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The acquisition of a written language by E.S.L. children during the kindergarten and grade one years Chow, Mayling 1990

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T H E A C Q U I S I T I O N O F A W R I T T E N L A N G U A G E B Y E . S . L . C H I L D R E N D U R I N G T H E K I N D E R G A R T E N A N D G R A D E O N E Y E A R S by M A Y L I N G C H O W B . E d . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1974 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S Department o f E n g l i s h E d u c a t i o n W e accept this thesis as c o n f o r m i n g to the requi red standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Ju l y 1990 © M a y l i n g C h o w , 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive • copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ^DUO&T/DAI The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T T h i s research investigates the development o f w r i t i n g i n ch i ld ren w h o are lea rn ing E n g l i s h as a second language ( E S L ) . Its u n d e r l y i n g hypotheses are that: 1) E S L ch i ld ren w i l l learn to wr i te independent ly w h e n p l a c e d in a soc ia l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l sett ing that facil itates language learn ing ; and 2) they w i l l use the same strategies and f o l l o w the same general patterns o f deve lopment as those reported for E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren . Current research o n emergent l i te racy p r o v i d e d the theoretical f ramework for this study. T h i s invest igat ion f o l l o w e d e leven E S L ch i ld ren f r o m the beg inn ing o f K i n d e r g a r t e n to the e n d o f G r a d e O n e . T h e ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing samples were co l lec ted d a i l y and were a n a l y z e d a n d c lass i f ied w i th in Gent ry ' s (1982) stages o f w r i t i n g development . T h e data were e x a m i n e d for i m p l i e d strategies, k n o w l e d g e and understandings. Observa t iona l notes o n the ch i ldren when w r i t i n g revea led characterist ics and behaviours f o u n d at each leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment . T h e results point to the s imi la r i t ies between h o w E S L ch i ldren and E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren learn to wr i te w h e n cha l lenged to d iscover the E n g l i s h w r i t i n g sys tem for themselves. T h e theoret ical perspect ive o f wr i t ing as a deve lopmenta l process was evident throughout the study. A d d i t i o n a l f indings h igh l ighted the s ign i f icant ro le o f l i terature i n E S L learn ing and the importance o f a learner -centred approach to l i teracy inst ruct ion. The impl icat ions o f the research f ind ings fo r E S L m e t h o d o l o g y is d iscussed together w i th an account o f the ch i ld ren ' s deve lopment i n wr i t ing . i i T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abst rac t 1 1 T a b l e o f Contents " i L i s t o f Tab les • • v L i s t o f F igures v l A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t l x Chapter O n e : Introduction 1 E a r l y L i t e r a c y Research 2 Issues and Concerns • 5 A Perspect ive o n L i te racy L e a r n i n g - W h o l e Language 7 P r e l i m i n a r y Investigations 8 Chapter T w o : R e v i e w o f Literature 11 O r a l L a n g u a g e Deve lopment 11 W r i t i n g D e v e l o p m e n t 14 T h e L a n g u a g e L e a r n i n g Env i ronment 2 0 Shared B o o k Readings 2 2 T h e R o l e o f L i terature in E S L L e a r n i n g 25 C o n c l u s i o n 2 6 Chapter Three : M e t h o d 27 T h e Study 30 T h e P r inc ip les 30 Part ic ipants , P rograms and C lass rooms 31 Instruments 35 C h e c k l i s t s 35 M a t e r i a l s 35 Procedures 35 T h e G r o u p W o r k 37 T h e W r i t i n g Sessions 38 Interactions 41 A n a l y s i s 4 2 Chapter F o u r : F i n d i n g s 4 6 Introduct ion 4 6 L e v e l O n e - P recommunica t i ve 47 T h e F o r m 47 i i i The Content 51 The Children 51 Level Two - Semiphonetic 58 The Form 58 The Content 66 The Children 71 Level Three - Phonetic 75 The Form 75 The Content 80 The Children 83 Level Four - Transitional 86 The Form 86 The Content 94 The Children 98 Summary 101 Chapter Five: Discussion 103 The Kindergarten Year 104 The Grade One Year 108 Level Four - Transitional Spelling 115 Level Four - Transitional Writing 117 The Impact of Literature on ESL Learning 120 Limitations and Implications 124 Conclusion 127 References 130 Appendix A: The Progress of ESL Writers through Developmental Stages During the Kindergarten and Grade One Years 141 Appendix B: Levels of Writing Development 142 Appendix C: Record of Writing Growth - 1 143 Appendix D: Record of Writing Growth - 2 144 iv LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Demonstrations of Letter-name Strategies 61 Table 2 Letter-name Matches for Consonants 62 Table 3 Representational Consonants 64 Table 4 Pairing of Lax (short) Vowels with Letter-names 76 Table 5 Generalizing Concepts of Word Separation 78 Table 6 Digraph Consonants 79 Table 7 Vowel Markers 89 Table 8 Visual Spellings 90 v L I S T O F F I G U R E S F i g u r e 1 N o n - a l p h a b e t i c - scr ibble wr i t ing 47 F i g u r e 2 M o c k a lphabet ic wr i t ing 47 F i g u r e 3 A l p h a b e t i c w r i t i n g - letters and numbers 48 F i g u r e 4 E n g l i s h and Ch inese wr i t ing 48 F i g u r e 5 V l a d i m i r ( repetit ion o f letters i n name) 5 0 F i g u r e 6 T h e l o w e r case " i " 5 0 F i g u r e 7 L a b e l l i n g 52 F i g u r e 8 R e t e l l i n g o f T h e Great B i g E n o r m o u s T u r n i p 5 4 F i g u r e 9 P i c t u r e - w r i t i n g 55 F i g u r e 10 N a n a (peer assistance) 5 6 F i g u r e 11 S e m i p h o n e t i c w r i t i n g 58 F i g u r e 12 E a r l y semiphonet ic wr i t ing 59 F i g u r e 13 L e t t e r - w o r d correspondence 61 F i g u r e 14 B/P substitutions 63 F i g u r e 15 W o r d separations and sight words 65 v i F igu re 16 Retent ion o f uppercase B , D , P 65 F i g u r e 17 R e d u c t i o n o f wri t ten messages 67 F igu re 18 F a m i l i a r refrains 68 F i g u r e 19 V i d e o games 68 F igu re 2 0 S ight words 69 F igu re 21 U n c o n v e n t i o n a l use o f sight words , #1 7 0 F igu re 2 2 U n c o n v e n t i o n a l use o f sight words , #2 7 0 F igu re 23 Representat ions o f complete sentences 7 2 F i g u r e 2 4 E a r l y concept o f words 7 2 F i g u r e 25 F a m i l i a r songs 7 4 F i g u r e 2 6 Let ter p lace -ho lders 7 4 F i g u r e 27 W o r d s as separate units 77 F igu re 28 S p a c i n g 77 F igu re 2 9 O m i s s i o n o f nasals 78 F igure 30 L a n g u a g e patterns 81 F igure 31 Story convent ions 82 v i i F i g u r e 3 2 M o n o l o g u e o z F i g u r e 33 E x p o s i t o r y w r i t i n g 0 J N a m e s as a constant 84 F i g u r e 3 4   F i g u r e 35 " I . M . " sentence pattern 8 5 F i g u r e 3 6 T h e Three L i t t l e P i g s 8 5 F i g u r e 37 T r a n s i t i o n a l spe l l ing 5 0 F i g u r e 38 P h o n e t i c spe l l i ng 8 ^ F i g u r e 39 R e c a l l o f sight words 8 8 F i g u r e 4 0 Punc tuat ion 91 F i g u r e 41 N a s a l s 9 2 F i g u r e 4 2 T rans i t iona l w r i t i n g 95 F i g u r e 4 3 N a n a ' s w r i t i n g , a compar i son 9 6 v i i i A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T T h e author w o u l d l i k e to express genuine appreciat ion to her adv isors , D r . W e n d y Sutton and Prof . M a r y A s h w o r t h , for their inspirat ion and support. S p e c i a l thanks to D r . K e n Reeder for his ins ight fu l comments and interest, and to D r . G l e n D i x o n for his he lp fu l suggestions i n the final w r i t i n g o f the thesis. G r a t e f u l acknowledgement must be made to D r . L e e D o b s o n , M a r i e t t a Hurs t , Joy N u c i c h and Sh i r l ey B r u n k e . The i r contr ibutions and support have been inva luable . A n d f i n a l l y , thank y o u , B o b and Just in. i x 1 C H A P T E R O N E I N T R O D U C T I O N In his book , Insult to Intel l igence, F rank S m i t h compares learn ing w i t h j o i n i n g a c l u b where the members demonstrate in the n o r m a l course o f everyday act iv i t ies what the n e w c o m e r is to learn. N e w c o m e r s are engaged i n c l u b act iv i t ies f r o m the very beg inn ing . There are no entry fees, no "readiness" requirements . M e m b e r s h i p i n a spoken language c l u b , a l i teracy c lub or any other c l u b adds to the i n d i v i d u a l ' s sense o f personal identi ty . " F r o m the beg inn ing , the c h i l d is a reader o r a wr i ter , a m e m b e r o f the g u i l d , w h o takes learn ing for granted and w h o w i l l learn. These are the ch i ld ren w h o w i l l attempt to read and write beyond their l eve l o f ab i l i t y , w h o w i l l chal lenge themselves constantly i n wr i t ten language act iv i t ies for the s imple reason that they see themselves as competent readers and wr i ters ." ( S m i t h , 1986: p.38) W h a t is b e c o m i n g evident in the research o n ear ly l i teracy is that 1) a l l c h i l d r e n learn constant ly , without the need for spec ia l incent ives o r re inforcement , 2) c h i l d r e n learn what is done by the people around t h e m , and 3) ch i ld ren learn what makes sense to them ( S m i t h , 1986). Thus , ch i ld ren learn about u s i n g wr i t ten language by o b s e r v i n g h o w the people around them use writ ten language, and by part ic ipat ing i n the act iv i t ies themselves. 2 The present research reflects this view of literacy learning. It regards learning as the natural function of the brain and learning a written language a normal outcome of a literate society (Clay, 1982; Ferreiro & Teberosky, 1982; Teale, 1982; Bissex, 1980; Y . Goodman, 1980). Specifically, this research investigates the progressions made by children for whom English is a second language (ESL) as they discover the English writing system for themselves. It looks at the processes and development reflected in these E S L children's writing, and evaluates these findings against the stages of writing development identified for first-language learners (LI ) . Its underlying hypothesis is that second-language learners (L2) use the same strategies and fol low the same general patterns of development in their acquisition of written language as their L I counterparts. This present research is a natural extension of the direction taken by researchers of early literacy. Early Literacy Research Teale & Sulzby (1986) presented a historical overview of how research in literacy learning has developed and changed over the years. They discussed the fundamental difference between the more traditional reading readiness paradigm and the emergent literacy paradigm. The former grew in the 20's and still exists today in varying forms, and the latter grew in the 60's as a reaction to the traditional approaches and in recognition of the need to reconceptualize "readiness" in accordance with current research. 3 T h e assumptions under ly ing the readiness p a r a d i g m are: 1) learn ing to read f o l l o w s the mastery o f a prerequisite set o f basic s k i l l s , 2) learn ing to read precedes learn ing to wr i te , 3) reading must be f o r m a l l y taught by the care fu l int roduct ion o f sequenced s u b - s k i l l s , l og i ca l l y ordered f r o m an adul t ' s perspect ive, 4) prev ious exper iences w i t h pr int are not considered ( funct ional uses o f reading are general ly ignored) , 5) a l l ch i ld ren go through a scope and sequence o f readiness and reading sk i l l s and are care fu l l y moni tored by f o r m a l testing. In c o m p a r i s o n , the emergent l i teracy parad igm acknowledges that: 1) l i teracy deve lopment begins l o n g before chi ldren enter s c h o o l , 2) c h i l d r e n develop as writers and readers concurrent ly and interrelatedly (they are able to read what they wr i te before they are able to read convent ional text), 3) the funct ions and forms o f l i teracy are apparent i n a l l l i teracy events, 4) the foundations o f l i teracy deve lopment beg in at b i r th , the c r i t i c a l cogn i t i ve years being 0 - 6 years, 5) c h i l d r e n learn writ ten language by ac t i ve ly par t ic ipat ing in and observ ing l i teracy events w i t h i n an interact ive, soc ia l context , and 6) w h i l e there m a y be general ized stages o f deve lopment i n l i teracy learn ing , the rate at w h i c h ch i ldren progress through these stages and the var iety o f strategies e m p l o y e d w i th in these stages are i n d i v i d u a l (Teale & S u l z b y , 1986). M a s o n & A l l e n (1986) , in their rev iew o f emergent l i teracy research, a lso d i scussed h o w i n the late 6 0 ' s the trend i n research began to m o v e away f r o m f o c u s i n g o n f o r m a l instruct ion in the first grade to l o o k i n g at l i teracy learn ing before y o u n g ch i ld ren enter schoo l . They spoke o f the s o c i a l context i n w h i c h l i teracy deve lops and the l i teracy concepts w h i c h are acqui red through a d u l t - c h i l d interactions. T h e assumpt ion that most young chi ldren are unable to read or understand what it 4 means to read or wr i te unt i l they are fo rmal l y taught i n the f irst grade was c lear ly be ing cha l lenged. T h e roots o f this chal lenge can be traced to the in terd isc ip l inary in f luence between cogn i t i ve p s y c h o l o g y , l inguist ics and early c h i l d h o o d research. A renewed interest in the in fancy years as the c r i t i ca l pe r iod fo r language deve lopment and learn ing i n general had establ ished a new d isc ip l ine o f psycho l ingu is t i cs w h i c h spanned the t radi t ional boundaries between psycho logy and l inguist ics ( S m i t h , 1986). C h i l d r e n c a m e to be regarded as learning-hypothesis generators and p rob lem-so lve rs rather than as pass ive recipients o f in fo rmat ion ( H a l l , 1987; Tea le & S u l z b y , 1986). T h e language acquis i t ion research studies w h i c h ident i f ied and descr ibed the strategies that ch i ld ren used when learn ing and u s i n g a language establ ished the not ion o f the c h i l d as a "constructor o f language" ( H a l l , 1987). F ind ings f r o m this body o f research were used by researchers w h o hypothes ized that o ra l language and wri t ten language p ro f i c iency develop i n paral le l ways , and that l i teracy learn ing as w i t h speech begins w i t h i n the f i rst f e w years o f a c h i l d ' s l i fe . Subsequent research focused o n ch i ld ren i n the process o f b e c o m i n g literate and thus the term "emergent" was used. T h e w o r d "emergent" indicates development - the process o f b e c o m i n g - and the w o r d " l i te racy" indicates the interrelatedness o f w r i t i n g and read ing i n y o u n g ch i ld ren 's deve lopment ( M a s o n & A l l e n , 1986). Researchers o f emergent l i teracy v i e w l i teracy learn ing as conceptual and deve lopmenta l . G r o w t h i n w r i t i n g and read ing is seen as c o m i n g f r o m w i t h i n the c h i l d , and as the result o f the s t imulat ion and interactions w h i c h occur w i t h i n a literate envi ronment . De f in i t i ons o f reading and w r i t i n g have been broadened to inc lude pretend- or p ic ture - reading and s c r i b b l e - w r i t i n g w h i c h are 5 seen to para l le l the beginnings o f speech (Doake , 1979; G i b s o n & L e v i n , 1978; C l a y , 1975) . W r i t i n g appears to be easier for ch i ld ren to learn than reading ( M e e k , 1982). It is a lso seen to precede reading (C . C h o m s k y , 1971). Issues and Concerns A n outgrowth o f this new perspective o n l i teracy deve lopment is the issue o f w h y some ch i ld ren are hav ing d i f f icu l t ies in learning to wr i te and read. If l i teracy learn ing is a no rmal consequence o f a literate society , w h y are so many ch i ld ren f a i l i n g in schoo l? D y s o n (1982) states that schools have f a i l e d to "connect" ch i ld ren 's natural acqu is i t ion o f l i teracy w i t h f o r m a l l i teracy inst ruct ion . T h e cogni t i ve and soc ia l processes i n v o l v e d in learn ing to wr i te , as h igh l ighted by recent research, are not operat ing i n m a n y s c h o o l settings. Harste & B u r k e (1980) indicate that m a n y schoo l act iv i t ies g i ven to students force students to operate w i t h i n the teacher's assumptive bounds and d o not a l l o w students to demonstrate what they k n o w and are capable o f d o i n g as language users. C h i l d r e n c o m e to schoo l w i t h di f ferent sets o f k n o w l e d g e , soc ia l values and v a r y i n g p ro f i c iency in language. T o o of ten , the ch i ld ren most need ing to see the sensibleness o f l i teracy are g i ven the most senseless instruct ion ( D y s o n , 1984) . A s S i m s (1982) points out, when we take away the mean ing fu l context fo r w r i t i n g and reading, "the results have been inane, p rog rammed, d r i l l - t h e - s k i l l packages - d i v o r c e d f r o m the language and exper ience the ch i ld ren b r ing to s c h o o l and force fed to them bit by bor ing bit" (p .227) . S m i t h (1986) refers to the meaning less tasks and demean ing tests w h i c h these packages impose on students as " insu l ts" to the inte l l igence o f students and teachers a l ike . 6 A n o t h e r concern raised i n many schoo l distr icts is that g r o w i n g numbers o f E S L students pose new questions regarding methodo logy and c u r r i c u l u m development . A recent 1988 survey conducted by the V a n c o u v e r S c h o o l B o a r d shows a total o f 2 3 , 7 3 2 V a n c o u v e r pupi ls designated as E S L . T h i s represents 4 6 . 9 % o f the D is t r i c t ' s total enro lment a n d is the highest percentage i n the history o f the survey. T h e survey reported that o n l y one -ha l f o f the elementary E S L pup i l s c o u l d match their age peers i n three o f the four language-related activ i t ies (understanding, speak ing and reading) ; and o n l y 4 2 % o f the students c o u l d match their age peers in w r i t i n g ( R e i d , 1988). H i s t o r i c a l l y , E S L cu r r i cu lum has been determined by w h i c h e v e r textbook was ava i lab le at the time (Ashwor th , 1988). In the ear ly years , language texts fo r adults were adapted for y o u n g ch i ld ren ; in recent years, basal readers f r o m tradi t ional , ma ins t ream c lassrooms determined the language arts p rograms (Gunderson , 1985). N e i t h e r addressed the i n d i v i d u a l needs, language competenc ies nor the different interests o f E S L ch i ld ren . B o t h assumed that the deve lopment o f reading precedes the deve lopment o f wr i t i ng . Cur rent teaching practices in E S L ref lect the inst ruct ional assumptions u n d e r l y i n g t radi t ional mainstream programs (Benna , 1985 ; Z a m e l , 1985). These pract ices stress the acquis i t ion o f ora l language f irst before the f o r m a l teaching o f read ing a n d w r i t i n g begins (Piper , 1987; C h o w , E a r l y , L o w e & Y e u n g , 1978) . Impl ic i t i n this is the assumpt ion that ora l language and wri t ten language are two separate processes w h i c h require different methodology and learn ing env i ronments . H o w e v e r , it has b e c o m e increas ing ly apparent that current teaching methodo logy is f a i l i n g to reach a large por t ion o f L 2 learners. E S L ch i ld ren are f a l l i n g further beh ind i n their 7 acqu is i t ion o f wri t ten language. It seems that they are b e c o m i n g pass ive , dependent learners i n an env i ronment w h i c h is too di rect ive and w h i c h fa i ls to acknowledge the sk i l l s and in fo rmat ion w h i c h ind i v idua l ch i ld ren b r ing to the learn ing task ( Z a m e l , 1985 ; C u m m i n s , 1984). A Perspect i ve o n L i t e r a c y L e a r n i n g - W h o l e Language T h e present study reflects a perspective on teaching w h i c h is more compat ib le w i t h those mains t ream classrooms ref lect ing the f ind ings o f emergent l i teracy research. K . G o o d m a n (1986) talked about the grassroots resistance to the sub -sk i l l s approach i n language educat ion . H e spoke encouragingly o f the g r o w i n g m o v e m e n t towards and the acceptance o f a ho l is t ic approach to l i teracy learn ing and o f the W h o l e Language p h i l o s o p h y n o w be ing put into practice i n school c u r r i c u l u m . T h i s ho l is t ic or W h o l e L a n g u a g e p h i l o s o p h y - b a s e d approach is a c h i l d - c e n t r e d approach to language inst ruct ion . It recognizes that language and l i teracy deve lopment are best faci l i tated w h e n read ing , w r i t i n g and talk are interrelated. T h e k e y theoretical premise for W h o l e language is that ch i ld ren acquire a wr i t ten language i n m u c h the same w a y they acquire an o r a l language, and that a r i ch i n f u s i o n o f the best i n ch i ld ren 's literature p lays a large part i n l i teracy learning. T h e majo r assumpt ion under l y ing W h o l e language is that the m o d e l o f acqu is i t ion through real use is the best m o d e l fo r th ink ing about and h e l p i n g w i t h the learn ing o f reading and w r i t i n g , and learn ing i n general (A l twerger , E d e l s k y & F l o r e s , 1987). R e a d i n g and w r i t i n g are learned i n a meaningfu l context. W h o l e language rejects the u n d e r l y i n g assumpt ion o f tradit ional l i teracy approaches w h i c h v i e w language as 8 someth ing w h i c h can be taught i n "bits and p ieces" to be pract ised in i so lat ion f r o m a w h o l e text ( K . G o o d m a n , 1986). R i c h (1985) exp la ined h o w W h o l e language is not a f o r m u l a for teaching but a shift i n the w a y teachers shou ld th ink about their art and pract ise it . C h i l d r e n i n W h o l e language c lassrooms read and write da i l y f r o m the very f irst day o f schoo l . T h e i r teachers accept that def in i t ions o f reading and w r i t i n g have been broadened to inc lude p l a y read ing and p lay wr i t ing . T a l k is important and the ch i ld ren have m a n y opportunit ies to d iscuss their wr i t ing and reading w i t h each other. C h i l d r e n are i m m e r s e d i n l i teracy and act ive ly exp lo r ing the p o w e r o f pr int . The funct ions o f l i teracy are as integral a part o f learning about wr i t ten language as are the fo rms o f l i teracy . P r e l i m i n a r y Invest igat ions In 1 9 8 1 , D o n a l d Graves ca l led for the k i n d o f research w h i c h can shed more l ight o n the strategies ch i ld ren use as they learn to wr i te w i t h i n the context o f c lass room. T o understand the ro le o f the teacher and the processes o f learn ing w i t h i n this context , m o r e time must be spent by researchers i n the o n l y true laboratory , the s c h o o l . G r a v e s (1981a) therefore chal lenged teachers to b e c o m e researchers i n their c lassrooms. T h i s is part icu lar ly important i n l ight o f current researchers ' v i ews o f ch i ld ren as t h i n k i n g ind iv idua ls w h o both affect and are af fected by their env i ronment ( C a l k i n s , 1986; C l a y , 1984; Harste , B u r k e & W o o d w a r d , 1982; H i c k m a n , 1982). D o b s o n (1983) , i n response to this chal lenge, d o c u m e n t e d the progress o f ear ly writers as they d i scover written language for themselves. She reasoned that when 9 c h i l d r e n are expected to wr i te da i l y on topics o f their o w n c h o i c e , they w o u l d respond by u s i n g their increas ing knowledge about letters, words , spac ing and other convent ions o f wr i t ten language to put their meanings into print. T h e i r strategies and solut ions c o u l d be expected to reveal the path o f their deve lopment as w e l l as g i v i n g the teacher va luab le d iagnost ic in fo rmat ion . D o b s o n ' s invest igat ion s h o w e d that ch i ld ren can d i s c o v e r the w r i t i n g system for themselves and , i n so d o i n g , produce w r i t i n g that is f luent a n d comprehens ib le . H e r f ind ings re inforced the theory that language learn ing , whether o ra l o r wr i t ten , is a hypothesis - test ing situation i n w h i c h the learner forms hypotheses, tests them out, and conf i rms or d i sconf i rms them. L a n g u a g e acquis i t ion is s i m i l a r to other learning tasks i n that it requires the learner to be act ive ly par t i c ipat ing i n a w a y that is mean ing fu l to h i m ( S m i t h , 1986) . Past a n d current research o n spe l l i ng deve lopment i n young ch i ld ren support D o b s o n ' s f ind ings (Harste, W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1984; Gent ry , 1982; T e m p l e , N a t h a n & B u r r i s , 1982; H e n d e r s o n & B e e r s , 1980; Forester, 1980; R e a d , 1975). In 1 9 8 3 , this researcher appl ied for and rece ived a grant to invest igate the results o f a two -year project i n v o l v i n g E S L ch i ld ren f r o m the beg inn ing o f K i n d e r g a r t e n to the end o f G r a d e O n e ( C h o w , 1986). T h e f ind ings f r o m this study p r o v i d e d the database for the present research. T h e author reasoned that, l i k e D o b s o n ' s subjects, E S L ch i ldren can also m a k e sense o f the w r i t i n g system for themselves w h e n o p t i m a l condit ions for language learn ing are i n effect . Cur rent research on emergent l i teracy p rov ided the theoret ical f r a m e w o r k for this study. G i v e n what is k n o w n about h o w ch i ld ren learn and the condi t ions under 10 w h i c h they learn best, it was hypothesized that L2 ch i ld ren w i l l learn to wr i te independent ly w i t h i n an interactive and support ive env i ronment r i ch i n language. T h e t w o questions posed now are: 1) W h a t do E S L ch i ld ren actual ly d o when they are left to d iscover the E n g l i s h wr i t ing system fo r themselves?; and 2) Is the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f L2 ch i ld ren s imi la r to the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f L I ch i ld ren w h e n the same o p t i m a l condi t ions for language learn ing are i n p lace? In an attempt to address these quest ions, this research study w i l l took at h o w E S L c h i l d r e n acquire a written language. It w i l l : a) investigate the processes and developments i n E S L ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing dur ing the K indergar ten and G r a d e O n e years; and b) evaluate the resul t ing data o f these L2 learners against the stages reported for L I learners. In c o n c l u s i o n , this research study represents an invest igat ion into h o w E S L c h i l d r e n learn a wr i t ten language. T h e evidence presented i n this study w i l l have some pract ica l imp l i ca t ions for the teaching o f l i teracy and for E S L methodo logy i n general . Th i s chapter discusses the rat ionale, the questions and approach beh ind the invest igat ion . Chapter T w o surveys the literature lead ing up to and support ing the present study. Chapter Three considers the appropriateness o f the approach and prov ides a detai led out l ine o f the method. Chapters F o u r and F i v e examine the ch i ld ren ' s w r i t i n g over the two years o f the study and of fer some tentative answers to the two quest ions under considerat ion for this study. 