK test, compared with writing alphabet letters from memory, for defining handwriting skills. Results confirmed that the relationship between handwriting and spelling performance persists at least as far as Grade 4, and showed that the BHK yields different results from the alphabet task. Recommendations are made for assessing handwriting skills and improving their degree of automatization to the benefit of spelling.
... e complexity of factors involved in effective writing would presume that a substantial amount of time is dedicated to writing in language programs. Nonetheless, according to Aini, Mufid, and Sari [11,12]; Nunan [13]; and White and Arndt [14], it has tended to be a muchneglected part of the language program, despite the power of writing as a permanent record, as a form of expression, and as a means of communication. ...
Article
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... e complexity of factors involved in effective writing would presume that a substantial amount of time is dedicated to writing in language programs. Nonetheless, according to Aini, Mufid, and Sari [11,12]; Nunan [13]; and White and Arndt [14], it has tended to be a muchneglected part of the language program, despite the power of writing as a permanent record, as a form of expression, and as a means of communication. ...
Article
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The portfolio assessment is a purposeful and systematic collection of students’ work that is intended to show progress over time. The researchers employed the Oxford quick placement test, autonomy questionnaire, and topic-based paragraph writings as the pretest and posttest. The design of the study was quasiexperimental. To this end, researchers chose 120 learners with the convenience sampling method, which were 60 learners at the upper-intermediate and 60 learners at the advanced level. Participants were divided into two homogeneous groups (30 learners) such that there were two groups at the upper-intermediate level and two groups at an advanced level as experimental and control groups. A piloted writing pretest was given to both groups before the treatment. The experimental group had received the treatment of four writing tasks to perform. In order to address the research questions, descriptive statistics and covariant analysis were used. Based on the results achieved from the first research question, portfolio assessment has a positive significant effect on Iranian EFL learners’ autonomy on both upper-intermediate and advanced levels. The results also indicated that portfolio assessment has a positive significant effect on Iranian EFL learners’ writing skills on both upper-intermediate and advanced levels.
... A recent longitudinal study of five and six year olds is supportive of the notion that writing words may facilitate the development of orthographic knowledge, with handwriting skills accounting for unique variance in the growth of spelling abilities (Pritchard et al., 2021). Other studies have also identified a relationship between the motor processes that occur with handwriting, and the establishment of orthographic representations for words used in spelling (Lavoie et al., 2020;Ouellette & Tims, 2014). Modelling conducted by determined that a combined transcription measure, comprising both handwriting and spelling, significantly impacted kindergarten writing composition quality and productivity (number of words and ideas), also suggesting an interrelationship of these factors in beginning writing. ...
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Evidence supports a link between handwriting and aspects of literacy, including both reading and writing. Most evidence, however, pertains to children from grade one and above, once foundation skills known to support emerging literacy have been established. The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesise the extant literature concerning measurement of handwriting and literacy and the relationships between these measures for kindergarten students (the first year of formal instruction). Following a systematic search of the literature, 17 studies involving 3343 participants were identified. Handwriting measures could be grouped into two categories—letter writing fluency and perceptual motor skills, while literacy measures addressed one or more of letter name and sound knowledge, phonological skills, word reading, writing composition, and spelling. Strong evidence was found for the impact of letter writing fluency on writing composition, and letter name and sound knowledge. In addition, there was moderate evidence for a relationship between letter writing fluency, spelling, word reading and phonological skills. Weaker evidence was found for the impact of perceptual motor skill proficiency on letter knowledge and spelling, word reading and phonological skills. However, as all intervention approaches focusing on letter forming fluency included perceptual motor skill practice or exposure, an important role for perceptual motor skill in both letter writing fluency and literacy may be inferred. This review has found preliminary evidence to support the facilitating impact of handwriting on the foundations of literacy in kindergarten. Further research into the effects of handwriting interventions on kindergarten literacy is indicated.
... writing sentences, predicting, answering questions; see Figure 1). Although writing clearly draws on code-focused skills that benefit from direct teaching (Hough et al., 2012;Lavoie et al., 2019), these skills were not specifically incorporated in the RfA program goals for writing. The materials for the RfA program included a set of storybooks (n = 12) and accompanying nonfiction texts (n = 6), which formed an overarching story arc. ...
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... Certaines études ont été alors plus loin que la simple mise en évidence de corrélations, en cherchant à objectiver le lien de causalité. Tel est le cas de travaux : recourant à des régressions linéaires multiples ou des équations structurales (Berninger et al., 1991) ; comparant les performances orthographiques chez des groupes de scripteurs forts et faibles sur le plan graphomoteur (Fayol & Miret, 2005) ; proposant un entraînement graphomoteur spécifique pour en apprécier l'effet sur l'amélioration des performances orthographiques (Lavoie et al., 2019) ; comparant les modalités orale et écrite de production (Bourdin & Fayol, 1994) ou encore manipulant la complexité des traitements graphomoteurs chez un même scripteur (Simard-Dupuis, 2019), pour constater les effets sur la réussite orthographique. ...
