Writing is a highly complex language skill because it requires bringing together many skills and can also be applied in many different ways. Without skilled, systematic instruction, many students and particularly those with language processing disabilities may not become proficient writers. Writing may be the most complex process that we expect our students to learn.
Writing is a skill with rules and structures. Struggling writers need systematic, explicit instruction to achieve competency in writing.
To move forward in writing the student will need to master following broad competencies – basic writing skills (mechanics of writing), text generation, writing processes and writing knowledge. At Castle Hill Tutoring we provide explicit instruction to develop the students writing skills. Below is a brief description of the skills needed to move forward in writing.
Basic writing skills: These include spelling, capitalization, punctuation, handwriting/keyboarding, and sentence structure (e.g., elimination of run-ons and sentence fragments). Basic writing skills are sometimes termed “mechanics” of writing.
Text generation: Text generation involves translating one’s thoughts into language, what might be thought of as the “content” of writing. Text generation includes word choice (vocabulary), elaboration of detail, and clarity of expression.
Writing processes: Especially beyond the earliest grades, good writing involves planning, revising, and editing one’s work. These processes are extremely important to success in writing, and increasingly so as students advance into the middle and secondary grades.
Writing knowledge: Writing knowledge includes an understanding of discourse and genre — for example, understanding that a narrative is organized differently than an informational text. Another example of writing knowledge includes writing for an audience, that is, the writer’s understanding of the need to convey meaning clearly and appropriately to the people who will be reading a particular piece of writing.