1 1 C H A P T E R T W O R E V I E W O F L I T E R A T U R E A s ear ly as 1908, E. B . H u e y urged educators to connect the home exper ience i n the ear ly years w i t h l i teracy learn ing i n the schools . In 1932, L e g r u n noted the w r i t i n g deve lopment i n ch i ldren f r o m the ages o f three to s ix w h i c h occur red wi thout d i rect inst ruct ion. Y . G o o d m a n & A l t w e r g e r (1981) reported o n L e g r u n ' s (1932) f i ve stages o f ear ly wr i t ing development w h i c h ranged f r o m unorganized scr ibbles to a d i f ferent iat ion o f fo rms wi th l inear arrangements and occas iona l interposit ions o f true letters and figures. H i ld re th (1936) ident i f ied the deve lopmenta l sequence evident in the ways w h i c h pre -schoolers spontaneously learned to wr i te their proper names. T h e f ind ings o f these researchers had no d iscern ib le effect o n the language arts c u r r i c u l u m i n their eras. T h e concept o f wr i t ing as a deve lopmenta l process i n preschool age ch i ld ren was re lat ive ly new then and remains comparat i ve l y new today (Teale & S u l z b y , 1986; M a s o n & A l l e n , 1986). It was not unt i l the late 6 0 ' s that the deve lopmenta l aspects o f l i teracy learn ing were ser ious ly cons idered and became more w i d e l y researched. O R A L L A N G U A G E D E V E L O P M E N T T h e deve lopmenta l perspective o n l i teracy learn ing was founded o n the prev ious research i n the in fancy years and in language acqu is i t ion . P iaget ' s (1977) observations ind icated that f r o m the moment an infant is bo rn , the learn ing process begins. B l o o m 12 (1964) c o n c l u d e d f r o m his analysis o f m a n y long i tud ina l studies o f deve lopment that the major i ty o f human intel lectual development takes p lace before the age o f f i ve , w i t h 5 0 % o f the inte l l igence measured at age 17 be ing deve loped by age four . T h e in fancy research demonstrated that preschoolers k n e w more than they h a d general ly been g iven credit fo r and that du r ing the early years, ch i ld ren c o u l d be learn ing m a n y sk i l l s (Teale & S u l z b y , 1986). D o n a l d s o n (1978) stressed that adul ts ' interpretation o f h o w ch i ld ren learn must inc lude an understanding o f a c h i l d ' s chang ing v i e w o f the w o r l d and what makes "human sense" to a c h i l d . C h i l d r e n constandy rev ise o r m o d i f y their k n o w l e d g e or percept ion o f the w o r l d around them as new in fo rmat ion is be ing ass imi lated (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969). T h i s v i e w o f the c h i l d as an act ive "hypothesis - tester" was further re in forced by research in the area o f ora l language acqu is i t ion ( B r o w n , 1973; C a z d e n , 1972) . In 1957, N o a m C h o m s k y argued against the then convent iona l v i e w o f language as a "hab i t - learned" behaviour l i k e a l l other human behav iours . C h o m s k y (1968) be l ieved that human beings have an inborn abi l i ty to learn language, and that ch i ld ren learn language by i n d u c i n g the rules o f language through the process o f f o r m i n g and testing hypotheses about language. C h o m s k y and his co l laborators l a i d the g roundwork for the later establ ishment o f the new d isc ip l ine o f psycho l ingu is t i cs w h i c h focused on in fancy as the c r i t i ca l per iod i n the deve lopment o f both language and cogn i t ion ( S m i t h , 1986; G e n i s h i & D y s o n , 1984). B r u n e r (1975) studied the connect ion between infants ' actions and the beginnings o f language. H e v i e w e d the young c h i l d as inherent ly soc iable and it is this sociableness w h i c h provides the mot ivat ion fo r attempts to communica te l o n g 13 before c h i l d r e n say their first words. S l o b i n (1979) ta lked about the cogn i t i ve prerequisites to learn ing a language. H e be l ieved that 1) the c h i l d must f irst be able to perce ive , analyze and store verbal messages; 2) the c h i l d must see his w o r l d as constant even though events, people and things m a y change; and 3) he must interact soc ia l l y w i t h the people in his w o r l d to achieve var ious personal and interpersonal goals before he can begin to use speech for c o m m u n i c a t i o n . H a l l i d a y (1975) a lso studied the soc ia l and interactive funct ions o f language. L i k e B r u n e r and S l o b i n , he stressed the precursors o f language. C h i l d r e n must f irst understand that it is by learn ing a language that they become funct ion ing members o f a g roup , whether it is their f a m i l i e s , c o m m u n i t i e s , or cultures. In H a l l i d a y ' s terms, c h i l d r e n f irst learn to " m e a n " , not to speak as they are soc ia l i zed . T h e funct ions o f language and the range o f poss ib le meanings exist w e l l before the first words are uttered. C h i l d r e n learn an ora l language through interactions w i t h parents, s ib l ings and other s ign i f i cant care -g ivers . Y o u n g ch i ldren learn to c o m m u n i c a t e because they want to master o r m a k e sense o f their envi ronment (Piaget, 1974) , and because they need to " b e l o n g " ( S m i t h , 1986). T h e y are able to learn a language w i t h relat ive ease because their parents and other care-g ivers are sensit ive to their spec i f i c levels o f c o m m u n i c a t i v e abi l i t ies , their immediate interests, and to their intended meanings ( W e l l s , 1985) . Parents adjust their speech when interact ing w i t h y o u n g ch i ld ren . B r u n e r (1983) ta lked about " sca f fo ld ing" as the l ingu is t ic behav iour between parent and c h i l d i n w h i c h the adult supports the c h i l d ' s attempts to c o m m u n i c a t e by e x p a n d i n g o n what he says and by negotiat ing the intended mean ing . In addi t ion to scaf fo ld ing behav iours , parents and other care-g ivers demonstrate what ta lk c a n d o and what talk 14 is used fo r ( C a z d e n , 1983). T h e force o f these demonstrat ions increases as ch i ld ren exper ience their parents c o m i n g into contact w i t h a w i d e range o f s ib l ings , f r iends, shopkeepers , and so forth. Regard less o f their style or rate o f language acqu is i t ion , c h i l d r e n are credi ted w i t h two k i n d s o f competence. They develop l ingu is t ic competence , the unconsc ious k n o w l e d g e o f phono log ica l , syntactic, and semant ic ru les ; and c o m m u n i c a t i v e competence , the pragmat ic knowledge that language is used d i f fe rendy i n dif ferent situations ( H y m e s , 1972). C h i l d r e n gradual ly learn to use va r ied styles o f speaking -f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l , c o l l o q u i a l - and they learn to adjust what they say to suit their l isteners and the occas ion . In other words , they learn ru les fo r d i f ferent iat ing a m o n g soc ia l s i tuat ions. T h e b i l ingua l c h i l d w h o has learned t w o languages i n the preschool years acquires addi t ional rules as to when he speaks one language o r the other ( L i n d h o l m , 1980) . L i k e mono l ingua l speakers, b i l i n g u a l c h i l d r e n m a k e inferences about soc ia l a n d l ingu is t i c appropriateness, based o n their o n - g o i n g interact ions w i t h members o f d i f ferent soc ia l settings. F o r a l l ch i ld ren , k n o w l e d g e o f the fo rms o f language deve lops s imul taneous ly w i th knowledge o f uses and funct ions . W R I T I N G D E V E L O P M E N T T h e majo r concepts appl ied to ora l language deve lopment appear to apply to wr i t ten language deve lopment as w e l l . C h i l d r e n ac t i ve ly deve lop their o w n models o f h o w wr i t ten language works by purposeful ly interact ing w i t h people and objects i n their env i ronment (Gen ish i & D y s o n , 1984). L i t e r a c y , l i k e o ra l language, exists so that meanings can be created and so that c o m m u n i c a t i o n can take p lace between people . A s 15 w i t h ora l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , l i teracy events at home are a lmost consistent ly embedded w i t h i n the rout ine socia l interactions o f adults and ch i ldren (Anderson & Stokes , 1984; S c h i e f f e l i n & C o c h r a n - S m i t h , 1984). Y o u n g ch i ld ren f r o m a literate society are constant ly exposed to the symbols and products o f their pr int -or iented envi ronment . It is not surpr is ing that l o n g before c h i l d r e n enter schoo l , they have begun to d iscover h o w pr int is o rgan ized and h o w it used by members o f their society. These ch i ld ren try to m a k e sense o f the literate fo rms i n their env i ronment in m u c h the same w a y that they try to m a k e sense o f the rest o f their e n v i r o n m e n t In responding to, interact ing w i t h , and o rgan i z ing the writ ten language i n their d a i l y w o r l d , they begin to understand: 1) the s ign i f icance o f wri t ten language; 2) the ora l labels used when referr ing to wr i t ten language; 3) the purposes wr i t ten language serve for different people ; and 4) the var iety o f fo rms used to construct meanings communica ted by writ ten language ( Y . G o o d m a n , 1980) . It is i n these interact ions between the learner and his w o r l d that the or ig ins o f l i teracy can be f o u n d . Studies on y o u n g ch i ldren 's deve lopment o f w r i t i n g have documented the s imi lar i t ies between ora l language development and the later acquis i t ion o f wri t ten language, and have focused attention on the cogn i t i ve and soc ia l processes i n v o l v e d i n learn ing to wr i te (Graves , 1983; Ferre i ro & Teberosky , 1 9 8 2 ; Y . G o o d m a n , 1982; Tea le , 1982; B i s s e x , 1980). M o r e important ly , such studies have served to point out h o w schools have not "connected" ch i ld ren 's natural acqu is i t ion o f l i teracy w i t h f o r m a l l i teracy instruct ion ( D y s o n , 1982; Harste & B u r k e , 1980) . 16 M a n y products o f early wr i t ing appear to be more l i k e curs ive wr i t ing than pr int (Ferre i ro & Teberosky , 1982; C l a y , 1975). G i b s o n and L e v i n (1978) po inted out the poss ib le paral le ls between babbl ing as the beginnings o f speech deve lopment and s c r i b b l i n g as the beginnings o f wr i t ing deve lopment . Somewhere between three to f i ve years, most ch i ld ren become aware that people m a k e marks o n paper purposefu l l y ( C l a y , 1975). Sc r ibb le wr i t ing and m o c k alphabet letters are signs that a c h i l d is b e g i n n i n g to k n o w what wr i t ing does. C h i l d r e n shift to new hypotheses as their current ones c o n f l i c t w i t h the written structures they encounter. T h i s exper imentat ion and hypothes is - test ing o f newly developed concepts are important i n learn ing to express m e a n i n g through written words (Deford , 1980). Teachers must p rov ide ample opportunit ies for ear ly writers to show what they already k n o w about written language's processes a n d funct ions (Jagger & S m i t h - B u r k e , 1985) . V y g o t s k y (1978) mainta ined that however c o m p l e x the process o f deve lopment o f wr i t ten language m a y be, there is a h is tor ica l l ine i n a c h i l d ' s progression f r o m s c r i b b l i n g , to d r a w i n g objects, to representing speech. C h i l d r e n w h o represent their o w n speech (the basis for understanding written language) by a system o f signs are u s i n g second -order symbols . T rans i t ion f r o m f i rs t -order s y m b o l i s m (scr ibbl ing) to second-order s y m b o l i s m (letters) should be fac i l i tated by ear ly w r i t i n g instruct ion. V y g o t s k y (1978) stated that the secret to teaching a writ ten language is i n prepar ing and o r g a n i z i n g for this transit ion, and that "as soon as the c h i l d has mastered the p r i n c i p l e o f wr i t ten language ... (he needs) o n l y to perfect this m e t h o d " (p. 116). L a n g u a g e development , whether writ ten or o r a l , is an act ive , not a passive process. F r o m birth, ch i ld ren are engaged in a deve lopmenta l learn ing task as they test 17 hypotheses about the structure and use o f language ( B r o w n , 1973). M e n y u k (1971) suggested that what m a y appear to be errors (that i s , d i f ferences between the adult 's speech and c h i l d ' s speech) represent the outcomes o f stages i n the c h i l d ' s deve lopment o f k n o w l e d g e o f the language. C l a y (1975) referred to ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g errors as "s igns o f progress" ref lect ing the use o f rules o r ambi t ious attempts to c o m m u n i c a t e mean ings . T h u s , unconvent ional patterns in wr i t ing and misspe l l ings can be v i e w e d as represent ing stages in a c h i l d ' s development o f wr i t ten language as he strives to approx imate adult wr i t ing (C lay , 1982; Gent ry , 1982; G r a v e s , 1982; B i s s e x , 1 9 8 1 ; H e n d e r s o n & Beers , 1980; C h o m s k y , 1979). R e a d (1971) exp lored ch i ld ren 's general izat ions o f p h o n o l o g i c a l rules by e x a m i n i n g their spontaneous wr i t ing . H i s research strongly suggested that y o u n g c h i l d r e n categor ize speech sounds and invent their o w n spel l ings . H e further d i s c o v e r e d that these y o u n g chi ldren can independent ly c o m e to understand h o w writ ten language w o r k s , and that the qual i ty o f adults responses to spe l l i ng attempts was o f paramount impor tance in encouraging invented spe l l ing . W h e n adults d o not interfere w i t h ch i ld ren ' s attempts to wr i te by expect ing them to cor rect l y spe l l , punctuate, and cap i ta l i ze letters f r o m the outset, the ch i ldren w i l l arr ive at rough l y the same system o f representat ion and f o l l o w the same general route to c loser approx imat ions to convent iona l E n g l i s h (Harste, W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1984; D o b s o n , 1983; T e m p l e , N a t h a n & B u m s , 1982; Henderson & Beers , 1980; Forester , 1980; R e a d , 1975). E a r l y (1975) repl icated Read 's (1971) research u s i n g y o u n g subjects w h o were learn ing E n g l i s h as a second language. She d i scovered that L 2 ch i ld ren (chi ldren lea rn ing a second language), l i k e L I ch i ld ren , can organize their perceptions o f the 18 phonet ic features o f E n g l i s h i n a w a y w h i c h is consistent and systematic , and ref lect this i n their spe l l ing . H e r study supported the not ion that there is a h igh degree o f s imi la r i t y between L I and L 2 ch i ldren i n their ora l and wr i t ten language development . Fur thermore , it suggested that E S L ch i ld ren 's spe l l ing errors were more deve lopmenta l i n nature than a result o f f i rst - language interference o n second- language learn ing (Ear ly , 1975) . Henderson & Beers (1980) , i n a p p l y i n g a language acquis i t ion m o d e l to c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t i n g , f o u n d that ch i ld ren advance i n their k n o w l e d g e o f words through d iscern ib le conceptual stages, and that these stages are stable across dialects and across di f ferent languages. T h e y contended that it is the teacher's understanding o f ch i ld ren 's concepts o f wr i t ten language that leads to effect ive instruct ion i n l i teracy. G e n t r y (1982) integrated his o w n observat ions w i t h the research o f R e a d (1971) and H e n d e r s o n & Beers (1980) , and came up w i t h a par t icu lar ly usefu l m o d e l w h i c h del ineates f i ve major stages in spe l l ing deve lopment o f y o u n g ch i ld ren . H e app l ied this deve lopmenta l spe l l ing c lass i f i cat ion system to the B i s s e x case study (B issex , 1980) to p rov ide more f u l l y def ined stages as guidel ines fo r teachers to assess and to foster w r i t i n g deve lopment i n ch i ld ren . T h e f irst stage (Precommunicat ive) represents c h i l d r e n ' s beg inn ing attempts to wr i te w i t h letters, numbers , o r approx imat ions o f both . C h i l d r e n demonstrate no k n o w l e d g e o f letter -sound correspondence at this l e v e l . T h e second stage (Semiphonet ic ) shows ch i ld ren beg inn ing to f o r m concepts o f the alphabetic p r inc ip le as they match letters to sounds. T h e third stage (Phonet ic) a l l ows fo r fu l le r representations o f words as ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing begins to inc lude letter matches for v o w e l 19 sounds. T h e fourth stage (Transit ional) indicates a g r o w i n g awareness o f c o m m o n v o w e l patterns and inf lect ional endings in E n g l i s h orthography. In the f i f th stage (Correct ) , c h i l d r e n recognize and recal l correct l e x i c a l representat ion. T h e fact that these stages can be del ineated suggests "that learn ing to spe l l is not s i m p l y a matter o f m e m o r i z i n g words but in large measure a consequence o f d e v e l o p i n g cogn i t i ve strategies for d e a l i n g w i th E n g l i s h orthography" ( R e a d & H o d g e s , 1 9 7 2 : p. 1762). D o b s o n (1983) observed and analyzed the wr i t ten w o r k o f G r a d e O n e ch i ld ren over an e i gh t -m on th per iod . She reported her f ind ings in terms o f G e n t r y ' s (1982) deve lopmenta l stages. D o b s o n ' s (1983) and other s imi la r invest igat ions i n f i rst -grade c lass rooms ( C a l k i n s , 1983; G i a c o b b e , 1981; M i l z , 1980) support a p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g , hypothes is - test ing v i e w o f language learning and a conceptua l i zat ion o f w r i t i n g as a deve lopmenta l process. W r i t t e n and ora l language development f o l l o w normal learn ing processes (Graves , 1983 ; Tea le , 1982; B i s s e x , 1981; Y . G o o d m a n , 1980). C h i l d r e n learn to talk by interact ing w i t h an envi ronment that prov ides r i c h in fo rmat ion about language. T h e y learn to speak by speaking. C h i l d r e n also g r o w as wri ters by interact ing w i t h an env i ronment that is r i ch i n l i teracy. T h e y learn to wr i te b y w r i t i n g . Exper iences w i t h pr int w h i c h induce natural l i teracy fa l l w i t h i n every c h i l d ' s soc ia l context (Teale & S u l z b y , 1986; Tea le , 1982). Teachers w h o w i s h their students to g r o w as writers must regard a l l p ieces o f wr i t ing as g r o w i n g things to be nurtured rather than as objects to be repaired o r f i xed (B issex , 1981). Unders tand ing what ch i ld ren d o a l lows teachers to m a k e "connect ions" between teaching and learn ing to wr i te ( D y s o n , 1982). 