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Cet article vise à décrire et approfondir la relation entre les habiletés graphomotrices et les performances orthographiques chez les élèves de primaire. Après un bilan des travaux qui mettent en évidence cette re- lation à différents niveaux scolaires et pour différents systèmes ortho- graphiques, nous présentons les résultats d’une étude menée en langue française et dont les objectifs étaient : (a) d’évaluer dans quelle mesure cette relation entre les deux composantes demeure chez les élèves fran- çais de 4e année du primaire, (b) de préciser cette relation selon le type d’orthographe lexical ou grammatical considéré et (c) d’analyser les apports du BHK, comparativement à la tâche de rappel de l’alphabet, pour circonscrire les habiletés graphomotrices. Les résultats mettent en évidence une persistance de la relation entre les performances grapho- motrices et orthographiques chez les élèves de 4e année, et montrent toutefois que les analyses conduites avec le BHK diffèrent de celle ré- alisées avec la tâche de l’alphabet. Des recommandations pour évaluer les habiletés graphomotrices et améliorer leur degré d’automatisation au bénéfice de l’orthographe sont proposées.
... Metadiscour seayuda a los lectores a comprender el mensaje de la manera que suautor lo hayaintentado. Hyland afirma que "Basadoen una visión de la escrituracomo un compromiso social y comunicativo entre escritor y lector, metadiscurso centranuestraatenciónen las formasen que los escritores se proyectanensutrabajo para señalarsu comunicación intenciones " [6]. ...
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In the context of this study, a pedagogical approach was developed which integrates spelling instruction into meaningful writing tasks. This approach was then tested in the classroom over a period of twelve weeks by four Grade 4 teachers who had received training to this end. To explore the effects of this pedagogical approach on the development of students' spelling skills, an experimental group and a control group were created. The students in both these groups were given a pretest and a post-test which included a gap dictation and a narrative writing task. The results show that this pedagogical ap-proach helped the students who benefited from it to improve their spelling ability, in particular, with regard to the morphographic dimension of spelling.
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Alamargot, D. & Morin, M-F. (2015). Does handwriting on a tablet screen affect students’ graphomotor execution? A comparison between Grades 2 and 9. Human Movement Science. 44, 32-41 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016794571530021X We sought to ascertain how handwriting with a plastic-tipped pen on the screen of a digital tablet affects graphomotor execution in students, compared with handwriting on paper with a ballpoint pen. We predicted that the modification to propriokinesthetic feedback induced by the screen/plastic tip combination would differently disturb younger and older students, who rely on perceptual feedback either to form letters (former) or to adjust movement execution (latter). Twenty-eight students from Grades Two and Nine were asked to handwrite the alphabet and their names and surnames under the two conditions. Kinematics were recorded using the tablet, controlled by Eye and Pen software. Results showed that handwriting on the tablet surface with a plastic-tipped pen primarily affected pen pauses in the second graders and pen movements in the ninth graders, suggesting a disturbance in segment trajectory calculation in the younger participants and reduced control of muscular adjustment in the older children.
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Handwriting learning The mastery of fast production of legible graphic symbols appropriately displayed on a sheet of paper is the result of a long learning process, based on linguistic, visual- spatial and perceptual-motor skills. In this paper, we present a review of the steps in the development of writing styles in school-aged children, and we describe several cases of children presenting writing difficulties. The type of difficulties experienced by children vary from case to case and can be attributed to deficits at different processing levels in the production of writing.
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The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the conceptions and declared practices of primary school teachers in first and second years in France and Quebec concerning the graphomotor function of writing. These two cultural environments were chosen because of their mixed (script and/or cursive) writing practices. Teachers’ answers were analysed and interpreted in connection with research arguments towards the use of either style of writing. Findings show that practices are partly determined by official recommendations and teachers’ conceptions of writing learning outcomes.
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An important issue relating to the teaching of handwriting concerns the style that should be learned at school (manuscript or cursive). Whereas some countries choose to teach both styles (e.g., Canada), other countries choose to teach only one (e.g., France). Our research had three main underlying goals, namely (1) to observe and describe the handwriting styles spontaneously used by fourth and fifth graders according to the first style learned at school; (2) to describe the evolution of handwriting between the fourth and fifth grades; and (3) to examine the relationship between speed, legibility, and handwriting style. The results revealed that the effects of country, grade level, handwriting style, and handwriting instruction were significant. Quebec children wrote faster than French children did, but their handwriting was less legible. Cursive handwriting was the slower style, whereas mixed handwriting seemed to be more efficient. Handwriting speed and legibility improved from fourth to fifth grade.
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ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions of elementary school teachers on training in handwriting instruction received during their education, as well as their current classroom practices. The quantity and quality of training in handwriting instruction provided by baccalaureate degree-granting teacher education programs in North Carolina was also examined. An online survey was administered to each population identified to inquire about handwriting instruction practices. Results from 505 teachers and 16 professors indicated that while handwriting instruction content is valued by both teachers and professors, varied levels of training were provided to the teachers. Implications for occupational therapy practice are discussed including strategies for school-based therapists.