- Relationship between Reading and Writing
- Invented Spelling
- Analyzing Students’ Writing
- Difference Between Writing to Learn and Learning to Write
- Steps of Process Writing
- Progression of the Common Core State Standards for Writing
- Issues When Teaching English Language Learners to Write
- Questions for Colleagues
Relationship between Reading and Writing
Writing and reading have long been considered related activities. Along with listening and speaking, they are the main components of the entire structure of the language. Scientists believe that writing and reading are characterized by a higher level of proficiency in literate representation and the ability to solve problems (Sigueza, 2005). They also insist that the experience, use and functions of writing and reading affect not only the process of writing and reading, but also the relationship between them. Axelrod & Cooper argued that students who wrote well could read well and vice versa. As students moved to more advanced levels of study, this relationship became more pronounced (Axelrod & Cooper, 2012). Theory and practical research prove that writing and reading are activities based on the creation of meaning. Both types of activities affect each other and the results of the learning process as a whole.
The spelling of the English language is based on the phonemic principle. Its essence lies in the fact that each morpheme is written in the same way as possible. At the same time, its pronunciation in different positional conditions may be different. However, in invented spelling, the leading principle is phonetic: the letters that are heard in speech are transmitted on the letter. Thus, invented spelling occurs when one writes as they say and say as they write. The phonetic principle used in the application of invented spelling is based on the exact translation of the sound heard into a letter. It provides different spelling of letters denoting phonemes, which can be in both a strong and weak position.
It is critical to allow and honor this stage in a student’s writing development. Most likely, the appearance of invented spelling occurs due to the absence of the ultimate formation of phonemic hearing. Phonemic hearing is a subtle systematized hearing that acquires the ability to combine the operations of distinguishing phonemes that make up the sound of a weak letter (Axelrod & Cooper, 2012). This form of phonemic analysis appears in students only in the process of special literacy training. Invented spelling consists of an irregularly determined sequence of sounds in letters, their quantity, and places in relation to other sounds. Therefore, the appearance of invented spelling signals the need for correction of sound reproduction and ongoing work on the difference between sounds.
Analyzing Students’ Writing
The five essentials of reading are phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension. Written speech allows to test the essential of phonics, since when speaking or reading words are often pronounced or heard differently than they are written. The writing demonstrates whether the student correctly records the composition of sounds, their formation and pronunciation, syllables and intonation. Phonemic awareness is expressed in the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the sounds of a language. By the way the student displays the words while writing, and the presence of spelling errors, it can be concluded that they have mastered this essential.
Moreover, written speech makes it possible to evaluate active and passive vocabulary. The mastery of this essential is evidenced by the presence of words and phrases in it that the student identifies in someone else’s speech. Written speech is also an indicator of fluency due to the presence or absence in it of unjustified development of reasoning by lexical pauses and repetitions. The writing also demonstrates reading comprehension, which is shown through the competent expression of thoughts and feelings about the read text.
Difference Between Writing to Learn and Learning to Write
In the writing to learn approach, writing is given secondary importance and acts as a means of teaching other types of speech activity. It allows students to better assimilate programming language material, and controls the formation of speech skills and abilities of trainees. With the learning to write approach, writing is not a means, but a goal of learning. It is purposefully carried out in order to develop students’ skills to express their thoughts in writing.
Both of these approaches are important because writing and reading instruction cannot be taught as isolated processes. Only if both of these types of speech activity are properly stimulated, both skills will be developed correctly and quickly (Writing to learn, 2022). The analytical-synthetic method of teaching has shown that in the process of the close relationship between the writing to learn and the learning to write approaches, the mastery of writing and reading are the fastest and most effective. Writing based on sound analysis and reading based on combining sounds into whole words are carried out simultaneously. Thus, in the curriculum, it is important that writing acts as both a means and a goal of learning in order for the student to have a full-fledged language picture.
Steps of Process Writing
Process writing is a four-component method of teaching writing, which includes pre-writing, writing, revising and editing (Axelrod & Cooper, 2012). At the pre-writing stage, a text plan is drawn up. If it is supposed to be large in volume, both the introduction and the conclusion can be expanded in the plan. The main part is always expanded, and contains three or more items. At the second stage, the text is written directly, based on the plan. Then, during the third stage, there is a revision of what has been written. It consists in shortening words, without which the meaning of the sentence is not lost. The third stage focuses more on the semantic content of the text. The final stage – editing – is devoted to the proofreading of the text for grammatical and spelling errors.
Progression of the Common Core State Standards for Writing
The progression of the Common Core State Standards for writing at each stage of training imposes certain requirements for mastering written speech (Axelrod & Cooper, 2012). At the first stage, writing training is aimed primarily at mastering writing techniques and communication skills. For example, these skills include the ability to record productively learned material in writing. It also takes into account the ability to perform written tasks, such as answering questions, copying text, writing out words, phrases, sentences from it. The ability to write according to the Common Core State Standards is based on several skills (Axelrod & Cooper, 2012). Calligraphy skills consist in the ability to spell letter signs, and spelling skills – in the ability to correctly transcode speech sounds into writing signs. The Common Core State Standards is also based on composition skills – the ability to construct a written statement, and related lexical and grammatical skills.
Issues When Teaching English Language Learners to Write
Issues which arise when teaching English Language Learners to write are quite numerous. These difficulties are associated with various factors; for example, the process of learning to write is constantly complicated by discrepancies between the sound and graphic way of expressing thoughts (Sigueza, 2005). Moreover, a written work requires a special grammatical and syntactic design. Graphic issues can be caused by the presence of letters in the native and English languages that are identical in shape, but convey different sounds. Since there is no way to expressively intonate speech, a written statement must be specific and complete in order to fulfill its communicative function. Therefore, students face difficulties such as limited vocabulary and fear of spelling and grammatical errors. Another problem is the interference of the native language at the level of words, phrases, sentences and text, and the lack of ways to express ideas in writing.
Questions for Colleagues
- What type of languages does English belong to: phonetic or phonemic, and how is this related to learning to write?
- The third and fourth steps of process writing are devoted to working on the finished text. What is the key difference between revising and editing stages?
- Name the factors that are the root causes of issues in teaching writing in English to foreign students.
Axelrod, R., & Cooper, C. (2012). Strategies for all-purpose invention. In Axelrod & Cooper’s concise guide to writing (pp. 329-365). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Sigueza, T. (2005). Using graphic organizers. Web.
Writing to learn in the classroom (2022). [Video file]. Web.