2 0 T h e L a n g u a g e L e a r n i n g Env i ronment C h i l d r e n learn their oral language in a soc ia l env i ronment w h i c h is support ive and purposefu l . In this envi ronment , ch i ld ren exper iment f reely in their use o f language, and rece ive immediate feedback for their c o m m u n i c a t i v e attempts (L ind fo rs , 1985 ; W e l l s , 1 9 8 1 ; H a l l i d a y , 1975; C a z d e n , 1972). Studies o f y o u n g readers and wri ters suggest that g rowth i n written language is fostered by s i m i l a r env i ronmenta l cond i t ions ( W e l l s , 1986; Tea le , 1984; D o a k e , 1979; C l a r k , 1976) . T h e y emphas ize the s ign i f i cant in f luence o f adu l t - ch i ld interactions and the ro le o f the literate adult i n the deve lopment o f l i teracy (Schief fe l in & C o c h r a n - S m i t h , 1984; H o l d a w a y , 1979; N i n i o & B runer , 1978) . There is an increasing number o f research studies w h i c h are l o o k i n g at the cond i t ions under w h i c h ch i ldren learn about l i teracy. It appears that these condi t ions are very s i m i l a r to those for learning about o ra l language. C a m b o u r n e (1984) l is ted seven cond i t ions under w h i c h ch i ldren learn both o ra l a n d wr i t ten language. T h e first c o n d i t i o n i s total i m m e r s i o n i n a language env i ronment ~ speech o r pr int . T h e second c o n d i t i o n is demonstrat ion o f language use. C h i l d r e n become aware o f h o w language is used and what it can do for people by observ ing the peop le around them ( S m i t h , 1981) . T h e th i rd is expectat ion. Expectat ions are very subtle fo rms o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s to w h i c h learners respond. A d u l t s "g ive o f f expectations that babies w i l l learn to w a l k and ta lk , o r that y o u n g ch i ldren w i l l read and wr i te . R e s p o n s i b i l i t y is the fourth c o n d i t i o n . C h i l d r e n must take responsib i l i ty fo r their o w n learn ing . T h e y must set their o w n pace , d i scover their o w n route to learn ing and deve lop their o w n strategies. T h e f i f th is approx imat ion . C h i l d r e n learn language through a series o f approx imat ions 21 unt i l they reach convent ional forms. T h e sixth and seventh condi t ions are e m p l o y m e n t and feedback, respect ively . Ch i ld ren must be g iven m a n y opportunit ies to use language m e a n i n g f u l l y and w i t h purpose. Pos i t i ve feedback w h i c h acknowledges and c o n f i r m s their g r o w i n g understanding o f language gives them the conf idence to cont inue as language learners. Hurs t (1982) surveyed the literature on language acquis i t ion and l i teracy learn ing to determine the factors in the env i ronment w h i c h seemed to foster their growth. She s u m m a r i z e d her f ind ings into nine pr inc ip les w h i c h w i l l be d iscussed further in Chapter Three . H u r s t ' s pr inc ip les are s imi la r to C a m b o u r n e ' s (1984) cond i t ions for language learn ing . Researchers and educators have descr ibed c l a s s r o o m env i ronments and/or programs based upon s imi la r pr inc ip les (Dobson , 1987; C h o w , 1986; C a l k i n s , 1983; D e f o r d & Harste , 1983; Hurst et a l , 1983; C l a y , 1982; H a l e y - J a m e s , 1982; B i s s e x , 1 9 8 1 ; G i a c o b b e , 1 9 8 1 ; B i r b a u m , 1980; M i l z , 1980) . Teachers i n such envi ronments g i ve l i teracy a h igh prof i le and status ( H a l l , 1987). T h e y p rov ide v a l i d demonstrat ions o f l i teracy and m a n y opportunit ies for ch i ld ren to engage i n purposefu l l i teracy acts. T h e y expect learners to act ive ly engage i n the use o f language, tak ing what they can f r o m the adult m o d e l and establ ishing contro l o f their o w n learn ing (Harste, W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1984). Jagger & S m i t h - B u r k e (1985) suggest that the teacher's task m a y not be so m u c h to teach language as to create an env i ronment w h i c h enables language learn ing to occur . 22 S H A R E D B O O K R E A D I N G S In o ra l language acquis i t ion , the role o f the parent or care -g iver is ext remely important , not as an instructor but as a fac i l i tator , through d iscuss ion , p lay and demonstrat ion (Bruner , 1983; W e l l s , 1981; H a l l i d a y , 1 9 7 3 ; C a z d e n , 1972). Researchers i n the f i e l d o f emergent l i teracy have f o u n d this same fac i l i tat ive and co l laborat ive behav iour to be most evident i n book - read ing episodes ( H a l l , 1987; W e l l s , 1985; S n o w , 1983) . S n o w (1983) d iscussed three characterist ics o f a d u l t - c h i l d language behaviour su r round ing l i teracy events - semantic cont ingency , s c a f f o l d i n g and accountabi l i ty procedures . W h e n us ing "semantic cont ingency , " adults cont inue topics p rev ious ly in t roduced by ch i ld ren . A n example o f this w o u l d be the type o f conversat ions adults have w i t h c h i l d r e n about the pictures or text i n books . In " s c a f f o l d i n g , " the adult supports the c h i l d i n a task by p rov id ing needed in fo rmat ion or by const ra in ing the task to a l l o w the c h i l d greater success. In "accountabi l i ty procedures ," the adult encourages the c o m p l e t i o n o f the task so that the c h i l d m a y demonstrate the k n o w l e d g e he is k n o w n to possess. These three characterist ics are seen as t y p i c a l o f both ora l language interact ions and o f interactions w h i c h surround l i teracy events ( W e l l s , 1985 ; S n o w , 1983 ; H e a t h , 1982). B o o k - r e a d i n g is a frequent and p o w e r f u l source o f learn ing about language ( H a l l , 1987) . S n o w & N i n i o (1986) reported that i n add i t ion to the obv ious effects on c h i l d r e n ' s d e v e l o p i n g communica t i ve s k i l l s , o n vocabu la ry and on l ingu is t ic fo rms , b o o k - r e a d i n g prov ides the opportunity for ch i ld ren to learn a great deal about the sk i l l s subsumed under l i teracy . These s k i l l s , amongst m a n y , inc lude letter recogn i t ion , b o o k 23 h a n d l i n g behaviours , learn ing story grammars , and understanding that print represents spoken words ( S n o w , 1983). H o w e v e r , as Tea le (1986) and H a l l (1987) were q u i c k to po int out, b o o k - r e a d i n g in i tse l f cannot exp la in w h y ch i ld ren whose parents read to them are genera l ly more successful i n schoo l . T h e estab l ish ing o f routines (or formats) w h i c h become h igh l y predictable events i n ch i ld ren ' s l i ves and i n the context o f books a lso contr ibutes to l i teracy acquis i t ion ( S n o w , 1 9 8 3 ; N i n i o & Bruner , 1978). C h i l d r e n w h o expect reading and w r i t i n g to be part o f everyday l i fe c o m e to v i e w themselves as readers and writers . T h e y expect stories to be m e a n i n g f u l and acquire an i m p l i c i t k n o w l e d g e o f b o o k procedures and story convent ions (App lebee , 1978). T h e p o w e r f u l effects o f parent -ch i ld interactions cannot be over looked . S n o w , P e r l m a n n & Nathan (1984) noted that maternal speech is m u c h more focused and c o m p l e x w h e n topics are determined by books and i n h i g h l y rout ine act iv i t ies such as b o o k - r e a d i n g . R e - r e a d i n g favourite books prov ides a c h i l d w i t h exposure to more c o m p l e x , more elaborate and more decontexual i zed language than almost any other k i n d o f interact ion ( S n o w & N i n i o , 1986). S c h i e f f e l i n & C o c h r a n - S m i t h (1984) reported that books are rarely s i m p l y read to c h i l d r e n . Instead, the reader and listeners w o r k co -operat i ve l y to j o i n t l y m a k e sense o f the text. T h r o u g h verbal interactions between the c h i l d l isteners and adult readers, the decontextual i zed language o f storybook texts are g i ven a context (Sche i f fe l in & C o c h r a n - S m i t h , 1984; S n o w , 1983). H e a t h (1980) d iscussed h o w ch i ld ren w i t h b o o k - r e a d i n g experiences at home arr ive at schoo l already soc ia l i zed into the school -p refer red approach to teaching 2 4 l i teracy. S c h o o l s are able to capita l ize on what the ch i ld ren already k n o w about pr int and its funct ions and mean ing . W e l l s (1986) argues that i n l i s tening to stories, ch i ld ren are not o n l y f a m i l i a r i z i n g themselves w i t h the language o f books but, more impor tant ly , are push ing towards the use o f decontextual ized language. H o w e v e r , the stories i n themselves are not as important as the verbal interactions w h i c h surround them ( W e l l s , 1985; S n o w , 1983) . These interact ions help ch i ld ren m a k e sense o f the decontextual i zed language o f b o o k s a n d learn some o f the essential characterist ics o f wri t ten language. T h e h igher -o rder t h i n k i n g and the language strategies i n v o l v e d i n interpret ing wr i t ten text equ ip c h i l d r e n w i t h the necessary sk i l l s fo r later success i n s c h o o l (Bruner , 1984; S c h i e f f e l i n & C o c h r a n - S m i t h , 1984). S c h o o l i n g offers ch i ld ren the opportuni ty to learn to use language i n a decontextual ized w a y (Dona ldson , 1978) . H o w e v e r , as m a n y researchers have po in ted out, m a n y home experiences sur rounding b o o k - r e a d i n g and other l i teracy events already m o v e ch i ld ren towards the use o f decontextual i zed language before s c h o o l i n g begins (Teale, 1986; H e a t h , 1983 ; S n o w , 1983 ; S c o l l e n & S c o l l e n , 1982) . S n o w (1983) c o n c l u d e d that ch i ld ren need both l i teracy and decontextual i zed language s k i l l s in order to succeed i n schoo l . T h e ro le o f the schoo l is to faci l i tate ch i ld ren ' s g rowth towards the use o f decontextual i zed language. It is this act iv i ty w h i c h ca l l s fo r the h igh levels o f cogn i t i ve t h i n k i n g w h i c h are necessary for schoo l l ea rn ing ( W e l l s , 1986). Just as w i t h younger ch i ld ren acqu i r ing an oral language, the nature o f the adult interact ion seems to be c ruc ia l in i n f luenc ing ch i ld ren ' s learn ing and l i teracy 25 deve lopment . Teachers need to create a c lass room env i ronment f u l l o f interest ing things, b o o k s , and activ i t ies w h i c h w i l l foster learn ing through language use and through read ing , w r i t i n g , l i s ten ing and ta lk ing ( S m i t h - B u r k e , 1985) . Opportuni t ies for c h i l d r e n to interact w i t h each other and w i t h the teacher are essent ia l . T H E R O L E O F L I T E R A T U R E I N E S L L E A R N I N G In the E S L f i e l d , a renewed interest i n l iterature has sur faced (Spack , 1985; M c K a y , 1982) . T h e prominent ro le o f l iterature had lessened over the years as l ingu is t ics became the f o c a l point o f m a n y beg inn ing language programs ( W i d d o w s o n , 1982) . H o w e v e r , P o v e y (1967) had contended that the l ingu is t i c d i f f i c u l t y o f l iterature has been overstated, and that readers d o not need to exper ience total comprehens ion to ga in someth ing f r o m a text. W i d d o w s o n (1982) suggested that instead o f l i m i t i n g the focus o f l i terary study to either language usage or cu l tu ra l content, teachers shou ld v i e w l iterature as d iscourse - as another w a y i n w h i c h language can be used to express meanings and real i t ies. M c C o n o c h i e (1982) e m p h a s i z e d that E S L students need to d i s c o v e r that E n g l i s h can be a beaut i fu l language as w e l l as a pract ica l and ut i l i tar ian one . W h i l e these observations were made fo r c o l l e g e - l e v e l E S L students, they are nevertheless appl icable to younger E S L subjects, too. T h i s is espec ia l l y true i n l ight o f the current v iews o n book - read ing and on a d u l t - c h i l d interact ions as c r i t i ca l e lements i n language learn ing and i n learning, in general . 2 6 C O N C L U S I O N T h e pr inc ip les once thought to be unique to o ra l language development have been s h o w n to be major factors i n the emergence o f l i teracy ( H a l l , 1987; C a m b o u r n e , 1984; Hurs t , 1982) . Y o u n g ch i ld ren are m a k i n g sense o f their l iterate env i ronment i n very m u c h the same w a y they m a k e sense o f their speech env i ronment . T h e quest ion n o w becomes : H o w d o E S L ch i ld ren learn about l i teracy? M o r e spec i f i ca l l y , the first quest ion fo r this study i s : W h a t d o E S L ch i ld ren d o when they learn to wr i te independent ly? Teachers need to capi ta l i ze o n y o u n g E S L students' prev ious learn ing exper iences , and their k n o w l e d g e and understanding o f what language is and can d o . Research i n second- language acquis i t ion suggests that strategy use is a stable p h e n o m e n o n w h i c h is not tied to spec i f ic language features, but can be app l ied to new language - learn ing situations ( B l o c k , 1986). H i g h e r l eve l strategies deve loped w h e n learn ing a f i rst language can be transferred to the learn ing o f a second language ( C u m m i n s , 1984) . T h i s suggests some paral le ls between learn ing a f irst and second language. T h e second quest ion fo r this study is n o w posed : Is the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f L 2 ch i ld ren s imi la r to the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f L I ch i ld ren w h e n the same o p t i m a l condi t ions for language learn ing are i n p lace? T h e present study is des igned to exp lore these two questions more thoroughly . 27 C H A P T E R T H R E E M E T H O D "Research about wr i t ing must be suspect w h e n it ignores context o r process" (Graves ,1980: p.917) Researchers w h o are invest igat ing h o w ch i ld ren learn by l o o k i n g at what ch i ld ren are actual ly d o i n g wh i le engaged in a task often choose designs that are descr ipt ive rather than exper imental ( M a s o n & A l l e n , 1986). T h i s k i n d o f research permits the f l e x i b i l i t y and the opportunity to observe a n u m b e r o f var iables in interact ion w i t h each other. Descr ip t i ve techniques are a lso chosen to trace inf luences and revea l deve lopment over t ime. Contex t needs to be exp la ined. Research procedures must descr ibe the f u l l context o f h u m a n behaviour and env i ronment before research f ind ings can be translated into A c t u a l c l a s s r o o m practice (Graves, 1980). W r i t i n g is not done i n a v a c u u m . A y o u n g wr i ter is part o f a soc ia l context i n w h i c h c h i l d r e n , teachers, administrators , parents and a c o m m u n i t y demonstrate their values about wr i t i ng . These values and pract ices affect what the young wri ter does w h e n he wri tes. W h e n research looks o n l y at the product and its f ragmented parts, it ser iously distorts the processes, tasks, va lues , interact ions and real i t ies (K . G o o d m a n & Y . G o o d m a n , 1977) . K a n t o r , K i r b y & G o e t z (1981) argued fo r a descr ipt ive , qual i tat ive , natural ist ic and ho l i s t i c approach to E n g l i s h education research. T h e y supported the research strategies w h i c h w o r k more w i th the "who les" than the parts, w h i c h descr ibe the processes l e a d i n g to the product, and w h i c h use the language o f the c l a s s r o o m teacher 28 rather than the d iscourse o f the laboratory researcher. Th i s approach to research is par t icu lar ly appropriate for those researchers w h o are quest ion ing tradit ional assumptions about the acquis i t ion o f wr i t ing (Humes , 1983; Harste & B u r k e , 1980; M u r r a y , 1977) . B o g d a n & B i k l e n (1982) emphas ized the re lat ionship between learn ing and change. T h e y po in ted out that the qual i tat ive or ientat ion a l lows researchers to deal w i t h part ic ipants d u r i n g change. It directs them to see behav iour i n context. A n understanding o f a y o u n g wr i ter 's chang ing concepts o f the w r i t i n g process is u l t imate ly dependent o n data f r o m the c h i l d func t ion ing w i t h i n the w r i t i n g process i tse l f as w e l l as f r o m extensive analysis o f the w r i t i n g product (Graves , 1981b) . C a z d e n (1982) c l a i m e d that there are two contexts o f learn ing i n the schools -i n the m i n d and i n the c lass room - and that there is a need for a better understanding o f h o w one affects the other. The language o f teacher-student and student-student interact ion prov ides a context that inf luences the process o f b e c o m i n g l iterate ( B l o o m e & G r e e n , 1984) . B r u n e r (1966) advanced the concept o f a hypothet ica l m o d e o f teaching,one i n w h i c h teachers b e c o m e partners in the learn ing process, p ropos ing and e x a m i n i n g tentative theories a l o n g w i t h their students. T h e y mon i to r their opt ions unt i l the weight o f ev idence indicates part icular d i rect ions (Kantor , K i r b y & G o e t z , 1981). B o o m e r (1987) argued that good teaching is research. H e referred to the process o f a del iberate, persona l l y conducted , so lut ion -or iented invest igat ion into h o w ch i ld ren learn as "act ion research." T h i s intent ion to invest igate, to study change, and to subsequently document the invest igat ive process is what produces teacher-researchers ( A l l e n , C o m b s , H e n d r i c k s , N a s h & W i l s o n , 1988; B i s s e x , 1986, G raves , 1981a, 1981b). 29 F o r years, researchers i n the field o f o ra l language acquis i t ion have studied language in natural , soc ia l settings ( W e l l s , 1986; de V i l l i e r s & de V i l l i e r s , 1982; T o u g h , 1977; C a z d e n , 1972; L a b o v , 1969). M o r e recent ly , this approach has been used to study w r i t i n g development (Ca lk ins , 1986; B a g h b a n , 1984; G raves , 1983; Hars te , B u r k e & W o o d w a r d , 1982; B i s s e x , 1980). These invest igat ions took p lace w i t h i n the subjects ' n o r m a l setting o f home or c l a s s r o o m and took into account a l l the var ious interact ions w h i c h m a y affect per formance. In m a n y studies, the researchers have acted as part ic ipants -observers , interact ing w i t h the ch i ld ren whose responses they w i s h to record ( C a l k i n s , 1986; D o b s o n & Hurs t , 1986 ; C l a y , 1984; C o c h r a n - S m i t h , 1984; H i c k m a n , 1982) . It is c ruc ia l i n these c i rcumstances to analyze the researcher's part ic ipat ion and cons ider its in f luence. T o ga in a better understanding o f ch i ld ren 's strategies and percept ions o f a task, the researcher must d raw out the ch i ld ren 's o w n responses to open -ended tasks rather than l o o k for correct answers ( H i c k m a n , 1982). W e i n s t e i n (1984) , i n r e v i e w i n g the studies o n l i teracy and second- language acqu is i t ion , c o n c l u d e d that current trends i n l i teracy research have a great deal to o f fe r those researchers w o r k i n g w i th E S L subjects. She further proposed that a descr ip t i ve approach to l i teracy and language research is what enables the invest igator to observe and document changes, both in the par t ic ipants ' c o m m u n i c a t i v e sk i l l s and i n the contexts in w h i c h these sk i l l s are deve lop ing . 30 T h e S tudy T h e present research study f o l l o w e d a group o f E S L ch i ld ren f r o m the b e g i n n i n g o f K indergar ten to the end o f G r a d e O n e . It has l o o k e d at h o w y o u n g L 2 ch i ld ren grew as writers when p laced i n a soc ia l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l setting that fac i l i ta ted language learn ing . Th i s invest igat ion prov ides an long i tud ina l v i e w o f E S L c h i l d r e n i n the process o f wr i t i ng , and examines the context i n w h i c h these ch i ld ren 's wr i t ten language deve lop . T h e hypotheses under ly ing this research are: 1) C h i l d r e n w h o are learning E n g l i s h as a second language c a n , at the same t ime, d i s c o v e r the E n g l i s h w r i t i n g system for themselves; and 2) E S L c h i l d r e n use the same strategies and f o l l o w the same general patterns o f deve lopment i n their acquis i t ion o f wri t ten language as their E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g counterparts. T h e P r i n c i p l e s A bas ic premise o f this invest igat ion was that ch i ld ren w i l l reveal the depth and breadth o f their understanding i f they are i m m e r s e d i n a s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l sett ing w h i c h is conduc ive to language learn ing . Consequent l y , procedures were chosen to adhere to the f o l l o w i n g l ist o f pr inc ip les (Hurst et a l . , 1983; Hurs t , 1982). 1. P r o v i d e a w a r m support ive setting rich i n interactions and demonstrat ions o f func t iona l o ra l language and l i teracy. 2 . E m p h a s i z e the process o f wr i t ing rather than the product , a l l o w i n g generous per iods 31 o f t ime to explore and exper ience the process. 3 . R e s p o n d to the intended mean ing o f the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g f irst . S o m e attention can be p a i d to f o r m , but o n l y when the ch i ldren indicate they are ready to use it in their w o r k . 4. Present the w r i t i n g task as a p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g enterprise i n w h i c h the ch i ld ren learn to wr i te by wr i t ing us ing their in i t iat ive and a l l the resources at their d isposa l to d i scover the m e a n i n g and to solve problems o f f o r m . 5. E x p e c t ch i ld ren to c o m e up w i th their o w n topics to ensure that the wr i t ing is m e a n i n g f u l and purposefu l f r o m their point o f v i e w . 6. E n c o u r a g e the ch i ld ren to use their o w n i l lustrat ions as a source and support for their w r i t i n g . 7. A c c e p t the ch i ld ren ' s o w n representations o f wri t ten c o m m u n i c a t i o n as a leg i t imate ind ica t ion o f their conceptual izat ion o f the w r i t i n g task. 8. E x p e c t a deve lopmenta l progression i n their w r i t i n g efforts over time, hav ing conf idence that errors are natural rather than h a b i t - f o r m i n g and that the ch i ld ren w i l l se l f -correct errors i n direct re lat ion to their stage o f deve lopment . 