Child Language Acquisition (Writing)

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  • Points to analyse for writing
    • Barclay: 7 stages of writing (spelling) development
      • Stage 1: Scribbling
        • Have learnt to hold a pencil or crayon and make random marks on the page
      • Stage 2: Mock Handwriting
        • Children practice shapes (make pseudo-letters) to look like emergent writing
      • Stage 3: Mock Letters
        • Children produce random letters without awareness of spacing. No sounds are attached to the letters
      • Stage 4: Conventional Letters
        • Children match sounds with symbols, writing letters to match sounds heard or spoken
          • e.g. 'h' for 'horse'
        • Children use initial consonants to represent words that may be read out as if the full word was on the page.
      • Stage 5: Invented Spelling
        • Most words are spelled phonetically, but some simple and familiar words may be spelt correctly
          • e.g. 'they se some horses they or takeing home a cat i wood lik to be good'
      • Stage 6: Appropriate Spelling
        • Sentences become more complex as the child becomes aware of standard spelling patterns.
        • Here writing becomes more legible.
      • Stage 7: Correct Spelling
        • Most words are spelled correctly. Joined up writing may be apparent here.
    • Kroll's stages of writing development
      • The Preparatory Stage (From 18 months)
        • Children develop the motor skills needed for writing
        • They begin to learn the basics of the spelling system
      • The Consolidation Stage (6-8 years)
        • Children write in the same way as they speak
        • They use lots of colloquilisms
        • They use short declarative sentences and familiar conjunctions like 'and'
        • There is limited punctuation
        • They don't know how to finish off the sentence
      • The Differentiation Stage (8- mid teens)
        • Children become aware of the difference between conventions of spoken and written language
        • They understand that there are different genres
        • They begin to structure their work using guidelines and frameworks
        • They include more complex grammar and sentence structures
      • The Integration Stage (midteens- upwards)
        • Writing becomes more accurate
        • Children understand that style can change according to audience and purpose
        • They write expanded stories, with developed characters, a plot and a setting.
        • They develop a personal writing style
    • General Stages
      • When young children do drawings, they are actually learning the motor skills they'll need for writing
      • Children learn the conventions of written writing e.g. spellings, punctuation and layout
      • How fast they learn to write depends on how much practice they have, intelligence and role models.
    • Emergent writing
      • Used to describe childrens' early scribbles
      • Usually, children have semiotic understanding of what they have written but lack the motor skills
      • Are they aware of DIRECTIONALITY?
      • Do they have a sense of authorship (do they write their names on their work?
      • Are there spaces between the scribbles?
        • If so, then the children are aware of each word having a discrete meaning
      • Do any resemble letters of the alphabet?
      • Are there any ascenders/ descenders?
        • If so, then the child is developing their orthagraphical awarenes
    • Understanding Genre
      • Invitations
        • Do they understand the need for politeness in an invitation?
          • What language features do they use to reinforce this polite tone?
        • Do the children understand the need for persuasiveness in an invitation?
          • What persuasiveness techniques do they include?
      • Does the child show understanding of the convention of letters?
        • Do they use 'Dear etc." when beginning the letter?
      • Rothery's categories for evaluating language
        • Observational/ comment
          • The writer makes an observation, followed by an evaluative comment (or mixes this with the comment)
            • e.g. I saw a tiger, it was very large
        • Recount
          • A chronological sequence of events (orientation - event- reorientation
            • e.g. recount of a school trip
        • Report
          • A factual and objective description of events of things (chronological)
        • Narrative
          • A story genre where events occur and are resolved in the end (orientation- complication- resolution- coda)
      • Britton's three modes of children's writing
        • Expressive
          • The first mode to develop because it resembles speech
          • Uses first person perspective and the content is usually based on personal preference
        • Poetic
          • Develops gradually but is encouraged early on due to its creativity
          • Phonological features such as rhyme, rhythum and alliteration as well as descriptive devices such as adjectives and similies are common
        • Transactional
          • When children finally diassociate speech from writing
          • the third person is used to create a detached tone
    • Spelling
      • Children sound out words to stress the sounds and separate syllables
      • Clues from the word's meaning are used to make links with similar words
      • Writing it down till it 'looks right' is another technique used
      • Children will also use grammatical knowledge, such as patterns in affixiation and common inflections to spell words
      • Digraphs
        • Two letters producing a single sound.
      • Homophones
        • e.g. steak/stake
      • Stages of spelling
        • 1) Pre-phonemic
          • Imitations of writing, mainly scribbling and pretend writing; some letter shapes are decipherable
        • 2) Semi-phonemic
          • They link letters and sounds, using this to write words
        • 3) Phonetic
          • They understand that all phonemes can be represented by graphemes, words become more complete
        • 4) Transitional
          • Combine phonetic knowledge with visual memory to create an awareness of combinations of letters and letter patterns, including magic 'e' rule
        • 5) Conventional
          • They spell most words correctly
      • Types of spelling errors
        • Insertion
          • Adding extra letters
        • Omission
          • Leaving out letters
        • Substitution
          • Swapping one letter for another
        • Transposition
          • Reversing the correct order of letters in words
        • Phonetic spelling
          • Using sound awareness to guess letters and combos of letters
        • Over/under generalisation of a rule
          • Over= where it is not appropriate to apply, under= only applying in one specific context.
        • Salient (key) sounds
          • Writing only the key sounds
    • Punctuation and grammar
      • Generally, punctuation marks boundaries between units of language
      • Certain sentence moods are indicated by punctuation
      • Are the full stops standard use?
      • Does the writer break rules for effect?
      • Are there any commas, semicolons etc
        • This would show a development in punctuation
        • Commas provide parenthesis
      • Are there any quotation marks?
        • This shows that the child is aware of the difference between speech and prose
      • Question marks and exclamation marks add prosodic effects
      • Are there any paragraphs?
      • Are there more complex adjectives such as superlatives?

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