9 . Eva luate i n d i v i d u a l l y both i n terms o f the deve lopmenta l progress ion and in terms o f their o ra l language. T h e M e t h o d Part ic ipants , P rograms and C lass rooms T w e l v e ch i ld ren w h o were ident i f ied by their c l a s s r o o m teacher as hav ing l i t t le o r no E n g l i s h at the beg inn ing o f K indergarten were referred to the E n g l i s h Language Centre ( E L C ) fo r extra help in learning E n g l i s h . T h e languages represented in this 32 group were Cantonese, V ie tnamese, K o r e a n , Span ish , T a g a l o g (F i l i p ino ) and Y u g o s l a v i a n . O f these ch i ld ren , one Cantonese -speak ing c h i l d transferred out by the end o f the K indergar ten year. T w o more Cantonese -speak ing c h i l d r e n j o i n e d the study g roup i n the E L C at the beg inn ing o f the Grade O n e year . B o t h were recent arr ivals to C a n a d a ; however , one was f r o m C h i n a and h a d no prev ious exposure to E n g l i s h and the other was f r o m H o n g K o n g and had rece ived E n g l i s h language lessons there. B o t h c h i l d r e n were reluctant to speak up i n any language fo r the f i rst m o n t h o r two . T h e three ch i ld ren w h o were not w i th the research group for the f u l l two years are not i n c l u d e d i n the data analysis but their w o r k w i l l be d iscussed i n the final chapter. T w o o f these ch i ldren were o f part icular interest as they were complete ly n o n - f u n c t i o n a l i n E n g l i s h when they entered schoo l . T h e r e m a i n i n g e leven ch i ldren made up the target group and their wr i t ing p rov ided the database f o r this thesis. T h e ch i ld ren i n the study were typ ica l o f an E L C group . T h e group was c o m p o s e d o f s ix boys and five g i r ls . There were no ava i lab le general inte l l igence scores o r f i rs t - language assessments on the ch i ld ren . H o w e v e r , the ch i ld ren appeared to be an average group. A f e w ch i ld ren appeared to be above average i n inte l l igence, most seemed average and a couple o f ch i ld ren exper ienced m o r e learn ing d i f f i cu l t ies i n c o m p a r i s o n to their peers. The ch i ld ren 's ages ranged f r o m 5-years and 6-months to 4 -years and 8 -months as o f the first month o f schoo l . T h e mean age at the entry l e v e l o f the this research study was 5-years and 1-month. A g a i n , this is fa i r l y t yp ica l o f any K indergar ten group i n September. T h e ch i ld ren attended an inner -c i ty , e lementary s c h o o l o f about 2 0 0 students. A t the t ime o f this invest igat ion, the E S L populat ion i n the s c h o o l was reported to be 33 approx imate ly 6 5 % o f the total populat ion. W h i l e no deta i led in fo rmat ion o f parental b a c k g r o u n d was avai lable , it became apparent i n casual conversat ions w i t h the parents that they var ied in educat ional backgrounds i n their f irst language. N o n e o f the parents, however , spoke E n g l i s h f luent ly al though s o m e were more funct ional i n E n g l i s h than others. A l l except one, required assistance i n read ing and wr i t ing E n g l i s h . A l l the parents were anxious that their ch i ldren d i d w e l l in s c h o o l ; however , they supported their ch i ld ren i n dif ferent ways . T h e ch i ld ren ' s b o o k exper iences at home ranged f r o m none to a generous supply o f most l y p icture vocabu lary books . A few o f the c h i l d r e n were read to i n both their f irst and second language. A l l the parents, however , attempted to teach E n g l i s h vocabulary to their c h i l d r e n either by labe l l ing concrete objects or w i t h picture books . Wi thout except ion , the parents o f the ch i ld ren i n this study expressed a strong desire to mainta in their f i rst language in the home env i ronment . T h e c o m m u n i t y i n w h i c h the ch i ld ren l i v e d is regarded as a l o w s o c i o - e c o n o m i c urban area. A l l the ch i ldren except fo r two were l i v i n g w i t h both parents at home. A t the t ime o f the invest igat ion, a l l the ch i ld ren 's parents were e m p l o y e d w i th a coup le o f parents h o l d i n g d o w n two jobs . F o r the most part, the parents i n the c o m m u n i t y were very support ive o f the schoo l . E v e r y attempt was made to exp la in the wr i t ing p r o g r a m to the parents o f the ch i ldren in the study. T h e w r i t i n g p rog ram o n the who le was w e l l - r e c e i v e d by the parents. A l l the ch i ld ren i n the study group had the same K indergar ten teacher al though they were not a l l i n the same c lass . T h e K indergar ten teacher read d a i l y to the chi ldren and acted as a scr ibe for their wr i t ten messages. T h e ch i ld ren were i n a p r i n t - f i l l e d envi ronment as they shared the same open area space 34 with the Grade One class. The children were taught the alphabet (upper- and lower-case) and how to print their names. During the Kindergarten year, time was not allotted for independent writing when the children would have been expected to do their own writing in any way they can. Therefore, in its first year, the research group was writing independendy only in the E L C . In Grade One, the children were in two classes again but were taught by different teachers. Both Grade One teachers used basal reading programs where the children were introduced to a sight reading vocabulary in the context of stories. They printed words on individual cards and the children used the words to build sentences. The teachers taught phonics lessons in a direct manner - one teacher spent 20 minutes per day on a lesson and dril l while the other spent 10 minutes per day. Both classroom teachers allotted time for independent writing and followed similar procedures to those described for the E L C writing sessions. The investigation took place in the English Language Centre. The children in the study were in regular classroom settings and went out to the E L C for a specified amount of time on a daily basis. The focus of the E L C program was on language and literacy learning. The teaching approach within the E L C embodied the belief that language - oral and written - is an integral part of the normal functioning of everyday life. Language is used to make meaning and to accomplish purposes. Therefore, the E L C program relied heavily on literature, on reading print for appropriate purposes (e.g. signs, messages), and on writing for a variety of purposes. The children were expected to use language - oral and written - in a meaningful way, using whatever language, knowledge and understanding of language they had. 35 Instruments  C h e c k l i s t s D o b s o n (1983) referred to Gent ry ' s (1982) stages o f spe l l ing deve lopment i n her analys is o f G r a d e O n e ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing . S i n c e the intent was to f o l l o w D o b s o n ' s study as c l o s e l y as poss ib le , this reseacher also c lass i f ied and ana lyzed her w r i t i n g data w i t h i n G e n t r y ' s c lass i f i cat ion system (see A p p e n d i x B ) . A s a gu ide l ine and to p rov ide a focus fo r observat ion and analys is , the researcher used a check l i s t c o m p i l e d by D o b s o n & H u r s t (1986) to record her f indings (see A p p e n d i x C & D ) . M a t e r i a l s 1) Story b o o k s , song books , nursery rhymes , and poems were used i n the E L C to st imulate ora l language development. T h e cr i ter ia for the c h o i c e o f l i terary mater ia l was : a) their use o f ch i ld ren 's natural language; b) their use o f repet i t ion and patterns to increase predictabi l i ty o f language; and c) their use o f r e c o g n i z e d story convent ions . 2) W a l l pocket chart , picture and word/sentence cards. 3) H a l f - l i n e d and h a l f - p l a i n exercise books , co lou red pens and penc i l s . Procedures B y the second week o f schoo l , the ch i ldren w h o made up the target group to be observed began attending the E L C . T h e ch i ld ren were i n two separate groups; one in the m o r n i n g and one i n the afternoon. These groups were determined by the K indergar ten c lass i n w h i c h they were p laced . T h e two groups appeared fa i r l y equal i n ab i l i t y and i n personal i ty . T h e ch i ldren came regular ly at the same t ime o n a da i l y basis. The 4 0 - m i n u t e sessions began wi th free read ing f o l l o w e d by shared b o o k - r e a d i n g session and then by independent wr i t ing . 36 T h e free read ing time was o r ig ina l l y establ ished to resolve the log is t ic prob lems caused by ove r lapp ing groups in the E L C . H o w e v e r , the inherent value o f this t ime q u i c k l y became evident. The ch i ld ren were able to b rowse through books , to talk about the books w i t h others, and later, to " read" a favour i te book o n their o w n or wi th a f r iend . T h e shared book act iv i ty i n v o l v e d o n l y "the best" o f ch i ld ren 's picture books and was centra l to the ch i ldren 's o ra l language p rogram. A s the books were read and reread, act ive chora l part ic ipat ion o f the ch i ld ren was encouraged. T o assist the deve lopment o f the ch i ld ren 's attention to pr int and their g r o w i n g cont ro l o f d i rect ional and m a t c h i n g s k i l l s , the teacher-researcher he ld the books up and po inted to the pr int as it was be ing read, be ing careful not to destroy the cohes ion o f the story ( H o l d a w a y , 1979) . F o l l o w - u p activ i t ies i n v o l v i n g pocket w a l l charts and p icture and w o r d cards p r o v i d e d more opportunit ies for rereading ( M c C r a c k e n & M c C r a c k e n , 1985). T h e group b o o k - r e a d i n g sessions faci l i tated the c h i l d r e n ' s deve lopment o f read ing - l i ke behav iour and their learn ing - to - read strategies ( D o a k e , 1985) . It must be remembered that the ch i ld ren 's E n g l i s h language ab i l i t y ranged f r o m none to jus t func t iona l , a l though this i m p r o v e d vast ly over the t w o years. In the b e g i n n i n g , the teacher-researcher re l ied heav i l y o n body language, r o l e - p l a y i n g and h i g h l y predictable pattern books to get the intent o f her quest ions across to the c h i l d r e n . O r i g i n a l l y , many o f the quest ions, by necessi ty , were focused on the pictures. E v e n t u a l l y , the routine o f the b o o k - r e a d i n g sessions became establ ished, and the pattern and format o f the questions became predictable. 37 While the researcher held an active participatory role in the shared book activities, she took on a much more passive role during the independent writing time. Her main intention was to observe how ESL children learn to write when they are left to discover the English writing system for themselves. The procedures for both the group language work and the independent writing sessions will be described. The Group Work The following procedure took up to four 20-minute sessions depending on how appropriate the wall chart activities were to the storybooks. It varied with each new material introduced. 1. Read a book to children, allowing ample time for discussion before, during, and following the reading. However, first readings of a new book generally were carried out with fewer and shorter stops to allow the children to simply enjoy the story and the natural language of the book. Questions to stimulate discussions included: "What do you think this story is about?" (looking at the book cover); "What do you think will happen next?" - "Why...?"; "What's happening in this picture?"; "Why do you think (character) is behaving this way?"; "How do you think (character) is feeling about ...?"; "What would you do?"; "What makes you think that?" (checking illustrations and story convention); "Is there a problem needing to be solved? How...?"; 38 " H o w d o y o u feel about this?"(e.g. after G o l d i l o c k ' s break-and-ent ry act); "Is there a lesson to be learned f r o m this?" . 2 . Inv i te ch i ld ren to predict words or phrases and to j o i n i n o n the second, th i rd and fourth readings. 3 . R e v i e w the story us ing picture cards to ident i fy k e y characters o r events . 4 . H a v e ch i ld ren part ic ipate i n re - te l l ing the story. 5 . E x p e c t the ch i ld ren to j o i n i n , once the patterns o r repetit ions w i t h i n the story become obv ious (e.g. " W h o has been sitt ing i n m y cha i r?" ) . 6. M a t c h c h i l d r e n ' s verbal izat ions o f story patterns through the use o f w o r d cards o r by act ing as a scr ibe. 7 . V a r y w a l l chart act iv i t ies by inv i t ing ch i ld ren to locate , sequence or substitute cards. 8. E x p e c t a l l ch i ld ren to part icipate ora l l y i n a l l act iv i t ies w h i l e accept ing that each c h i l d w i l l d o so at his o w n language leve l . T h e W r i t i n g Sessions D u r i n g the w r i t i n g sessions, the ch i ld ren were seated at a r o u n d table w i t h the teacher-researcher. In i t ia l ly , she to ld the ch i ld ren to d r a w a p icture and to wr i te about it. T h i s procedure q u i c k l y became routine. T h e onus was o n the ch i ld ren to choose their o w n topics and to write in any w a y they can . T y p i c a l remarks re in fo rc ing this expectat ion were a long the l ines o f " Y o u can draw anyth ing y o u want - y o u choose , " " W r i t e it the w a y you think it looks l i k e , " " Y o u m a y use pre tend -wr i t ing . " W h e n 39 asked for he lp , the researcher rep l ied "It's your wr i t i ng , d o it y o u r w a y . " She d i d not m a k e suggestions or offer in fo rmat ion , but encouraged any efforts to sel f -correct and to a d d i n f o r m a t i o n . T h e researcher observed the ch i ld ren w h i l e they wrote. She recorded behaviours such as: h o w they began and ended; where the d r a w i n g and w r i t i n g were p laced o n the page; the d i rect ional i ty o f the " w r i t i n g " ; any ev idence o f p re -p lann ing and i n what f o r m ; c h i l d - c h i l d o r a d u l t - c h i l d interact ions; any voca l i za t ion w h i l e w r i t i n g ; overt h e l p - f i n d i n g strategies such as c o p y i n g o r a s k i n g someone for spec i f ic i n f o r m a t i o n ; a n d any indicat ions o f their incorporat ing teacher - in i t iated l i teracy act iv i t ies in to their w r i t i n g (see A p p e n d i x C and D ) . U p o n the comple t ion o f their "wr i t ing , " the ch i ld ren were expected to read their w o r k to the researcher w h o , i n turn, responded to the intended m e a n i n g o f the c h i l d r e n ' s p iece . She commented , asked a quest ion , o r paraphrased the reading. She dated and recorded what they read o n the back o f their books i n curs ive wr i t i ng , a d d i n g any notes o n h o w they read their p iece and i f they o f fe red any addi t ional i n f o r m a t i o n . She also ind icated any occurrence o f m a t c h and m i s m a t c h between their read ing and the pr int . T h e w r i t i n g t ime var ied w i th each session and between ch i ld ren . Prearranged act iv i t ies were set up to accommodate the ch i ld ren 's d i f ferent c o m p l e t i o n times. T h e c h i l d r e n were encouraged to read different "authors ' w o r k " w h i c h i n c l u d e d their o w n w r i t i n g as w e l l as trade books . T h e teacher-researcher f o l l o w e d this general procedure: 1. T h e teacher m o v e d about p r in t ing the date (unless a c h i l d prefers to pr int his own) , re in fo rc ing those w h o have started (Oh ! Y o u ' v e got an i d e a al ready. G o o d for you ! ) , 4 0 and o b s e r v i n g h o w each c h i l d goes about the task. 2. T h e teacher expected the ch i ldren to wr i te on topics o f their o w n cho ice . She d i d not suggest top ics , spe l l , or otherwise take respons ib i l i t y fo r the w r i t i n g . She said," I t 's y o u r w o r k . D o it i n any way you c a n . " or " U s e your o w n spe l l i ng . Y o u ' l l be able to read i t . " o r "Just begin your d rawing . It w i l l g i ve y o u ideas fo r your wr i t ing . " 3 . T h e c h i l d r e n approached the teacher upon c o m p l e t i o n and read their wr i t ing . T h e teacher responded to the intended meaning . She might have : - ref lected the mean ing o f the c h i l d ' s message (paraphrase) - cont r ibuted someth ing f r o m her o w n exper ience w h i c h related to the topic - asked a quest ion for c lar i f i cat ion or more in fo rmat ion . 4. T h e teacher then might have c o m m e n t e d o n , o r asked about the transcript ion strategies by s a y i n g : " C a n y o u s h o w m e where it says ? " " Y e s . I can see an s fo r sun." " C a n y o u te l l m e about ? " (points to print) 5 . T h e teacher transcr ibed i n curs ive f o r m the c h i l d ' s message onto the back page o f the notebook a l o n g w i t h the date and anecdotal notes about the ch i ld ren ' s strategies. F o l l o w i n g each session, The teacher-researcher made further notes on the ch i ld ren ' s w r i t i n g us ing Gent ry ' s (1982) stages o f spe l l i ng deve lopment as reference, and on the content in terms o f any perce ived connect ions between teacher - in i t iated act iv i t ies and the w r i t i n g itself. 41 Interactions R e c e n t l y , researchers have argued that interactions between observers and their subjects can add relevant in format ion to the research ( A l l e n , C o m b s , H e n d r i c k s , N a s h & W i l s o n , 1988 ; C a l k i n s , 1983; Graves , 1981a). T h e interact ive nature o f language deve lopment and the important part p layed by adults must be o f part icu lar interest to teacher-researchers ( M c K e n z i e , 1985). In the present study, the reseacher expected that the qual i ty o f the ch i ld ren 's responses to the w r i t i n g task w o u l d be d i rect ly affected by the total context o f the s i tuat ion. H o w e v e r , her m a i n intent ion was to observe. She mainta ined an accept ing and nondi rect ive sty le o f response. She d iscovered the more n o n c o m m i t t a l comments such as " U h , u h " o r " O h ? " inspi red the most language f r o m the ch i ld ren . She responded o n l y to the m e a n i n g o f the ch i ld ren 's c o m m u n i c a t i o n s . H o w e v e r , when the ch i ld ren 's responses suggested a s igni f icant change i n understanding, she p robed for further i n f o r m a t i o n about the ch i ld ren 's th ink ing . S o m e usefu l probes were : " R e a d it w i t h your f inger" ; " S h o w m e where it says. . . " ; " R e a d it to m e a g a i n " ; " H o w d i d y o u k n o w about th is" (e.g. po in t ing to punctuat ion marks ) ; " H o w d i d y o u k n o w h o w to do it this w a y ? " ; " T e l l m e about this part" . F o r the durat ion o f the study, the invest igator main ta ined her observer 's ro le . T h i s posed some d i f f i cu l t ies especia l ly at t imes w h e n she fel t some intervent ion needed to be made or w h e n opportunit ies for on- the-spot teaching were presented. H o w e v e r , this d isadvantage reversed i tself when the invest igator was then able to observe the 4 2 strategies w h i c h the ch i ld ren used to solve or to c i r cumvent their p rob lems w h e n they were g i ven the opportunity to f i n d their o w n route to learn ing . T h r o u g h this process, the teacher-researcher became better equipped to determine w h e n intervent ion w o u l d be ef fect ive i n that it m a y hasten the learning process, and w h e n it w o u l d be h a r m f u l i n that it m a y divert a c h i l d away f r o m his natural learn ing style. T h e teacher-researcher a lso was put i n the pos i t ion to d iscover h o w l i teracy instruct ion c o u l d be incorporated i n act iv i t ies outside the wr i t ing sessions. T h i s resulted i n overt efforts to ta i lor her language i n ways w h i c h a l l o w e d the ch i ld ren to m a k e connect ions more eas i l y between what was d iscussed dur ing shared read ing t ime and what they d i d d u r i n g their independent w r i t i n g time. T h i s invest igator agrees w i th K a n t o r , K i r b y & G o e t z (1981) when they stated that o n l y by l o o k i n g at the " w h o l e " learning context , can the processes, the products and the interact ions w h i c h u l t imately affect both be revealed. Th i s invest igat ion a l l o w e d for change and the agents o f change to be observed and documented . It permit ted the type o f research f ind ings w h i c h m a y be most read i l y put into pract ice (Graves , 1980) . Analysis T h e researcher e x a m i n e d the data i n two ways - c o l l e c t i v e l y and i n d i v i d u a l l y . O v e r the span o f t w o years, c lose to 3 7 4 0 w r i t i n g samples were co l lec ted f r o m the e leven ch i ld ren w h o comple ted the study. T h e first step was to l o o k at each sample o f the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g and analyze it against the stages reported fo r L I ch i ld ren (Temple , Nathan & B u r n s , 1984; D o b s o n , 1983; Gent ry , 1982). T h e second step was to trace each c h i l d ' s progress in w r i t i n g development and to e x a m i n e it in detai l for 43 c o m m o n character ist ics , strategies and i m p l i e d k n o w l e d g e and understandings. T h e th i rd step was to c o m p i l e this in format ion to a l l o w for a more comprehens ive l o o k at character ist ics and behaviours general ly found i n each l e v e l o f w r i t i n g development . G e n t r y ' s (1982) stages o f spe l l ing deve lopment were used as a f rame o f reference fo r c l a s s i f y i n g the w r i t i n g data co l lec ted i n this study. Th i s was espec ia l l y appropriate s ince this present invest igat ion was conducted under s i m i l a r condi t ions as those descr ibed by D o b s o n (1983) and Hurs t , D o b s o n , C h o w , N u c i c h , S t i c k l e y & S m i t h (1983) w h o a lso referred to Gent ry ' s stages. F i v e stages were ident i f ied i n the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f y o u n g E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g c h i l d r e n (Gentry , 1982; T e m p l e , Nathan & B u r r i s , 1982; H e n d e r s o n & Beers , 1980; Beers & Beers , 1980). G e n t r y (1982) labe l led these stages as P r e c o m m u n i c a t i v e , Semiphonet ic , Phonet ic , T rans i t iona l , and Correct . These stages were further e laborated o n by D o b s o n (1983) and Hurs t et a l . , (1983) to inc lude other aspects o f w r i t i n g deve lopment besides spe l l ing . C h i l d r e n progress through f ive levels o f spe l l i ng , w i t h each representing a di f ferent conceptua l i za t ion o f E n g l i s h orthography (Gentry , 1982, 1978) . T h e first l e v e l ( P r e c o m m u n i c a t i v e Stage) inc ludes a l l w r i t ing responses r a n g i n g f r o m sc r ibb l ing to an approx imat ion o f real letters to true letters interspersed w i t h numbers wr i t ten i n r a n d o m order . A t this l e v e l , ch i ldren demonstrate no k n o w l e d g e o f letter -sound correspondence. A t the second l e v e l (Semiphonet ic Stage), c h i l d r e n beg in f o r m i n g concepts o f the alphabet ic p r inc ip le as they match letters to sounds. T h e y prov ide a part ia l m a p p i n g o f phonet ic representations as they o m i t v o w e l s and use one, t w o or three consonants that demonstrate letter -sound correspondence. A t this l e v e l , a letter -name 4 4 strategy is very m u c h in ev idence w i t h words be ing represented by letters o n the basis o f their let ter -name (e.g. R = are). A t the third leve l (Phonetic Stage), ch i ld ren attempt to p rov ide a more complete phonet ic m a p p i n g o f letter -sound correspondence as they understand it. T h e ch i ld ren 's spel l ings deve lop very systematical ly albeit unconvent iona l l y in adult terms. Nevertheless , the invented spel l ings are quite readable. T h e fourth leve l (Transit ional Stage) is where ch i ld ren beg in to m o v e f r o m re l iance o n p h o n o l o g y o r sound for representing words i n spe l l ing to greater re l iance o n v i s u a l and morphophonemic representations w h i c h incorporate aspects o f g rammar and m e a n i n g . T h e y d isp lay a g r o w i n g k n o w l e d g e o f c o m m o n v o w e l patterns and in f lec t iona l endings . A t the f i f th l eve l (Correct Stage), ch i ld ren recogn ize and reca l l the correct representations. D o b s o n (1983) descr ibed this stage as s h o w i n g correct v o w e l markers a l o n g w i t h correct in f lec t iona l and der ivat ional patterns. T h e term " l e v e l " rather than the term "stage" was used i n an attempt to emphas ize the cumulat i ve nature o f w r i t i n g deve lopment . Forrester (1980), i n desc r ib ing a sequence o f spe l l ing development , noted that learn ing is not l inear but one o f gradual synthesis and integration. Gent ry (1982) observed that change f r o m one spe l l ing l e v e l to the next is more o r less gradual , and that features o f more than one leve l m a y co -ex i s t in a part icular sample o f wr i t i ng . W h i l e learn ing to wr i te , ch i ld ren d r a w inc reas ing ly f r o m alternative strategies - p h o n o l o g i c a l , v i sua l and m o r p h o l o g i c a l . D e v e l o p m e n t proceeds f r o m s imple to more c o m p l e x , f r o m concrete to more abstract f o r m , toward di f ferent iat ion and integration (Harste, B u r k e & W o o d w a r d , 1984; 45 Fer re i ro & Teberosky , 1982; Gentry , 1982; Henderson & B e e r s , 1980; C l a y , 1975; R e a d , 1975). T h e invest igator noted her observations and recorded each c h i l d ' s i n d i v i d u a l g rowth w i t h i n the f ramework o f Gent ry ' s stages (see A p p e n d i x B ) . H e r intent ion was to observe y o u n g ch i ld ren 's growth i n w r i t i n g and their behaviours w h e n wr i t ing . Therefore , she began tak ing notes o f other characterist ics and behaviours beyond those al ready descr ibed ear l ier w i th the purpose o f e x p a n d i n g u p o n G e n t r y ' s stages to inc lude other aspects o f wr i t ing growth as they pertain to E S L c h i l d r e n (see A p p e n d i x C & D ) . T h r o u g h carefu l analys is o f the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g samples , her o w n notes and check l i s t s , the researcher hoped to ident i fy the u n d e r l y i n g strategies and understanding i m p l i e d in the ch i ld ren 's behaviour as they m o v e d a l o n g the w r i t i n g c o n t i n u u m . 46 C H A P T E R F O U R F I N D I N G S Introduct ion: T h i s present study was set up to l o o k at h o w E S L ch i ld ren learn to wr i te . Its purposes were to: 1) investigate the processes and patterns o f deve lopment in E S L c h i l d r e n w h e n acqu i r ing a written language d u r i n g the K indergar ten and Grade O n e years; and 2) evaluate the resultant data o f these L2 learners against the stages reported for L I learners. A n analys is o f a l l the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g samples s h o w e d a systematic deve lopment o f strategies w h i c h were re f ined over t ime toward the convent iona l . These strategies w i l l be d iscussed further as I report m y f ind ings for each leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment . I found the general path o f deve lopment to be consistent; however , the rate o f deve lopment var ied greatly amongst the ch i ld ren (see A p p e n d i x A ) . A n y d iscuss ion must assume an understanding o f this var iance - that w h i l e one c h i l d m a y spend one m o n t h at one leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment , another m a y spend up to four o r s ix months - and an acceptance that the levels are not d is t inct but over lap and f l o w into one another. A t each leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment , d iscuss ions on the ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing samples came under three categories: the F o r m ; the Content ; and the C h i l d r e n . W i t h i n each category , I l o o k e d at the examples for what they m a y i m p l y i n terms o f under l y ing k n o w l e d g e and understanding. T h e first t w o categories h ighl ighted what ch i ld ren chose to wr i te about when left to choose their o w n topics , and h o w they went about d o i n g it. T h e third category h igh l ighted the var iety o f strategies w h i c h ch i ld ren e m p l o y e d w i th in each leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment . T h i s category also a l l o w e d for 47 in-depth looks at each child in the study. It focused on the children as individuals who went about the task of learning to write in ways unique to them, and underscored the importance of a learner-centred approach to language instruction. LEVEL 1 - PRECOMMUNICATIVE  The Form This level was characterized by young children's first attempts to write, whether it was scribble writing, mock alphabetic writing (circles and lines), or alphabetic writing (series of letters). The primary feature of this level was that young writers did not demonstrate a knowledge of letter-sound correspondence. Young writers at this level showed both non-alphabetic and alphabetic forms of writing (see Figures 1,2,3). Figure 1: Non-alphabetic - scribble writing Transcription: Good night, Hen. Figure 2: Non-alphabetic - mock alphabetic writing Transcription: The owl can't sleep. The ghost, the girl is noisy to him. 48 F i g u r e 3 : alphabetic w r i t i n g - letters and numbers V6A3 Transcr ip t ion : G ingerbreadman, flower, sun, m y name and s n o w m a n . A l l e leven subjects were at this leve l o f w r i t i n g deve lopment at the beg inn ing o f K indergar ten . T h e ch i ld ren w h o d i d not understand m y instruct ions i n E n g l i s h were able to induce what was expected o f them by observ ing the other ch i ld ren and, I suspect, through their o w n experiences w i t h the mater ia ls o n hand. C rayons and c o l o u r e d felts were used for d raw ing , and p e n c i l (and the occas iona l felts) were used fo r w r i t i n g . B a g h b a n (1984) and Harste , B u r k e & W o o d w a r d (1984) reported that c h i l d r e n respond appropriately to the type o f instruments they cons idered right for w r i t i n g . N o n e o f the e leven ch i ldren refused to d r a w or wr i te a l though one c h i l d he ld back unt i l she observed another c h i l d sc r ibb le -wr i te . S i x o f the ch i ld ren either sc r ibb le -wrote o r made let ter - l ike marks . T h e r e m a i n i n g f i ve ch i ld ren began w i t h real letters. T w o ch i ld ren wrote i n both their f irst and second languages (see F igure 4) . F i g u r e 4 : E n g l i s h and Ch inese wr i t ing T ranscr ip t ion : table, c u p , chair , Ch inese 49 A t f i rst , some o f the ch i ldren shrugged their shoulders o r sa id "That 's w r i t i n g ! " w h e n asked about their written messages even though they were very w i l l i n g to discuss their p ictures. E v e n t u a l l y , a l l but one c h i l d related some verba l equiva lence to the wr i t ten f o r m s . T h e lone c h i l d , N a n a , wrote the letters o f the alphabet i n sequence or r a n d o m l y interspersed w i t h numbers and named each s y m b o l cor recdy unt i l the day she made her f irst let ter -sound matches. She c lear ly k n e w that her letters d i d not spel l out words and she had no intention to "pretend-wri te o r - r e a d " . She read her messages w h e n she f i rst began to show letter -sound correspondences i n January o f her K indergar ten year. W i t h i n this f i rst leve l o f wr i t ing , there appeared to be a deve lopmenta l progress ion f r o m the non-a lphabet ic f o r m to alphabet ic f o r m . W h i l e there m a y have been the o c c a s i o n a l p l a y i n g with scr ibbles, once the alphabet ic f o r m was establ ished, there was no real regression. C l a y (1975) ident i f ied certain pr inc ip les w h i c h ch i ld ren appear to f o l l o w i n their ear ly w r i t i n g . T w o c r i t i ca l pr inc ip les are: the s ign concept - letters and let ter - l ike shapes carry some message although it m a y be u n k n o w n to the reader; and the message concept - messages the c h i l d speaks can be writ ten d o w n (see F igures 1,2,3,4). A l l the ch i ld ren i n the study showed some understanding o f these t w o pr inc ip les i n va ry ing degrees. W i t h i n the E S L sample group, knowledge o f the alphabet ranged f r o m the product ion o f a l l 2 6 letters to m u c h repetit ion o f a f e w k n o w n ones. T y p i c a l l y , the f e w k n o w n letters tended to be the ones in the c h i l d r e n ' s names (see F i g u r e 5). 50 F igure 5 : V l a d i m i r (also V l a d o ) I QV L t>jp)lV{ Transcr ip t ion : Superman C l a y (1975) referred to this repetit ion o f the same basic fo rms as ev idence o f the recur r ing p r inc ip le . A l l the y o u n g writers showed a strong preference fo r uppercase letters although the l o w e r case letters appeared very occas iona l l y . T h e notable except ion , however , was their preference for the lower case " i " over the uppercase "I" (see F igu re 6). F igu re 6 : T h e l o w e r case letter " i " T ranscr ip t ion : N o b o d y l ikes m e because he eat w o r m s . T h i s m a y have been due to the lower case " i " be ing more d is t inct ive than the capi ta l letter "I" w h i c h c o u l d have been easi ly confused w i t h the l o w e r case letter " L " and the number 1. N u m b e r symbo ls also occur red as part o f the w r i t i n g (see F igure 3). In i t ia l l y , a l l except one c h i l d QNana) wrote r a n d o m l y i n every d i rect ion . T h e ch i ld ren wrote lef t - to - r ight , r ight - to - le f t , general ly top - to -bo t tom but occas ional l y bot tom-to - top . H o w e v e r , by the end o f the K indergar ten year, a l l the ch i ld ren were 51 demonstrat ing what C l a y (1975) referred to as the appropriate d i rect iona l p r inc ip le for the E n g l i s h w r i t i n g system. T h e Content T e m p l e , Nathan & Bur r i s (1982) observed that most beg inn ing writers were w i l l i n g to pretend that the marks they wrote stood for someth ing . A s stated earl ier , 10 o f the 11 ch i ld ren were prepared to assign a message to their wr i t ing . These messages c a m e in fo rms of: 1) labels - either by s ing le words o r sentences; 2) journals - true stories about themselves o r their f a m i l i e s ; 3) retel l ings - part ia l o r complete re te l l ing o f a storybook or te lev is ion show; 4) stories - o r i g i n a l m a k e - b e l i e v e stories o f a l l k i n d s ; and 5) songs - i n c l u d i n g chants, nursery rhymes and poems. T h e C h i l d r e n E v e r y c h i l d showed a preference for a spec i f ic category o f w r i t i n g topics even though they exper imented w i t h many . T h e f o l l o w i n g ch i ld ren were chosen for d i scuss ion because their wr i t ing samples represented one o f the aforement ioned categories o f topics . W e n d y entered schoo l k n o w i n g o n l y a f e w E n g l i s h words . H o w e v e r , she was intent o n learn ing E n g l i s h . D u r i n g storybook t ime, she constandy interrupted and po inted at var ious i tems to indicate w h i c h labels she wanted to learn. She used wr i t ing t ime to pract ice her n e w words , d r a w i n g o n l y the pictures fo r w h i c h she had E n g l i s h labels . O c c a s i o n a l l y , she added a new i t e m and asked m e i n Cantonese what it was. I a lways supp l ied her w i t h the E n g l i s h words . D y s o n (1981) f o u n d that frequently 52 y o u n g ch i ld ren d i d not wr i te lengthy messages but wrote labels fo r people and objects. W r i t i n g , l i k e d r a w i n g , was a means o f s y m b o l i z i n g s ign i f icant people and objects i n the c h i l d ' s w o r l d . W e n d y made no attempts to l i n k her d rawings together i n any w a y (see F i g u r e 3). H e r m a i n purpose, it appeared, was to pract ice her words . In her w r i t i n g sample , W e n d y demonstrated another one o f C l a y ' s (1975) p r inc ip les , the inventory p r inc ip le , w h i c h related to how ch i ld ren took stock o f their o w n learn ing by l i s t ing o r o rder ing aspects o f their l i teracy k n o w l e d g e . In the beg inn ing , W e n d y " read" her wr i t ing wi thout any reference to her w r i t i n g unless asked . B y the end o f N o v e m b e r , she was under l in ing her w r i t i n g le f t - to - r ight w i t h her f inger as she read. V l a d o was a lso f o n d o f labe l l ing his drawings (see F igure 7 ) . H o w e v e r , his o ra l language was more c o m p l e x than W e n d y ' s and his wr i t ten messages ref lected this. F igu re 7 : L a b e l l i n g T ranscr ip t ion : T h i s is the l itt le box o f c a n d y , this is the b i g box o f candy , this is the biggest box o f candy . V l a d o ' s w r i t i n g was about three boxes o f candy . T h i s subject matter was most l i k e l y p rompted by an ear l ier book reading session o n L i t t l e , B i g and B i g g e r . W h e n reading his w r i t i n g , V l a d o f irst po inted at the scr ibbles on the far left , changed his m i n d and po inted to the smal lest set o f scr ibbles. H e then read his vers ion o f L i t t l e , B i g and  B i g g e r w h i l e m a t c h i n g his statements w i th the appropriate size o f scr ibbles. Ferre i ro 53 & T e b e r o s k y (1982) reported that many ch i ld ren in i t ia l l y hypothesize a concrete and direct re lat ionship between graphic features and their referents. V l a d o o b v i o u s l y felt that the largest box o f candy was best represented by the largest set o f scr ibbles. W h e n read ing , V l a d o s l o w e d his f inger movements under his w r i t i n g to insure that it matched his read ing . A s w i th W e n d y , V l a d o showed an understanding that w r i t i n g represented speech and , therefore, the pr int shou ld begin and end w i th the vo ice . B e g i n n i n g i n September , R o s a l i n d a wrote o n l y her f i rst a n d last names and refused to read any more into her w r i t i n g other than what it actual ly sa id . B y January , she began to inc lude her brother 's and sister's names for the f i rst t ime. She a lso read their names as wr i t ten . U p to this point , R o s a l i n d a , u n l i k e m a n y c h i l d r e n , d i d not p lay w i t h the letters i n her name to create new messages. H o w e v e r , short ly after the appearance o f her s i b l i n g s ' names, she began to create new letter str ings. H e r stories f r o m then o n focused a lmost e x c l u s i v e l y o n her f a m i l y and the everyday events sur rounding it. F o r R o s a l i n d a , wr i t ing her brother's and sister 's names a l l o w e d her to see h o w letters can be rearranged to make new meanings (generating p r inc ip le : C l a y , 1975). It a lso p r o v i d e d her w i t h n e w letters to add to her l i m i t e d repertoire. N o t a l l ch i ld ren must learn to spel l their s ib l ings ' names before they w i l l wr i te ; however , a l l ch i ld ren d o eventual ly beg in to copy the print in their env i ronment , thereby increas ing their k n o w l e d g e o f pr int and h o w it is used ( Y . G o o d m a n , 1980). W i t h her n e w - f o u n d k n o w l e d g e and exper iences wi th print , R o s a l i n d a wrote longer and longer strings o f letters. T h i s , i n turn, increased the length o f her stories as she attempted to match her verbal messages w i t h the length o f her wr i t i ng . 54 O f al l the children, K i m appeared to have had the most experience with English storybooks at home. Many of the books which were read by the teacher were familiar to him. K i m ' s storybook experiences were reflected in his writing (see Figure 8). Figure 8: Retelling of The Great B i g Enormous Turnip Transcription: Father find the turnip and tried to pul l it and call the mother and she can't pul l it and then they pull it. In retelling stories, K i m was practising book language and showing a growing knowledge of story conventions. He introduced his characters, set up a story problem, and then provided a solution which insured a happy ending for a l l . While reading his story, K i m repeatedly retraced his writing until his story ended. L ike Wendy and Vlado, he recognized that there must be a print-voice match. A l l the children were continuingly refining their understandings about writing, and moving gradually towards the eventual conceptualization that letters can represent sounds in words. Ken created an original story about a dinosaur. His reading of this story was well supported by his drawing (see Figure 9). 55 F igu re 9 : N o t e details in picture T ranscr ip t ion : T h e dinosaur and the sun and w o r m s and snakes c o m e out. H e want eat w o r m s . H e stomach got a ache. D r a w i n g has verbal impl i ca t ions . S i n c e d r a w i n g is express ive , its c o m p o s i n g processes c o m p l e m e n t wr i t ing and speaking (Baghban , 1984) . M a n y o f the ch i ld ren used their d r a w i n g as a rehearsal for what they were to say i n their w r i t i n g later. H o w e v e r , fo r K e n , pictures carr ied his stories, not h is w r i t i n g . H e demonstrated his uncertain concept o f what wr i t ing d i d w h e n he was asked to reread his story, this t ime w i t h his f inger . K e n began reading the pr int but q u i c k l y m o v e d back to his d r a w i n g to support what he was say ing . Nevertheless , b y start ing w i t h the pr int , he d i d show a budd ing awareness that wr i t ing can carry a message w h i c h is complete i n itself . K e n a lso s h o w e d a beg inn ing understanding o f story convent ions when he introduced the characters f i rst . H i s story ref lected his current language l e v e l i n E n g l i s h and a g r o w i n g sense o f "storyness" as he exp la ined the consequences o f eat ing w o r m s . 56 Andrea arrived at school knowing only a few words of English and was unable to write her name correctly for most of her Kindergarten year. She also showed little interest in learning to write her name. While the other children wrote their names whenever, wherever and however, Andrea only attempted to write her name when requested. By April, Andrea was still using the scribble forms although she occasionally experimented with the alphabetic and mock alphabetic forms. In comparison, the rest of the children were all using the alphabetic forms and two of these children were moving into their second and third levels of writing development (see Appendix A). Nevertheless, when Andrea read her writing, she tracked her writing from left-to-right and she demonstrated an awareness that longer stories required lengthier pieces of writing. Andrea often used writing time as an opportunity to practise the songs and rhymes she was learning in English. The longer the song or poem, the more scribble-writing she did. The children and I were accepting of all Andrea's attempts at writing and responded to what she had to say. Occasionally, another child would either write on her page or provide her with letters when she requested help with spelling (see Figure 10). Figure 10: Note the name, Nana Transcription: Nana play doctor. 57 W h e n asked fo r the spe l l ing o f a w o r d , I responded w i t h comments l i k e "write it your o w n w a y " o r "wr i te it the w a y you think it looks l i k e " . A l t h o u g h A n d r e a was the last o f her group to m o v e into the second leve l o f wr i t i ng , she s h o w e d remarkable progress i n her o ra l language development . O f the four c h i l d r e n w h o were ident i f ied as non - funct iona l i n E n g l i s h (that i s , very l i m i t e d n u m b e r o f E n g l i s h words o r none), A n d r e a stood out i n her rap id acqu is i t ion o f ora l E n g l i s h . B y the t ime she began Grade O n e , she was no longer as easi ly ident i f ied as E S L by her o r a l language as were the other ch i ld ren i n the group. W h i l e it was not unusua l fo r a Span ish -speak ing c h i l d l i k e A n d r e a to learn E n g l i s h more q u i c k l y than, fo r e x a m p l e , her Ch inese - speak ing counterparts, her progress nevertheless remained outstanding. A l l e leven ch i ld ren advanced through the f i rst l e v e l o f w r i t i n g deve lopment i n w a y s that were unique and s imi la r at the same time. T h e characterist ics and behaviours d iscussed so far were observed i n a l l the c h i l d r e n but i n va ry ing degrees, i n m o d i f i e d f o r m s , and at dif ferent points o f their deve lopment . T h i s can a lso be said for the general n o n - E S L populat ion (Dobson , 1983 ; G e n t r y , 1982). T h e one factor that stood out as di f ferent was the h igh percentage o f K indergar ten w r i t i n g samples w h i c h were d i rect ly attr ibuted to bookread ing sessions. A direct l i n k between the ch i lden 's w r i t i n g and storybooks was cons idered ex is t ing w h e n the w r i t i n g conta ined some o f the language o f the books . A p p r o x i m a t e l y 60 per cent o f the c h i l d r e n ' s wr i t ing samples showed this l i nk . In m y years o f w o r k i n g w i t h K indergar ten c h i l d r e n , I have not observed this to be c o m m o n amongst K indergar ten writers . G e n e r a l l y , these ch i ldren created stories w h i c h expressed their o w n personal 58 exper iences. A book o n dinosaurs may prompt a story o n the same subject but it is s t i l l connected to the c h i l d . It was more typ ica l fo r ch i ld ren to be further a long the w r i t i n g c o n t i n u u m before they began to incorporate spec i f i c elements f r o m a bookread ing session in i t iated by a teacher. A s a teacher-researcher, I f o u n d this to be par t icu lar ly interest ing because the s izable gap between spoken language and book language seemed to be c l o s i n g at least at this l e v e l . L E V E L 2 - S E M I P H O N E T I C  T h e F o r m C h i l d r e n at this leve l were beg inn ing to conceptua l i ze the alphabetic p r inc ip le . T h e y were r e a l i z i n g that letters had sounds that c o u l d be used to represent sounds i n words . T h e y were able to part ia l ly m a p the let ter -sound correspondences i n E n g l i s h words (see F i g u r e 11). F igu re 11: Semiphonet i c W r i t i n g T ransc r ip t ion : I saw a f rog w a l k i n g i n the sea get t ing some crabs. F i v e o f the e leven ch i ld ren i n the sample group reached the second leve l o f wr i t ing d u r i n g their K indergar ten . B y October i n G r a d e O n e , a l l but two were at this l eve l o f w r i t i n g development o r higher (see A p p e n d i x A ) . 59 In i t ia l l y , ch i ld ren made on ly one or two let ter -sound matches usual ly at the b e g i n n i n g or at the end o f their wr i t ing (see F igure 12). N o t o n l y was it easier to focus at the b e g i n n i n g or end o f a sentence, but it a lso made it easier for the ch i ld ren to ident i fy their matches when they read their wr i t ten messages later to the teacher. F i g u r e 12: E a r l y semiphonet ic w r i t i n g T ranscr ip t ion : I a m the K i n g o f the forests. S i n c e m a n y ch i ld ren at this leve l d i d not separate their words , and were not a lways able to retr ieve the exact w o r d i n g o f their messages, some ch i ld ren f o u n d it d i f f i c u l t to locate and ident i fy their matches. O f ten , the new awareness o f letter -sound correspondences was so tentative that this strategy w o u l d be dropped for a w h i l e . H o w e v e r , once attempted, it was used again and i n g r o w i n g f requency . S o m e ch i ld ren ga ined cont ro l over this n e w l y d iscovered strategy very q u i c k l y . T h e y were represent ing every w o r d i n their messages i n some w a y w i t h i n a week. F o r most c h i l d r e n , there was no turning back once they began to use the alphabetic p r inc ip le i n their w r i t i n g . A f e w ch i ld ren struggled wi thout it fo r l o n g per iods o f time. W h i l e there m a y be many var iables af fect ing this d ispar i ty i n per formance, two stood out i n this study. O n e was the fai lure to reduce their message. W h e n the ch i ld ren were pretend -wr i t ing , their stories became longer and longer as their o ra l language p ro f i c iency grew and as they became exposed to m a n y book exper iences. H o w e v e r , once they became aware o f the let ter -sound correspondences i n E n g l i s h words , most ch i ld ren reduced their messages sharply , It was an ef fect ive strategy as 60 i t a l l o w e d the ch i ld ren better cont ro l over their w r i t i ng . These messages were easi ly read back w h i c h i n i tsel f was a mot ivator since it c o n f i r m e d the ch i ld ren 's th ink ing . O n the other hand , the ch i ldren w h o d i d not reduce their messages were st ruggl ing to read their o w n wr i t i ng . T h e second var iable was an uneven k n o w l e d g e o f the alphabet. O f t e n t imes, I observed one c h i l d , A n d r e a , "sounding -out" a w o r d and pred ic t ing the correct letter m a t c h but was unable to retrieve that letter f r o m her m e m o r y . She then referred to her alphabet l i ne , sang her alphabet song, m i s s e d her letter and p i c k e d the one beside it . Regard less o f her cho ice , the fact that she d i d n ' t have a c lear idea o f what the letter l o o k e d l i k e h indered her chance to reca l l i t later. T h u s , a p o o r k n o w l e d g e o f the alphabet severely l i m i t e d the number o f let ter -sound matches a c h i l d c o u l d m a k e . M u c h later, another var iable became apparent. M a n y o f the ch i ld ren eventual ly deve loped the strategy o f "wr i te - read -wr i te" ; that i s , the ch i ld ren gradual l y adopted a strategy o f w r i t i n g some words , s topping to th ink , rereading what they h a d wri t ten and then c o n t i n u i n g o n . F o r some ch i ld ren , this strategy d i d not become evident unt i l they reached the th i rd leve l o f w r i t i n g deve lopment . In any case, this strategy became a very ef fect ive one w h e n the ch i ld ren begun inc reas ing the length o f their wr i t ing . F o r those ch i ld ren w h o had not reduced their messages, this strategy compensated by creat ing opportunit ies for m a n y readings o f the same message. B y the time a c h i l d was f i n i s h e d w i t h his wr i t ing , he had his message a lmost m e m o r i z e d . T h i s permitted h i m to read his complete message eas i ly w h i c h , i n turn, c o n f i r m e d his hypotheses about E n g l i s h orthography. 61 G e n t r y (1982) referred to the spe l l ing w i t h i n the second leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment as semiphonet ic . Semiphonet ic spellers used one or two letters to stand for a w h o l e w o r d but these letters had some connect ion w i t h the words they represented. A s a basis fo r their cho ice o f s y m b o l s , they used in fo rmat ion they k n e w , i n c l u d i n g numbers and letter names. O f ten , one letter by v i r tue o f its letter -name m a y represent a s ing le w o r d w i t h s imi la r o r ident ica l p ronunc iat ion (see F igu re 13). F i g u r e 13 : L e t t e r - w o r d correspondence HHEffift" T ransc r ip t ion : L o o k at y o u . Y o u are d i r ty (pronounced "d i rdee") . T a b l e 1 l ists examples o f the letter -name strategy i n use. T a b l e 1: Demonst rat ions o f Let te r -name Strategies letter/word number/word letter/syllable l o n g v o w e l s C (see) 2 (to) P D (party) se (sea) U (you) 4 (for) S N (s inging) F L O (throw) R (are) 8 (ate) P Y N (playing) N O (know) Y (why) It (want) H o D (holding) sa (say) M (am) B f O (beautiful) m i (my) N (and) A A P O (apple) M a k (make) B o t (boat) G o d (gold) 62 C h i l d r e n began to represent the consonant sounds first poss ib l y because they were more eas i ly determined. A t this l e v e l , short v o w e l sounds were omit ted . T a b l e 2 l ists the consonant sounds that have a stable and predictable letter -sound. Tab le 2 : Let ter - name Matches for Consonants Let ter S o u n d E x a m p l e s B Ibl •  bat B t (bird) B K (because) B i c (bike) B (be) P w- E i g P K (p ick ing) Prtc (protect) P D (party) F HI - fat f r m (farm) F T ( f ighting) F A D E (f ighting) V hi - vase V A D R (Vader) V A D O (video) havu (have) T N - toe trto (turtle) tak (taking) T O C K (talking) D Id/ -d o g D O N T (donut) D a k (duck) D R T (Darth) S Isl - sun S P (sleeping) S N C (snakes) sad (said) Z IzJ - zoo W z (was) W O Z (was) prazan (present) K Ikl - kite H K (hockey) B O K (bark) K a c h (catch) J V Ijl- j u m p J o P (jump) J D (Justice) j a i p ( J u m P ) M Iml - m a n M A T (mountain) M t R (monster) S M (some) N Inl- nose N N e (n i ck -nack ) G R N (gone) N (and) L N - lady L K ( look) L o s (lots) F L ( fa l l ing) R hi - red ran (rain) S R (store) H i t (hurt) Y o u n g writers made predict ions based on the sounds f o u n d i n the letter -names and o n the art iculat ion points in the mouth when m a k i n g those sounds. In other words , 63 the sound /b/ was heard when say ing the letter name B /bi/. T h e m o u t h was shaped the same w a y and the tongue was i n the same pos i t ion . Therefore , it was not u n c o m m o n fo r ch i ld ren to confuse /b/ and /p/ s ince the o n l y d i f ference between the two sounds was i n the v ibrat ion o f the v o c a l cords . Other s imi la r pairs i n T a b l e 2 were : /f/ and /v/; /t/ and /d/; and /s/ and /z/. E S L ch i ld ren were espec ia l l y prone to m a k i n g these types o f substitutions (see F igure 14). F i g u r e 14: B/P substitution i P H n\y S B I A w s < \ p . t > r\m . Transcr ip t ion : I p l a y i n g w i th (pronounced " r i f ' ) m y Sup.erman. (Superman) was p l a y i n g soccer i n the home. In this w r i t i n g sample , the w o r d "the" was represented by the letter " D " w h i c h was very sensible s ince the c h i l d pronounced "the" as /d/ rather than /3cV. A l s o , the sound /tj/ i n " - i n g " was perce ived to be s imi la r to the sound /n/ i n the letter -name " N " . Other consonants , the letters C , G , H , W , Y d o not have a letter -name match w i t h the sounds they n o r m a l l y represent. Nevertheless , they regular ly represented one sound and they appeared frequently enough to be learned eas i ly by ch i ld ren . A t the same time, these letters were used to represent sounds other than their o w n . C h i l d r e n used the name o f the letter w h i c h was closest to the sound o f the w o r d o r w o r d part they w i s h e d to represent. T h e y a lso chose the letter -name or let ter -sound that was p roduced i n a s i m i l a r manner as the sound they w i s h e d to represent (see T a b l e 3). 64 T a b l e 3: Representat ional Consonants Let ter S o u n d E x a m p l e s C (name) /s/ C D (said) C E (sea) C K E (ski ing) hxl C E (tree) C (sound) N D o C (don't) G /dr/ G F (drive) G M (drum) G A M (drum) Ici - chat G A ( C h o w ) H ill - shot f i h (f ish) Y M Y N T (went) Y D (with) Y K (walk ing) Q fkj - cat Q N ( C o m e in) S Q (soccer) J V 1)1 - George J J B M N (Gingerbreadman) oreithj (orange) /dr/ J r rP (drop) J M (drum) Ici - chat J A E (chasing) s M f i s ( f ix) w a x (was) ill - shot S P (ship) siep (ship) se (she) R M R i R ( W h e n I went) r i f (with) K Ikl - cat B K (because) Igl K W N (going) N hk (hate) V in f v (wol f , run!) V IZI - that V B R (the bear) z Isl B C Z (because) 65 A g r o w i n g cont ro l over w o r d separation and a m o v e m e n t towards the use o f l o w e r case letters often seemed to accompany the appearance o f sight words i n text (see F i g u r e 15). F i g u r e 15 : W o r d separations and sight words T ransc r ip t ion : M y D O G got lost and I c r y and m y f r i e n d get it . T h e upper case forms for letters predominated i n the f irst w r i t i n g attempts. T h e change to l o w e r case was gradual and accompan ied the change to more prof ic ient w r i t i n g . Suggest ions f r o m teachers to incorporate spac ing and appropriate l ower case letters d i d not have the desi red outcome. H o w e v e r , these changes systematical ly appeared w i t h t ime. S o m e words cont inued to be cap i ta l i zed , usual ly the f i rst letter o f s igni f icant words and the f irst w o r d i n a story. H o w e v e r , some letters, part icu lar ly the eas i ly confused b, d , p cont inued to appear in the upper case f o r m at every leve l o f deve lopment (see F igu re 16). F igu re 16: Retent ion o f upper case B , D , P Y Transcr ip t ion : Th i s is a jet p lane. T h e jet p lane is tak ing off . 66 Y o u n g ch i ld ren often retain the letters B , D , P because the capitals are less confus ing v i s u a l l y than the lower case letters. In f igure 16, the wr i te r kept his capi ta l letters for the above reason but he remained confused because /b/ and /p/ are a lso so s imi la r aud i tor ia l l y . T h e Content In the second leve l o f wr i t i ng , i l lustrations cont inued to p lay an important part i n the c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t i n g as they d i d i n the first l e v e l . P ic tures s t i l l car r ied the context o f the story; however , their funct ion was chang ing . A t the f i rst l e v e l , ch i ld ren were rehears ing their w r i t i n g w h i l e they were d r a w i n g . O f t e n , the topics changed several times d u r i n g the course o f the drawings . A s ev idenced by their d iscuss ions w h i l e d r a w i n g , m a n y ch i ld ren d i d not even decide what they w o u l d wr i te unt i l their pictures were comple ted . A f t e r wr i t i ng , the i l lustrat ions served as a reminder o f what the story was about. C h i l d r e n at the f irst leve l came to real ize that their w r i t i n g c o u l d represent their w h o l e story. O n e c h i l d , after he had d iscussed his p ic ture , was asked what his w r i t i n g sa id . H e rep l ied "Just what I to ld y o u " . A n o t h e r c h i l d w h e n asked to read her wr i t ing sa id " Y o u mean y o u want me to say the w h o l e t h i n g aga in?" These ch i ld ren gave their d r a w i n g and wr i t ing equal status and funct ions . O n the other hand, L e v e l 2 writers k n e w that they c o u l d n ' t poss ib l y wr i te "the w h o l e th ing . " M o s t ch i ld ren very q u i c k l y recogn i zed that a reduced message meant 67 better cont ro l o f the wr i t i ng . A t this l e v e l , ch i ld ren ' s d rawings became more elaborate, and the context was shared p ic tor ia l l y and o ra l l y . T h e beginnings o f the second leve l o f w r i t i n g was character ized by s low labor ious w o r k . It was also a very no isy per iod as each c h i l d repeatedly "sounded" his w a y through a w o r d . M o s t written messages were reduced to s ingle words , phrases o r s i m p l e statements (see F igure 17). F i g u r e 17: R e d u c e d message T ranscr ip t ion : T h e hungry caterpjHar In F i g u r e 17, there were two attempts at wr i t i ng . O b v i o u s l y unhappy w i th his first try, D a v i d c rossed it out and rewrote his message aga in . T h i s was his f i rst attempt at se l f - co r rec t ion . O n c e comple ted , he read his w r i t i n g to m e , then proceeded to talk about the f o o d w h i c h the hungry caterpi l lar ate and ident i f ied the i tems i n his d r a w i n g at the same time. D a v i d ' s story was insp i red by an ear l ier bookread ing session about a hungry caterpi l lar . H i s wr i t ing a l l o w e d h i m another opportuni ty to discuss the story and to r e v i e w his f o o d vocabulary . A t this l e v e l , drawings and w r i t i n g were not equa l as m u c h as they were c o m p l i m e n t a r y . T h e writ ten section began the story and the i l lust rat ion comple ted it w i t h m u c h embel l i shment ora l ly . O ther ch i ld ren chose to write f a m i l i a r refrains f r o m their favour i te story. B y restr ict ing themselves to a k n o w n language pattern, they were able to focus more o n 68 the t ranscr ipt ion o f that pattern. A l s o , the p r o b l e m o f re t r iev ing the exact w o r d i n g o f the wr i t ten p iece was greatly reduced (see F igure 18). F i g u r e 18: F a m i l i a r refrains T ranscr ipt ion : L i t t l e p i g , l i t t le p i g , let m e i n N O N I M i N o , not m y c h i m n e y . N a t h a n ' s w o r d i n g was not exact ly the b o o k ' s but he approx imated the b o o k ' s language as c l o s e l y as he c o u l d . I suspect that the phrase "not m y c h i m n e y " made more sense to N a t h a n than "not by the hair o f m y ch inney c h i n c h i n " s ince his vers ion had some re levance to the story. F o r Nathan , his wr i t ing p r o v i d e d h i m w i t h an opportunity to ta lk about his favour i te story, T h e Three L i t t l e P i g s . T h e f i v e categories o f preferred topics i n the c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t i n g at the first l eve l con t inued to be popular at the second leve l . D u r i n g the G r a d e O n e year , I added a s ix th category as I observed a pro l i ferat ion o f stories o n v ideo games (see F igure 19). F i g u r e 19: V i d e o games T ransc r ip t ion : I p_lay P a c m a n game and P a c eat the ghosts . T h e nove l t y o f these games probably made a greater i m p a c t than the games themselves. Never the less , it was a very cha l leng ing topic fo r both c h i l d r e n and teachers. It was a rare c h i l d w h o was able to exp la in f u l l y h o w a game was p layed . H o w e v e r , as I d i d 69 not k n o w anyth ing about the games, it was a natural quest ion fo r m e to ask. I l lustrat ions became cr i t i ca l fo r those ch i ld ren w h o chose to wr i te about D o n k e y - K o n g or P a c - m a n . It was a great opportunity fo r ch i ld ren to use language for the purpose o f inst ruct ing o r i n f o r m i n g others (Ha l l iday , 1973). W h a t they were eventual ly able to d o o r a l l y , they w o u l d be able to do i n wr i t ing later o n . D u r i n g the second leve l o f wr i t ing deve lopment , some c h i l d r e n were b u i l d i n g a core o f s ight words . M a n y o f the sight words were the names o f other ch i ld ren or s igns f o u n d i n the env i ronment (e.g. E X I T , S T O P ) . T h e words were not a lways reproduced correct ly (see F igu re 20) , but they were g o o d indicators that the ch i ld ren were p a y i n g attention to the pr int around them and that they were perhaps m o v i n g towards a m o r e v i s u a l strategy. F i g u r e 2 0 : S igh t words (Note " i n " and "my" ) T ranscr ip t ion : I have w o r m s i n my_ s tomach. 70 B e y o n d that, at this point o f wr i t ing deve lopment , cor rect ly spel led words d i d not g ive m u c h in fo rmat ion about the ch i ld ren 's understanding o f h o w wri t ten language worked . It was the errors w h i c h prov ided insights into the ch i ld ren ' s t h i n k i n g and under ly ing concepts o f E n g l i s h wr i t ing ( K . G o o d m a n , 1969). T h e c h i l d r e n , however , were a lways anx ious to d isp lay their knowledge o f convent iona l fo rms . O n e c h i l d incorporated his n e w l y - a c q u i r e d sight w o r d into his story i n a most ingenious w a y (see F igu re 21) . P rev ious l y to this , I had not not iced any sight words i n his stories other than his name. F i g u r e 2 1 : U n c o n v e n t i o n a l use o f sight words , E x a m p l e 1 A n o t h e r c h i l d deve loped a conversat ion around her sight words . H e r p iece o f w r i t i n g was about two ch i ld ren d iscuss ing the words they k n o w (see F igure 22) . F igu re 2 2 : U n c o n v e n t i o n a l use o f sight words , E x a m p l e 2 T ranscr ip t ion : A S T O P (sign) went to schoo l . A car crash h i m . T ranscr ip t ion : "I k n o w h o w to say lots o f words" . "Say it out" . " N O , C A T , D O G , -stop"that 's a l l I k n o w how to say". 71 T h e C h i l d r e n Three ch i ld ren were chosen to i l lustrate the var iety o f strategies e m p l o y e d by c h i l d r e n i n the second leve l o f wr i t ing development . D a v i d , a Cantonese -speak ing c h i l d , was descr ibed as "hyper" by his parents and his teachers. H e m o v e d and ta lked constandy . Unfor tunate ly , his l i s ten ing sk i l l s were very poor . H i s c lass room teacher reported that D a v i d frequently d i d his assignments incor recdy because he d i d not take the time to l is ten to instructions nor d i d he stay i n one spot l o n g enough to watch a demonst rat ion . O f the e leven ch i ld ren , D a v i d ' s language was the most confused. O n e w r i t i n g sample car r ied a message w h i c h D a v i d read as "I shou ld is was Chr is tmas and the Santa C l a u s is was g i v i n g boy and g i r l fo r toy" . T h i s was quite representative o f h is speech fo r that per iod . H i s E n g l i s h became more convent iona l both in his speech and w r i t i n g over t ime as his experiences w i t h and k n o w l e d g e o f standard E n g l i s h increased. D a v i d began m a k i n g letter -sound matches at the end o f June i n K indergar ten but it w a s n ' t un t i l late October i n G r a d e O n e that he f i n a l l y settied d o w n w i t h his new strategy. In the beg inn ing , he w o u l d show appropriate letter -name matches one day and then made no attempts to m a t c h for the next ten days . T h i s was not t yp ica l o f ch i ld ren w h o have d iscovered the letter -sound correspondences i n E n g l i s h wr i t i ng , espec ia l l y fo r those w h o have d i sp layed some competence i n m a t c h i n g letters to sounds. H o w e v e r , w h e n D a v i d f i n a l l y dec ided to take cont ro l o f his o w n learn ing , he wrote i n f u l l sentences w i t h every w o r d represented (see F igu re 23) . 7 2 F i g u r e 2 3 : Representat ions o f complete sentences T ranscr ip t ion : T h e space ship was f l y i n g a -way . H e was crash i n the grass. In h is sample , D a v i d s h o w e d on ly the in i t ia l consonant sounds o f each w o r d except fo r the last w o r d w h i c h had three consonants represented. A t this po int , his w o r k was very t yp ica l o f L e v e l 2 writers. N o t as t y p i c a l , yet not u n c o m m o n , was a l i t t le b o y n a m e d A d r i a n . L i k e D a v i d , he had conceptua l i zed the alphabetic p r inc ip le i n E n g l i s h w r i t i n g . H e , too, began w i t h the i n i t i a l consonant sounds. U n l i k e D a v i d , however , A d r i a n was u n w i l l i n g to let go o f h is o r i g i n a l not ion o f words as be ing made up o f a set number o f characters (see F i g u r e 24) . F i g u r e 2 4 : E a r l y concept o f words T ranscr ip t ion : I bought a new toy is C y c l e - m a n . A d r i a n ' s w r i t i n g sample showed letter -sound matches and " f i l l e r s " - letters that had no real purpose except to p a d up words . Fer re i ro & T e b e r o s k y (1982) ta lked about t w o bas ic hypotheses w h i c h ch i ld ren used: 1) that graphic characters were var ied and 2) that their number was constant. C h i l d r e n at the ear ly l e v e l o f understanding, they sa id , seemed to w o r k from the hypothesis that a certain n u m b e r o f characters was needed to m a k e a w o r d . H o w e v e r , this hypothesis general ly gave w a y to the sy l lab ic p r inc ip le 73 w h i c h a l l o w e d one letter to stand for one sy l lab le . A t this po int , letters m a y be ass igned stable sound values. Those ch i ld ren w h o were able to ut i l i ze the strategies o f r e d u c i n g their messages and restr ict ing their letter cho ices had a c lear advantage over those c h i l d r e n w h o were not. A d r i a n , however , w o r k e d around his disadvantage. A d r i a n had a f e w basic words i n his sight vocabu lary , the words " i s , m y , the, I, i n , go , m a n " . T h i s i n i tsel f was unusual s ince y o u n g c h i l d r e n general ly have f o u n d most o f these words d i f f i cu l t to read i n i so la t ion . A d r i a n accepted his sight words as they were regardless o f his hypothesis o f h o w m a n y letters made up a w o r d . O n the other hand , a l l his invented spel l ings had three or more characters. In his w r i t i n g sample , A d r i a n wrote "I" and " i s " convent iona l l y but because he d i d not have the art ic le " a " as a sight w o r d , he assigned f i ve letters to represent that w o r d . E a r l i e r , I had ment ioned another c h i l d , A n d r e a , w h o had d i f f i cu l t y remember ing the letters i n the a lphabet I reported that she exper ienced extreme d i f f i cu l t y because she c o u l d not reca l l her exact w o r d i n g nor c o u l d she f i n d her letter -sound matches w h i c h left her no other c lues to her w r i t i n g other than the intended mean ing . W h i l e her rereading retained the mean ing , she lost the opportuni ty to have her hypothesis about let ter -sound correspondences c o n f i r m e d . A d r i a n , o n the other hand, d i d not have the same p r o b l e m . H i s sight words were f e w but stable and un l ike A n d r e a , he had a g o o d k n o w l e d g e o f the alphabet. T h e spaces he used to separate his words a lso a l l o w e d h i m to ident i fy where the let ter -sound matches were w h i c h in turn acted as w o r d cues. A d r i a n c o u l d v i r tua l ly ignore the rest o f the letters i n each w o r d as he read his w r i t i n g . If a f a m i l i a r refrain 74 or song w a s chosen , w h i c h in i tself was a good strategic d e c i s i o n , A d r i a n was able to read back his w h o l e passage regardless o f length (see F igure 25) . F i g u r e 2 5 : F a m i l i a r songs M Transcr ip t ion : D o w n by the bay ra^n w , T H P u - . , -jr VMLOfflT T hp y y p ^ F U M 0 R L f : A ^ 6 ) f l g W h e r e the watermelons g r o w WKf: T<> M Y HfltoFl B a c k to m y home UoPFA NHP- 6o I dare not go i fry?-• ' JM F o r i f 1 do>My PNAJ-N •• - mother wil1 say h f T " \}%~XmJ^ ' ~ D i d you ever £ e ~ L O P , ^ i n j ^ . s e e a g ° ° s e M Q ^ A IV k i s s i n g a m o o s e , D o w n by the bay. N a t h a n , un l ike A d r i a n , d i d not have a g o o d w o r k i n g k n o w l e d g e o f the alphabet. H e c o u l d s i n g the alphabet song but he had d i f f i cu l t y i d e n t i f y i n g m a n y letters i n i so la t ion . H o w e v e r , Nathan compensated by reduc ing his message to the point where he c o u l d have it w e l l m e m o r i z e d , and by putt ing i n "p lace -ho lders" . W h e n he c o u l d n ' t match the i n i t i a l consonant sound o f his w o r d , he w o u l d arbit rar i ly assign a letter to h o l d its p lace (see F igure 26) . F igu re 2 6 : Let ter p lace holders I v f / V ' Transcr ip t ion : I catch wol f . W o l f run. Nathan 's w r i t i n g lengthened as he learned more letters and as he acqui red some sight words . 75 A l l the ch i ld ren at this l eve l demonstrated their strategies i n their o w n unique ways and at d i f ferent rates; yet the overa l l progression in a l l the ch i ld ren ' s w o r k remained the same. L E V E L 3 - P H O N E T I C  T h e F o r m C h i l d r e n were observed m o v i n g into the th i rd l e v e l o f w r i t i n g deve lopment when their spel l ings incorporated m a n y o f the surface sound features o f words , part icu lar ly v o w e l s . A t this l e v e l , the ch i ld ren attempted to prov ide a m o r e complete m a p p i n g o f a l l the sounds that they hear. Gent ry (1982) referred to these spe l l ing attempts as phonet ic spe l l i ng . W i t h i n the E S L sample group, one c h i l d entered G r a d e O n e a l ready w r i t i n g at the th i rd l e v e l o f development . B y June o f the f irst grade, t w o ch i ld ren remained at L e v e l 3 (see A p p e n d i x A ) . T h e c h i l d r e n were representing l o n g v o w e l sounds ear l ier s ince the letter -name strategy had been operat ing for some t ime. E x a m p l e s o f this is s h o w n i n Tab le 1. L o n g v o w e l sounds at the end o f a w o r d (e.g. m i = m y ) were t yp ica l o f L e v e l 2 wr i t ing . H o w e v e r , l o n g v o w e l sounds i n the m i d d l e o f words (e.g. G O D = gold) were more c o m m o n amongst L e v e l 3 wr i ters . D o u b l e - v o w e l markers (e.g. boat) , the si lent " e " (e.g. m a k e ) , and the letter "y" v o w e l marker (e.g. stay) d i d not appear unt i l m u c h later because the ch i ld ren were st i l l us ing p r i m a r i l y an audi tory strategy. T h e appearance o f short v o w e l sounds s ign i f ied a m a j o r step towards convent iona l E n g l i s h orthography. O n c e the ch i ld ren became conf ident i n m a k i n g 76 let ter -sound matches that were reasonably d is t inct ive and stable, they were then ready to exp lo re the less obv ious sounds. Short vowe ls were not represented by letter-names nor d i d they prov ide any other g o o d c lues as to the w a y they shou ld be spel led. Nevertheless , the ch i ld ren w o r k e d out a consistent strategy fo r spe l l ing short vowels . T h e ch i ld ren organ ized their o w n c lass i f i cat ion o f the v o w e l sounds on the basis o f their pe rce ived p lace o f art iculat ion i n the mouth . T h i s strategy revealed a surpr is ing ab i l i t y o n the part o f ch i ld ren to hear and m a k e judgements about speech sounds. T h e y used v o w e l s i n the appropriate p laces, but the vowels were not a lways the expected ones. T a b l e 4 l ists t yp ica l short v o w e l substitutions. T a b l e 4: P a i r i n g o f L a x (short) V o w e l s w i t h Let ter -names Let ter S o u n d E x a m p l e s A /£/ as i n bed M A S (messy) wat (went) prazan(present) E 111 as i n hit P E C (p ick) H E M (h im) E (in) fen(fr iend) I laJ as i n pot g i n i (gonna) W I S (wants) B I D M (bottom) O Ivl as i n m u d JoP( jump) p o i (pul l ) drone (drunk) W o r d segmentat ion was general ly , a l though not a l w a y s , i n ev idence dur ing the th i rd leve l o f wr i t ing . O f the e leven ch i ld ren , n ine were separat ing their words before o r around the t ime they began incorporat ing short v o w e l sounds i n their wr i t ing . T h e r e m a i n i n g t w o ch i ld ren showed w o r d separations a f e w weeks after they began representing short v o w e l sounds. M a n y ch i ld ren demonstrated their new understanding 77 o f w o r d s as separate units by insert ing spaces o r markers (e.g. dots , slashes) (see F igu re 27) . F i g u r e 2 7 : W o r d s as separate units : - - A / V \ T \ -w- m 1 V . 2-H A / / A / . Transcr ip t ion : I saw B a t m a n . B a t m a n went to the Batcar . T h e n B a t m a n went to the B a t cave . A s w i t h a l l aspects o f w r i t i n g , development was gradual . M o v e m e n t f r o m one phase o f learn ing to another was not sudden. C h i l d r e n w h o s h o w e d exaggerated spac ing between words were just as l i k e l y to co l lapse words back together again (see F igu re 28) . F igu re 2 8 : S p a c i n g uTTcY Transc r ip t ion : . . .and the m u d puddle is gone. I don ' t k n o w the m u d pudd le c o m e back . S o m e ch i ld ren understood that words shou ld be separated but were s t i l l puzz led as to where those separations occur red . Tab le 5 l ists examples o f the ch i ld ren 's overgenera l i zat ions . 78 T a b l e 5 : G e n e r a l i z i n g Concepts o f W o r d Separat ion In f luenced by sy l lab icat ion Inf luenced by p h o n o l o g y a W a y (away) A d t (ate it) too day (today) Itbt ( l itt le bit) tow day (today) aletobt (a l i t t le bit) a gen 's (against) P o A T M (upon a t ime) r a bo ( ra inbow) bet fo le (beautiful) up P o n (upon) A n o t h e r w a y i n w h i c h v o w e l sounds were perce ived by y o u n g ch i ld ren was i l lust rated i n F i g u r e 2 8 . The y o u n g wri ter wrote " D o C " to represent the w o r d "don ' t " . T h e letter " C " w i t h its sound /k/ was a reasonable substitute for the sound N as both were p roduced o r a l l y i n a s imi la r manner . T h e nasal M, however , was omi t ted s ince it was d i f f i c u l t fo r the y o u n g wr i ter at this l eve l to ident i fy the sound /n/ w h e n it was f o l l o w e d by the sound /t/. S ince the nasal izat ion was more o f an in f luence o n the v o w e l than o n the consonant , he assumed that what he heard i n " d o n ' t " was a pecu l iar v o w e l rather than an extra consonant. A n o t h e r l i t t le b o y demonstrated this same t h i n k i n g (see F i g u r e 29) . F i g u r e 2 9 : O m i s s i o n o f nasals T ranscr ip t ion : wqf t o . M i y g e r a M 1 w e n t t o m y g ™ ^ ™ ' * house. 79 H e wrote "wat" to represent the w o r d "went" . T h e l o n g v o w e l /ey/ rep laced the short v o w e l lei. T h i s was l o g i c a l w i th in his terms o f reference because the art iculat ion points fo r the t w o v o w e l sounds are i n the same place i n the m o u t h . T h e nasal was again d r o p p e d and assumed to be a mere var iat ion o f the v o w e l /ey/. O f t e n , the ch i ld ren ' s invented spe l l ing d i ve rged f r o m convent iona l spe l l ing because they perce ive oddit ies o f pronunciat ion that adults m a y not. T a b l e 6 l ists examples i l lus t ra t ing h o w the ch i ld ren spel l words as they hear them and not as adults see them. T a b l e 6: D i g r a p h Consonants D i g r a p h s tr dr c h sh sc/sk Sounds Ici as i n c h i c k v 1)1 as i n j u m p /j/ as i n " G " l\l as i n j u m p /s/ as i n sun Igf as i n gone E x a m p l e s chran (train) M o n C h r e e y j o l (Mont rea l ) j rao (draw) j r v v (dr iv ing) G a m (drum) G R A G I N (dragon) j i k (ch ick) tej (teach) siep (ship) se (she) G R O Q (scored) sgrer (scared) sgiat (skate) G e n e r a l l y , c h i l d r e n at this l eve l used the lower case letters but cont inued to capi ta l i ze the words they cons idered most important . T h e y were usua l l y names, the f irst w o r d i n a story and other s igni f icant nouns. 80 T h e Content T h e ch i ld ren ' s w r i t i n g i n L e v e l 3 was increas ing i n length and c o m p l e x i t y as they ga ined more cont ro l over the spe l l ing fo rms and as they became more prof ic ient i n their o r a l language. S t i l l , they were not e x p l o r i n g topics as thoroughly i n their w r i t i n g as they were able to in their oral descr ipt ions o f their stories. O n e obv ious reason was that t a l k i n g is easier than wr i t ing . A n o t h e r poss ib le reason was that the ch i ld ren regarded i l lustrat ions and a c c o m p a n y i n g conversat ions as integral parts o f their w r i t i ng . W h e n asked "what happened at the e n d ? " , one c h i l d responded read i l y and sat isfactor i ly . H o w e v e r , w h e n asked i f what he sa id was i n his w r i t i n g , he answered " N o , I just t o l d y o u " . An oth e r c h i l d , w h e n asked about a poss ib le so lut ion to a p r o b l e m i n a story , po inted to the picture and proceeded to m a k e one up . She added to her story verba l l y but felt no need to inc lude the same i n f o r m a t i o n i n her wr i t ing . G e n e r a l l y , the ch i ld ren at this l eve l d i d not wr i te for an audience other than a s ign i f icant adult . O n c e the ch i ld ren shared their w r i t i n g w i t h m e o r another teacher, that was the e n d o f the story. These ch i ld ren appeared to ga in more sat isfact ion f r o m the w r i t i n g process i tself . Nevertheless , w h e n d i scuss ing their stories and r e v i e w i n g di f ferent opt ions f o r their stories, they are prepar ing fo r a later t ime w h e n they w i l l l o o k for a w i d e r audience whose needs must be cons idered . T h e y were gradual ly m o v i n g towards a more decontextual ized language i n both their o ra l and wr i t ten language. In L e v e l 3, the ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing g rew i n f l uency , f l e x i b i l i t y and or ig ina l i t y . A t the same t ime , there were per iods w h e n it appeared that a c h i l d either regressed or 81 became ex t remely repet i t ive. O n c loser analys is , however , I not i ced that these phases o f l i m i t e d o r no progress a lways preceded a major breakthrough i n w r i t i n g format or i n spe l l ing . L e v e l 3 writers were beginning to read convent iona l l y rather than "pretend-read" ( D o b s o n , 1987) . A l l e leven ch i ld ren were able to choose a b o o k appropriate to their l eve l and read it independendy . T h e processes i n v o l v e d i n learn ing to speak and i n learn ing to read and wri te are very s imi lar . T h e deve lopment i n one area supports and re inforces the learn ing in the other (DeStephano, 1978). F o r the ch i ld ren at this l e v e l , there was so m u c h more in format ion to integrate and to synthesize than before. M a n y ch i ld ren deve loped c o p i n g strategies. H o w e v e r , as they advanced i n one aspect o f their w r i t i n g , they m a y appear to have regressed in another. O n e c h i l d e lected to have certain days w h e n he kept to a spec i f ic sentence structure, thereby f ree ing h imse l f to concentrate o n pract is ing his vocabu lary and o n his spe l l i ng (see F i g u r e 30). F i g u r e 3 0 : L a n g u a g e patterns T ransc r ip t ion : A apple is red . A sky is b lue . A e g g is wh i te . A p l u m is purp le . A m o o n is y e l l o w . A water is b lue . A ra in drops are grey. J L 3 1 " 5 S K ( ) V FT~nonrF IA: 3L ~rno6n_~~/5 7TTO Q Z ~ " W n -tT Bn I lor " T O "in- 1 ^ CLEI 82 A n o t h e r c h i l d wrote m a n y variat ions o f the same story. These strategies a l l o w e d t ime for i n d i v i d u a l growth i n spec i f ic areas. T h e fact that the ch i ld ren were encouraged to w o r k out their o w n learn ing schedules a n d patterns o f learn ing helped them to become conf ident writers. T h e c h i l d r e n cont inued to wr i te , somet imes spending days o v e r one p iece. The i r stories ref lected their g r o w i n g experiences w i t h books . M a n y ch i ld ren began their stories i n convent iona l storybook manner (see F igu re 31) . F igu re 3 1 : Story convent ions Transcr ipt ion : upon a t ime there \(\X (\(A) d a 2 . 3 l i k e d to s w i m . T h e y began to deve lop their o w n styles. O n e l i t t le boy wrote a m o n o l o g u e complete w i t h g o o d a n d b a d characters, and a p r o b l e m and a so lut ion (see F i g u r e 32) . F i g u r e 3 2 : M o n o l o g u e I .Do/ .The .ghod il Ul) U. BcT.cqn VU" i f V .Jef.WC/f. ..?To Help me. To (yef 1 V i i lo Uo Transc r ip t ion : O n e day the ghost want the jet. W h a t w i l l I d o ? I can ' t get the ghost. H e is b i g . I k n o w what to do. I w i l l get B a t c a r to help m e to get m y jet back . 83 A t this l e v e l , a seventh category o f w r i t i n g topics was added. T h e ch i ld ren 's m a n y b o o k exper iences inc luded non - f i c t ion books . E x p o s i t o r y w r i t i n g began to appear. A f t e r a f e w days o f reading and ta lk ing about whales , some ch i ld ren chose to wr i te about what they had learned (see F igu re 33). F i g u r e 3 3 : E x p o s i t o r y w r i t i n g \^QjfQ$£^v rc.ilara.ql i Transcr ip t ion : W h a l e s are m a m m a l s . F ^ ~ V ~ r ( T V V ) \ U V r r ^ ^ ^ i r y T h e y have b lowho les . T h e y or?.?, nc wo'r in 1CT ' breathe up (b low out) the water so they d o n ' t d ie . W h a l e s have babies i n their s tomach and their f ins help to s w i m . T h e C h i l d r e n T w o ch i ld ren stood out as hav ing " h o l d i n g patterns" i n L e v e l 3 - that i s , they h e l d one aspect o f their w r i t i n g constant to buy t ime to exp lo re others. W h i l e the other c h i l d r e n exper ienced short per iods o f this h o l d i n g pattern, these t w o mainta ined theirs fo r months . C i s y was a very verbal l itt le g i r l w h o l o v e d to talk. T o her, w r i t i n g meant m o r e opportuni t ies to talk. H e r ear l ier wr i t i ng , however , was f requent ly descr ibed as " r a m b l i n g " as she constant ly strayed f r o m her p o i n t A t the time, her w r i t i n g ref lected her speech. In contrast, her w r i t i n g in L e v e l 3 was character ized by a very structured 84 story format and by the repeated use o f sight words made up p r i m a r i l y o f peop le 's names. W h e n C i s y began demonstrat ing her tentative understanding o f short v o w e l sounds, she a lso began wr i t ing stories us ing her c lassmates ' names. U p o n c h e c k i n g the data, I f o u n d that a lmost 8 0 % o f her w o r k , c lass i f i ed as L e v e l 3 wr i t i ng , cons isted o f stories about her f r iends o r her f a m i l y . B y restr ict ing her top ics , C i s y was able to pract ise her sight words and produce fa i r l y convent iona l l o o k i n g pieces o f wr i t ing . A t the same t ime, she f reed herself to concentrate o n the spel l ings o f a very l i m i t e d number o f u n k n o w n words (see F igure 34) . F i g u r e 3 4 : N a m e s as a constant S o m e days , she was able to produce w r i t i n g c o m p o s e d o f o n l y m e m o r i z e d sight words . I cons idered her cor rect ly spe l led words as m e m o r i z e d units because her invented spel l ings demonstrated o n l y sound strategies. There w a s no ev idence o f a v i s u a l strategy other than i n her sight words . U p o n c loser analys is o f C i s y ' s w r i t i n g samples , I not i ced that she was w o r k i n g hard to d i s c o v e r the system i n E n g l i s h orthography. U n t i l she m o v e d into the fourth l e v e l , C i s y struggled w i t h the same words and gradual ly re f ined the spe l l i ng o f those words . T h e w o r d "beaut i fu l " appeared f irst as " B u t a i f , then " b e d f l " , " B e d f o u " , T ranscr ip t ion : T a n i a and M a r i a A n g e l a and m e are p h i y i n g i n the park . 85 " B t b o l e " , "bet f o l e " , "betdfole" . W h i l e the f ina l vers ion was not convent iona l , i t was a g o o d phonet ic representation. It even demonstrated a b e g i n n i n g awareness o f the s i lent " e " v o w e l marker . C i s y ' s t ight ly restr icted content permit ted her ample t ime to deve lop a g o o d understanding o f the E n g l i s h fo rms. N a n a was another one u t i l i z ing this very ef f ic ient strategy. N a n a was the c h i l d w h o wrote the alphabet repeatedly unt i l her f i rst let ter -sound m a t c h . B y late A p r i l , in her K indergar ten year , N a n a was already in the th i rd leve l o f w r i t i n g development (see F i g u r e 35) . F i g u r e 3 5 : Sentence patterns T ranscr ip t ion : I a m out 0 Po^ U - f LCXLR t 0 pick a flower. Shor t l y after, N a n a began her " I . M " stories. She went f r o m p i c k i n g f lowers to s i n g i n g , to w a l k i n g , to s w i m m i n g and so o n . That one sentence pattern dominated N a n a ' s w r i t i n g to June o f that year. N a n a , l i k e C i s y , channe l led her energy into d e v e l o p i n g her spe l l ing strategies. In September o f G r a d e O n e , N a n a was back to w r i t i n g f reely o n m a n y topics. S h e wrote severa l stories i n the first month back to schoo l i n c l u d i n g her vers ion o f T h e  Three L i t t l e P i g s (see F igu re 36) . F igu re 3 6 : T h e three l i t t le pigs -~X7\i i ——Awl—r-'5 = Transc r ip t ion : T h e three l i t t le p i g went to the b i g p i g ' s house and they eat the w o l f a l l up. 86 W h a t was b e c o m i n g more evident i n this study was that ch i ld ren have an enormous capac i ty for learn ing and a lways approach their tasks inte l l igent ly . T h e c h i l d r e n w h o were expected and permitted to d i scover their o w n route to learn ing a wr i t ten language, a lways d i d . L E V E L 4 - T rans i t iona l A t this l e v e l , the ch i ld ren underwent a transit ion f r o m re l iance o n phono logy o r sound for representing words i n spe l l ing to greater re l iance o n v i sua l and m o r p h o l o g i c a l representations w h i c h incorporated aspects o f g r a m m a r and m e a n i n g (see f igure 37) . Contrast this w r i t i n g by N a n a i n F igure 37 wi th one o f her ear l ier pieces (see F igure T h e F o r m F i g u r e 3 7 : T rans i t iona l spe l l ing T ransc r ip t ion : A bee h i ve A l l the bee are s leep ing 38) . F igu re 3 8 : Phonet ic spe l l ing T ransc r ip t ion : T h e bear d raw a ho le . 87 N a n a wrote one p iece i n June o f her K indergar ten year and the other i n N o v e m b e r o f her G r a d e O n e year. O b v i o u s l y , the second sample (F igure 38) was her ear l ier p iece. In that w r i t i n g sample , she used p r i m a r i l y an audi tory strategy; she attempted to represent every surface sound that she heard in each w o r d . It was o n this basis that she represented the sound /dr/ as /j/, and assigned t w o loi sounds for the w o r d "ho le" . A t the same time, the w o r d "the" was str ict ly a m e m o r i z e d unit . In her later wr i t ing sample (f igure 37) , N a n a h a d largely g i ven up her o r ig ina l le t ter -sound strategy fo r spe l l ing . In its p lace , she began to e m p l o y features o f standard E n g l i s h . H o w e v e r , a l though she had begun to not ice and to use certain features o f standard spe l l ing i n her wr i t i ng , she d i d not a lways use them cor recdy . T h e si lent " e " was used to m a r k the l o n g v o w e l sound i n "n i te" . T h e v o w e l marker c lear ly ind ica ted a v i s u a l strategy s ince the marker , i tself , had no sound . A l t h o u g h N a n a d i d not s p e l l "n ight" convent iona l l y , she was m a k i n g some inte l l igent general izat ions about E n g l i s h spe l l ing . W o r d s w i t h i rregular spe l l ing patterns were usual ly m i s s p e l l e d by the ch i ld ren but their m i s s p e l l i n g had the effect o f m a k i n g the spe l l ing o f the w o r d " l o o k the w a y they s h o u l d " ( Temple , Nathan & B u r n s , 1982) . N a n a was i n a stage o f exper imentat ion w i t h standard spe l l ing fo rms , a stage c o m m o n l y referred to as transit ional spe l l ing (Gentry , 1982; T e m p l e et a l , 1982). T rans i t iona l spel lers s h o w ev idence o f a n e w v i sua l strategy; they are m o v i n g f r o m p h o n o l o g i c a l to m o r p h o l o g i c a l and v isual spe l l ing . A l t h o u g h transit ional spellers no longer re ly o n a sounding -out technique, they nevertheless cont inue to depend o n a phonet ic strategy fo r unfami l ia r words . In N a n a ' s w r i t i n g sample (F igure 37) , she f e l l back o n a phonet ic strategy in her representation o f " s lppe" for the w o r d "s leep ing" . 88 At the same time, she demonstrated a growing awareness of morphemes when she added "-ing" to that word which reflected a visual strategy. Nana, while writing, explained that there were two ways to spell "sleeping", "slppe" and "slppeing". Morphemes are meaning-bearing units; bound morphemes are parts of words, which have meaning yet cannot stand alone. The more common morphemes used by young children were "-ing", "-ed", "-s", "-ly", "-er", "-est". The children were demonstrating an understanding of morphemes, or morphological representations, when they assigned "-ed" to words as a tense marker regardless of how it was pronounced (eg. jumped A/, tasted /ad/). Occasionally, they overgeneralized as in the following examples: wond (won); singed (sang); sleped (slept). This overgeneralization was also characteristic of ESL children's oral language development. The awareness of certain spelling patterns also resulted in many overgeneralizations (e.g. sail = saw, rallck = rock). Recall of sight words was not always accurate (see Figure 39). Figure 39: Recall of sight words Transcription: The mother Bear made porridge the three bowls was hot so the three bears went for a walk. 89 In F i g u r e 39, C i s y s h o w e d she used both sight and sound strategies. In her spel l ings o f "mother" and " m a d e " , she demonstrated her k n o w l e d g e o f two sight words but e m b e d d e d one sight w o r d i n a larger w o r d and reversed the letters i n the other. She a lso used a k n o w n sight w o r d (saw) to represent a d i f ferent w o r d (so). T h e v o w e l m a r k e r i n "wente" , and the use o f part icular spe l l ing patterns i n " b o l l s " (bowls) and i n " w o c k " (walk) were m o r e examples o f the overgeneral izat ions i n her v i sua l spel l ings. C i s y , l i k e N a n a (F igure 37), also demonstrated a g r o w i n g understanding o f narrative formats w i t h her i n c l u s i o n o f a title. T h e c h i l d r e n revea led an awareness o f three v o w e l markers . T h e y app l ied their concepts o f v o w e l markers very general ly as a strategy f o r s p e l l i n g words when the s p e l l i n g have not been m e m o r i z e d . In most cases, these markers created spel l ings that were eas i l y read and understood by adults. T a b l e 7 l ists examples o f the ch i ld ren 's overgeneral izat ions o f the three v o w e l markers : the si lent " e " ; the d o u b l e - v o w e l c o m b i n a t i o n ; and the "y" as a v o w e l (e.g. p lay , key ) . T a b l e 7: V o w e l M a r k e r s S i lent E D o u b l e vowe ls V o w e l Y wate (wait) thae (they) thay (they) p i k e (p ick) p lae (play) m a y k e i n g (making) nite (night) l i ek ( l ike) nayt (night) K n i t e (night) nead (need) ou tsayd (outside) wase (was) wean (when) s a y d (said) care (car) t i e m (time) i n S i y d ( inside) 90 T a b l e 7, C o n t i n u e d eate (eat) m a i k (make) w i y t (white) w n d e (wind) siep (ship) b i y i n g (buying) ware (wear) f i y r (fire) c ibe (crib) speys (space) f reande (fr iend) f a m o l e y ( fami ly ) V i s u a l approx imat ions occurred more frequently . O c c a s i o n a l l y , the ch i ld ren used k n o w n w o r d units w i t h i n longer words (e.g. f ry day = F r i d a y , m y i n = m i n e , wayo ls = whales) . O ther times, ch i ld ren transposed letters w i th in a w o r d . T a b l e 8 l ists examples o f c h i l d r e n ' s v i s u a l spel l ings based o n their sight words . T a b l e 8: V i s u a l Spe l l ings A p p r o x i m a t i o n s o f sight words s iad (said) uot (out) O e n (one) tow (two) u o y (you) m l i k ( m i l k ) s i w m (sw im) d w o n (down) candys (candies) 91 It appeared that transit ion to standard spe l l ing occur red as the ch i ld ren became m o r e exper ienced readers. T h e better readers reread and se l f -corrected their w r i t i n g more of ten. T h e y detected m o r p h o l o g i c a l rules i n their read ing and app l ied them i n their w r i t i ng . C . C h o m s k y (1973) descr ibed this as a shift f r o m a phonetic to a l e x i c a l interpretation o f the spe l l ing system. T h e ch i ld ren also became aware o f punctuat ion a n d exper imented w i t h per iods, quest ion m a r k s , exc lamat ion marks and apostrophes. Overgenera l i zat ions occur red i n this area a l so ; however , they were a lways rece ived w i t h respect and encouragement T h e fact that they were us ing punctuat ion often ind icated a g r o w i n g understanding o f the convent ions o f pr int (see F igure 40) . F i g u r e 4 0 : Punctuat ion T ranscr ip t ions : to m y house H e brought the present. I l i k e Santa 's c o m i n g Santa went to m y house W i t h the advent o f v i s u a l spe l l ing , some ch i ld ren began to show representations o f the nasals /n/ and ImJ (see F igure 41) . 92 F igu re 4 1 : N a s a l s T ranscr ip t ion : \^:::MMpum^::z^ T h e rabbit w i n a e g g L W J D T ^yn^M-W^ 7 ' O^W ' t - I w i n two. I w i n a car ana and the ghost want m y car. I w i l l h ide but I can ' t h ide . B u t I c a n get h i m ! Y e s I c a n ! In F i g u r e 4 1 , the rat io between correct ly spe l led words and invented spel l ings was h i g h (22:3) . N o t a l l o f K e n ' s w r i t i n g at this l e v e l s h o w e d such a h igh rat io. Never the less , h is sample serves to i l lustrate h o w ch i ld ren 's sight vocabu lary had g r o w n s ince their tentative beginnings as far back as i n L e v e l 2 (see ear l ier e x a m p l e , F igu re 20) . In the analys is o f L e v e l 4 wr i t ing samples , the number o f co r recdy spel led words was a factor to be cons idered i n the c lass i f i cat ion process. D u r i n g the ear l ier leve ls , the ch i ld ren re f ined their invented spel l ings f r o m the in i t ia l le t ter -sound correspondence i n letter strings to part ia l representations o f words to total m a p p i n g o f a l l surface sounds. W i t h each ref inement , they establ ished strategies w h i c h were ef fect ive enough to d iscourage regressions to p rev ious , less ef f ic ient strategies. F o r the ear l ier leve ls , sight words were noted but v i r tua l l y ignored as they brought l i tde insight into the ch i ld ren ' s understanding o f E n g l i s h orthography w h i c h , at the time, was large ly phonet ica l l y -based . 9 3 M o v e m e n t s between the earl ier levels were re lat ive ly smooth and consistent as they i n v o l v e d gradual ref inements o f auditory strategies. M o v e m e n t towards a v i s u a l strategy const i tuted a shift i n ch i ld ren 's understanding o f convent iona l wr i t ing and a new conceptual i zat ion o f E n g l i s h spel l ings . H o w e v e r , this process was very tentative and gradual . O f t e n , signs o f transit ional spel l ings were a lmost lost i n a p iece o f w r i t i n g demonstrat ing predominant ly phonet ic strategies. There appeared to be a m u c h greater over lap between L e v e l s 3 and 4 w h e n the ch i ld ren ' s spel l ings were gradual ly e v o l v i n g and m o v i n g f r o m a re l iance on sound strategies to a re l iance o n v i s u a l strategies. T h i s per iod , w h e n the occas iona l signs o f v i s u a l spe l l i ng occur red but w h e n phonet ic strategies p reva i led , was ind icated w i t h a dotted l i n e p reced ing the L e v e l 4 category i n A p p e n d i x A . T h e L e v e l 4 c lass i f i cat ion was ass igned w h e n the ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing demonstrated a heavier dependence o n v i s u a l strategies than upon sound strategies. T o be cons idered at this l e v e l , the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g need to show transit ional spel l ings m i x e d i n w i t h co r recdy spe l led words whose fo rms the c h i l d r e n m a y have either accurately invented o r m e m o r i z e d (Temple , Nathan & B u r r i s , 1982) . It was recogn i zed that the ch i ld ren w h o wrote "safe" p ieces , those w h o restr icted their topics and c o n f i n e d their vocabulary to s imp le words , were more l i k e l y to present themselves as transit ional spellers earl ier than those w h o d idn ' t . T h e f luent writers w i t h the more sophist icated vocabulary , by necessity , resorted more often to prev ious phonet ic strategies. H o w e v e r , it d i d not seem that this d istorted the o v e r a l l p icture o f ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g development nor their general patterns o f progress ions. 9 4 L e v e l 4 was a t ime o f integrating sight and sound strategies i n the spe l l ing o f words . Th i s integrat ion was c r u c i a l to future development . W h i l e t ransit ional spel lers were aware o f the features o f standard wr i t ing , they had not yet integrated a l l o f these features into a systematic understanding o f E n g l i s h spe l l ing that w o r k e d . In de te rmin ing w h e n the ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g c o u l d be c lass i f ied as L e v e l 4 wr i t i ng , I cont inued to f o l l o w G e n t r y ' s (1982) guidel ines i n order to r e m a i n consistent w i t h the intent o f this study and w i t h m y attempt to f o l l o w D o b s o n ' s (1983) invest igat ion o f y o u n g writers as c lose ly as poss ib le . B y the end o f the Grade O n e year, n ine o f the e leven ch i ld ren were i n L e v e l 4 . O f these nine c h i l d r e n , four entered the fourth l e v e l i n the f i n a l month o f schoo l . T h e Content F o r the purpose o f d i scuss ion , I have made a d is t inct ion between transit ional spe l l ing and transit ional wr i t i ng . A s prev ious ly ment ioned , the ch i ld ren w h o wrote short, s i m p l i f i e d pieces were more easi ly ident i f ied as t ransit ional spellers since the analysis o f u n d e r l y i n g strategies was l i m i t e d to a fewer number o f invented spel l ings. H o w e v e r , I be l ieve that the y o u n g ch i ld ren w h o wrote f reely and f u l l y u t i l i zed the vocabulary and structures i n their oral language were the more f luent and advanced writers (see F igu re 42) . 95 F i g u r e 4 2 : B e g i n n i n g s o f transit ional wr i t ing Ihp /i ""UP Inof cn ErtK- T f W 1 o\' lie Sirp and i t s ^ v ^ . V need VL«<, <,ons fVj . V rjor h i m OP 1 V Transc r ip t ion : T h e F i n a l Batt le V O n c e a ship landed o n E a r t h . There was red m e n was c o m i n g out o f the ship and it was V . T h e y need f o o d . T h e y eat peop le m e a t M a r k was Sean's f r iend . V got h i m fo r f o o d . T h e face is mask . It 's p last ic . Inside, i t ' s ug ly . It's a creature. V was tak ing over the w o r l d for f o o d . A d r i a n ' s w r i t i n g sample showed the beginnings o f t ransi t ional spe l l ing . O f the 2 3 invented spel l ings , A d r i a n re l ied o n a phonet ic strategy fo r 17 and a v i s u a l strategy fo r 6. S i n c e the phonet ic strategies p reva i led , his co r recdy spe l led words were not g i v e n as m u c h cons iderat ion . T h i s was consistent w i t h m y process i n ana lyz ing m y data. In ear l ier d iscussions o f L e v e l 2 and L e v e l 3 wr i ters , I had ment ioned that some ch i ld ren acqu i red a core o f sight words w h i c h appeared to be m e m o r i z e d as they general ly s h o w e d n o other signs o f v i sua l strategies (see ear l ier e x a m p l e , F igure 34) . Therefore , it was more product ive to focus p r i m a r i l y o n the misspe l l ings when attempting to d iscover the strategies the ch i ld ren e m p l o y e d and the concepts under ly ing their w r i t i n g . 96 A d r i a n ' s part ia l rete l l ing o f a te lev is ion m i n i - s e r i e s , T h e F i n a l B a t d e V , was incomple te but the m a i n ingredients were there. T h e red u n i f o r m e d al iens, V , were d i sgu ised as Ear thmen i n an attempt to take over the planet so that the V -creatures c o u l d have the Ear th people as their f o o d supply . T h e c o n c l u s i o n to this d i l e m m a was m i s s i n g because A d r i a n had yet to see the f i n a l show. C o m p a r e this w r i t i n g w i t h N a n a ' s w r i t i n g sample (see F igu re 43) . F igu re 4 3 : N a n a ' s wr i t i ng , a compar ison JV\fc o n 3 my l o r - D c L P i c k e d Iv.eJ- QkOa --S.ceck . d.rjd rr,y t>rocJr Vr>st<*ol<„ Transc r ip t ion : M e and m y brother p layed h ide -and -seek and m y brother was h id ing . H e was h i d i n g i n the haystack. A t the time o f this wr i t ing sample, N a n a had a l ready been ident i f ied as a transit ional spel ler fo r a lmost four months. In her story, N a n a and her brother were p l a y i n g h ide -and -seek and her brother h i d in the haystack. W h i l e both w r i t i n g samples were c h a r m i n g , the f i rst sample (F igure 42) perhaps was more c h a l l e n g i n g i n terms o f ident i f y ing k e y points i n the story and o rgan i z ing that i n fo rmat ion . In terms o f content, A d r i a n ' s w r i t i n g was more representative o f the beginnings o f t ransit ional wr i t ing . T rans i t iona l wr i t ing can be descr ibed as w r i t i n g w h i c h is i n transit ion between "talk wr i t ten d o w n " and b o o k - l i k e language. T h e c h i l d r e n were s h o w i n g signs o f 97 transitional writing at the time when they began to increase the lengths of their writing pieces. They intuitively recognized that when they wanted to talk about details or events beyond what the illustrations provided, there had to be some internal organization in their writing to carry that information in a meaningful and cohesive fashion. They also began to demonstrate an awareness that their writing must be able to stand alone without support from their illustrations. Many children at this level elected not to draw pictures or chose to illustrate after the writing was completed. Through their reading experiences and their increasing exposure to many kinds of books, the children began to induce the rules or conventions of written expression. They began to elaborate on what they had to say. Instead of writing only an introduction, a conclusion or a summary statement, the children attempted to develop their writing to lead into a conclusion. Personal views were expressed and supported. Storybook conventions were recognized and adhered to. Over the years, I had not observed many Grade One children whom I would have described as transitional writers. However, many children were beginning to show signs of transitional writing during that first grade. Again, learning is not a linear process; movement from one level of development to another is gradual and overlapping. Experiences with books and exposure to different kinds of writing seemed to play an important part in the children's development of composing strategies. Harste, Woodward and Burke (1984) suggested that perhaps experience rather than intellect and maturation, is the greatest factor in writing development. 98 T h e C h i l d r e n Y o u n g ch i ld ren often assumed a shared context w i t h their audience both i n their o ra l conversat ions and i n their wr i t ten c o m m u n i c a t i o n s regardless o f whether that assumpt ion was warranted or not. T h e y f a i l e d to take into account the fact that some o f their audience m a y not have shared in their experiences and , therefore, requi red m u c h more background in format ion than someone w h o had. T h e y took for granted that their op in ions and their v iewpoints were universal and need not be exp la ined . T h e ch i ld ren in the study group ref lected this same behav iour and attitude. In conversat ion , they p rov ided necessary in fo rmat ion and elaborated on their subject when quest ioned. D u r i n g wr i t ing sessions, there was the same k i n d o f d ia logue. T h e ch i ld ren ' s w r i t i n g acted as a conversat ional opener. T h e y e laborated further o n what they read and c la r i f i ed speci f ic points. In i t ia l l y , I p rompted and probed fo r more i n f o r m a t i o n to get at the intended m e a n i n g o f the wr i t ing . There was no attempt to have the ch i ld ren add details to their wr i t ing . I responded o n l y to the content o f the w r i t i n g as I w o u l d i n any normal conversat ion. T h r o u g h their g r o w i n g experiences w i th books and the m a n y discussions ar is ing f r o m their w r i t i n g , the ch i ldren began to anticipate m y needs and volunteered relevant in fo rmat ion o ra l l y before any questions were asked. O v e r time, what they were able to express and the manner i n w h i c h they d i d were ref lected i n their wr i t ing . V l a d o , w h i l e i n Grade O n e , deve loped an o v e r w h e l m i n g interest i n hockey games. A r o u n d M a r c h , he began to keep his teachers and classmates i n f o r m e d o f the hockey results a lmost o n a da i l y basis. T h e f o l l o w i n g examples i l lustrate his increasing sense o f aud ience , his g r o w i n g understanding o f h o w wri t ten language l o o k e d , what it sounded l i k e , and h o w it was used. W r i t i n g Samples S a m p l e 1: I w e l l te l l y o u hou w e l l p l y e at Satrday the E n m i t h O a l j r o a gens Sneluwes B l u s S a m p l e 2 : I w e l l te l l y o u hou wane last nayt T h e V a n k u v r C a n o k s a gen's C o r gory F l a m p s the F l a m p wene 5 - 1 and the V a n k u v r C a n o k s are out the P l j o f s Transcr ipt ions I w i l l te l l y o u w h o w i l l p lay at Saturday. T h e E d m o n t o n O i le rs against St. L o u i s B l u e s . I w i l l te l l y o u w h o w o n last night. T h e V a n c o u v e r C a n u c k s against C a l g a r y F l a m e s . T h e F l a m e s w i n 5 - 1 and the V a n c o u v e r C a n u c k s are out the p l a y - o f f s . S a m p l e 3 : I w e l l te l l y o u W h o w e l l p l ye today the E d n m o t o n O ley rs a gans M a n e e s o o u d a Norstorss I T h i n k E d n m o t o n O ley rs w e l l w e n and the N - y I lendrs a gans M o n C h r e e y j o l Cenireajens I D o u n t n o w w h o w e l l w e n there to g o o d H o k e i y m a y b e y M o n C h r e e y j o l Cenareajyensce i n M o n C h r e e y j l o l C o I w i l l te l l y o u w h o w i l l p lay today. T h e E d m o n t o n O i l e r s against M i n n e s o t a Northstars . I th ink E d m o n t o n O i l e r s w i l l w i n . A n d the N e w Y o r k Islanders against M o n t r e a l Canad ians . I don ' t k n o w w h o w i l l w i n . T h e y ' r e two g o o d h o c k e y (teams). M a y b e M o n t r e a l Canadians i n M o n t r e a l c o u l d . S a m p l e 4 : to M o r o w the N e w - Y o r k Ilendrs T o m o r r o w the N e w Y o r k Islanders w i l l p lay a gen 's E d m o t o n O ly je rs A n d y M o o g or grent fo jhur W a y n e G e k s y and j r y k r y i e o r m y best plors and M i k e bossy E d m o t e n is t r ig to get the Se lny C a p w i l l p l a y against E d m o n t o n O i le rs . A n d y M o o g or Grant Fuhr , W a y n e G r e t s k y and Jar i K u r r y are m y best players and M i k e B o s s y . E d m o n t o n is t ry ing to get the Stanley C u p . S a m p l e 5 : A t satr day E d m o t o n Oly jers p l a y a gans N e w - y o r k Ilendrs It was 5 - 2 and I was for E d m o t o n O lers O le rs w a n the S a n l i C a p A t Saturday, E d m o n t o n O i l e r s p lay against N e w Y o r k Islanders It was 5 - 2 and I was f o r E d m o n t o n O i l e r s . O i le rs w o n the Stanley C u p . 100 These w r i t i n g samples were written w i t h i n a t w o - m o n t h span. E a c h was o n the same subject matter but there were quantitative and qual i tat ive d i f ferences a m o n g them. T h e f i rst sample ment ioned o n l y w h o was p l a y i n g ; it was an in t roduct ion . T h e second in t roduced the teams, the results o f the game and the consequence fo r the los ing team. T h e th i rd sample int roduced the teams w h o were to p l a y a n d predicted a w inner for one g a m e but tentatively guessed at the w i n n e r for the other because the two c o m p e t i n g teams were so equal i n abi l i ty . T h e fourth p iece demonstrated a more convent iona l in t roduct ion , gave an op in ion on w h o the best p layers were , and exp la ined the purpose o f these games. The f i f th i n c l u d e d a personal stance, p rov ided the essent ial i n f o r m a t i o n and the c o n c l u s i o n . In terms o f content, it was fa i r l y complete . E v e n t u a l l y , V l a d o w o u l d be able to put elements o f sample 3, 4, and 5 together to p roduce a w e l l thought out report. W h e n V l a d o began to prov ide more i n f o r m a t i o n , to venture op in ions , and to e x p l a i n cause and effect and future goals , he was demonstrat ing a g r o w i n g understanding o f what ef fect ive writers do . A s w i t h his spe l l i ng attempts, he was a p p r o x i m a t i n g adult mode ls . It seemed that V l a d o was b e c o m i n g aware o f the convent ions i n c o m p o s i t i o n and style i n m u c h the same w a y y o u n g writers became aware o f spe l l i ng convent ions . T h e ch i ld ren w h o were demonstrat ing their awareness o f the d i f ferences between " ta lk" and wr i t ten language, w h o were m o v i n g towards decontextua l i zed language, were the ch i ldren w h o s h o w e d the beginnings o f transit ional w r i t i n g . 101 S u m m a r y F o u r leve ls o f wr i t ing development were d iscussed us ing G e n t r y ' s (1982) spe l l i ng stages as the starting point . The f i f th l eve l w h i c h incorporates standard E n g l i s h orthography was not reached by the ch i ld ren and , therefore, was omit ted . D u r i n g the K indergar ten year, the ch i ld ren gradual ly re f ined their strategies and made c loser and c loser approximat ions toward convent iona l spe l l ing . T h e i r w r i t i n g ranged f r o m s c r i b b l i n g to let ter - l ike characters to real letters. A l l e leven ch i ld ren began at the f i rst l eve l o f w r i t i n g but their strategies ind icated d i f ferent levels o f k n o w l e d g e and understanding about h o w writ ten language w o r k e d . H o w e v e r , the ch i ld ren showed s i m i l a r patterns o f overa l l d e v e l o p m e n t T h e ch i ld ren 's read ing o f their o w n w o r k demonstrated their understanding o f the funct ions o f wr i t i ng . T h e i r w r i t i n g inc luded : l a b e l l i n g o f objects ; re te l l ing o f favour i te stories and T . V . shows ; o r ig ina l stories; j o u r n a l p ieces ; songs; and nursery rhymes. A s the ch i ld ren began to relate speech to pr int , and as their alphabet k n o w l e d g e increased , they eventual ly came to the real izat ion that letters c a n represent speech sounds. B y the end o f the K indergar ten year, f i ve c h i l d r e n were u s i n g letters to stand fo r speech sounds. O n e c h i l d was already at the th i rd l e v e l o f w r i t i n g w h i l e the r e m a i n i n g s i x ch i ld ren cont inued to explore the fo rms and funct ions o f wr i t i ng . B y O c t o b e r o f G rade O n e , a l l but two ch i ld ren were demonst rat ing letter -sound correspondences i n their w r i t i ng . O v e r a l l , the ch i ld ren were m a k i n g the deve lopmenta l progressions i n spe l l ing as o r ig ina l l y ident i f ied by R e a d (1971) . B y the e n d o f the f irst grade, n ine o f the e leven c h i l d r e n were integrat ing the sight and sound strategies i n their spe l l ing o f words . T h e i r w r i t i n g ref lected a greater 102 re l iance o n the v i sua l and m o r p h o l o g i c a l representations over the p h o n o l o g i c a l . A s their spe l l ing became more automatic , the ch i ld ren began to wr i te more and to exper iment w i t h different k inds o f wr i t ing . T h e ch i ld ren ' s c o m p o s i n g strategies were also d e v e l o p i n g and m o v i n g toward the convent iona l mode ls . T h e many book experiences and the increas ing exposure to var ious k i n d s o f w r i t i n g were accompan ied by the ch i ld ren 's g a i n i n g sense o f h o w wr i t ten language d i f fe red f r o m speech. Observat ions over the two years supported the f ind ings o f ear ly w r i t i n g research. W i t h i n the terms o f reference set out by Gent ry (1982) , the E S L c h i l d r e n i n this study demonstrated that they used s imi la r strategies and f o l l o w e d the same general patterns o f deve lopment i n their acquis i t ion o f written language as those reported for L I c h i l d r e n . These E S L ch i ld ren also showed that their wr i t ten language can deve lop side b y s ide w i t h their o ra l language. A c loser analys is o f the ch i ld ren ' s wri t ten compos i t i ons ind icated an increas ing awareness o f E n g l i s h fo rms and usage commensurate to their g rowth i n o ra l E n g l i s h . 103 C H A P T E R F I V E D I S C U S S I O N T w o questions were ra ised in the prev ious chapters. T h e y were : 1) W h a t d o E S L ch i ld ren do w h e n they are left to d iscover the E n g l i s h wr i t ing system for themselves? ; and 2) W i l l the wr i t ing development o f L 2 ch i ld ren be s imi la r to the w r i t i n g deve lopment o f L I ch i ld ren when the same o p t i m a l condi t ions fo r language learn ing are i n p lace? In an attempt to address these quest ions, a two -year project was set up to l o o k at h o w E S L ch i ld ren acquire a written language. Its purposes were to: a) invest igate the processes and developments i n E S L ch i ld ren 's w r i t i n g d u r i n g the K indergar ten and G r a d e O n e years; a n d b) evaluate the resul t ing data o f these L 2 learners against the stages reported for L I learners. E l e v e n ch i ld ren w h o were learn ing E n g l i s h as a second language were designated as the target group to be observed. T h e ch i ld ren were i n regular K indergar ten and G r a d e O n e c lassrooms. S ince they spoke l itt le o r no E n g l i s h at the beg inn ing o f K indergar ten , they were referred by their c l a s s r o o m teachers to the E n g l i s h L a n g u a g e Centre ( E L C ) for extra help i n learn ing E n g l i s h . These ch i ld ren began w r i t i n g i n the E L C w i t h i n the first month o f s c h o o l . Th i s research s h o w e d an overa l l pattern o f deve lopment f r o m less sophist icated to more sophist icated w r i t i n g strategies and k n o w l e d g e . It a lso revealed h o w ch i ld ren proceeded in their path o f deve lopment towards convent iona l w r i t i n g at a pace and in ways unique to them. T h e findings concur red w i th current research o n ch i ld ren 's 104 deve lopment , there appears to be a general path o f deve lopment w h i c h is general izable to a l l ch i ld ren (Y . G o o d m a n , 1985; C a l k i n s , 1983; D o b s o n , 1983; G raves , 1983; G e n t r y , 1982; R e a d , 1975). V y g o t s k y (1978) stated that w r i t i n g deve lopment does not f o l l o w a s i m p l e , c lear -cut path o f convers ion f r o m one stage to the next but that it is more l i k e "metamorphoses ; that i s , transformations o f part icular fo rms o f wri t ten language" (p. 106). In this study, the E S L ch i ldren m o v e d f r o m more p r i m i t i v e forms such as s c r i b b l i n g , d r a w i n g and m a k i n g letter - l ike fo rms , to us ing strings o f letters and p h o n e t i c a l l y - b a s e d invented spe l l ing , and f ina l l y to u s i n g m o r p h o l o g i c a l and v isua l strategies for spe l l ing . Regu la r orthography was not ach ieved by the ch i ld ren i n the study. H o w e v e r , this was very typ ical w i th in the general popu la t ion o f Grade O n e writers as a w h o l e . T h e ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing samples were ana lyzed and c lass i f ied us ing G e n t r y ' s (1982) stages o f spe l l ing development as a f rame o f reference. Th i s was to ensure that the invest igat ion remained as consistent as poss ib le w i t h D o b s o n ' s (1983) study o f G r a d e O n e ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing . T h e K indergar ten Y e a r A l l e leven ch i ldren began "wr i t ing" right at the b e g i n n i n g o f K indergar ten . T h e y approached their wr i t ing tasks sensibly by creat ing f o r m s w h i c h were most s imi la r to the fo rms i n their e n v i r o n m e n t The ch i ld ren 's d iscuss ions about their w r i t i n g ind icated that they a l l had made the d ist inct ion between w r i t i n g a n d d r a w i n g , and that they understood what wr i t ing d i d (Baghban, 1984; Harste , W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1 9 8 4 ) . H o w e v e r , their understanding o f what " w r i t i n g " l o o k e d l i k e var ied . T w o ch i ld ren 105 began w i t h sc r ibb le -wr i t ing . F i v e ch i ldren began us ing true letters f r o m the very first day w i t h some numbers thrown in occas iona l l y . A t first, they had a l i m i t e d repertoire o f letters but this repertoire increased as they gained exper ience w i t h pr int through books and by w a t c h i n g demonstrations o f print i n use. F o u r ch i ld ren began w i t h m o c k letters and w i t h i n this group, two wrote correct ly spel led names amongst the letter - l ike fo rms . These names were a lways presented as s ingle , unana lyzed units; there were no attempts to use the letters in the names s ingly or fo r any purposes other than to represent the people named. Th is changed later, however , as the ch i ld ren 's conceptua l i za t ion o f w r i t i n g evo l ved to inc lude new understandings. T h e percept ion o f c o m m o n l y k n o w n words as single units made w a y for a new awareness that these units were made up o f smal ler units (letters) and that these letters c o u l d be rearranged to create new meanings . F r o m the very beg inn ing , the ch i ld ren i n this study demonstrated emergent wr i t ing behaviours s imi la r to those reported for E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren ( C l a y , 1975). A l l the ch i ld ren except fo r one readi ly assigned messages to their wr i t ing . Th is one c h i l d , N a n a , wrote the letters o f the alphabet i n and out o f sequence and read each letter cor rect ly b a c k to the teacher. She made it c lear that her letters d i d not m a k e up words . W h e n asked what words l o o k e d l i k e , she po inted to the pr int i n books and at the signs posted around the r o o m . N a n a d i d not beg in to read her w r i t i n g unt i l she made her f i rst let ter -sound matches i n January o f her K indergar ten year. A t that t ime, she also began s h o w i n g ev idence o f v i sua l m e m o r y (e.g. E M = m e ; Y M = m y , S T O P ) ; however , an audi tory strategy for most o f her spel l ings p reva i led . U n l i k e the two ch i ld ren ment ioned ear l ier , N a n a d i d not accept her f e w sight words as unanalyzed 106 units. In fact, she appeared to be quite aware that letters were combined to create words. This may explain why she often confused the letter sequence of some of her sight words (e.g. "my" as Y M ) . Possibly, Nana's growing awareness of the systematic nature of English orthography played an important part in her refusal to pretend-write or pretend-read. She knew that there was a more concrete "system" to writing than merely assigning meaning to random strings of letters. Her reluctance to play-write was not uncommon amongst children who entered school already reading. Nana's first attempt to make sense of English orthography was to represent words with letter-names. She wrote " I . M 5 " (I am five). This was the beginning of a phonetically-based strategy which eventually allowed her to represent any word she wanted. The rest of the group continued to write in their own way. They readily read what they wrote. Eventually, another child admitted that her writing was not "for real" but continued anyway. She, like the others, needed more time to explore and to role-play the experiences in which they wanted to participate. For these children, pretending was an effective "engagement" strategy; that is, it allowed them to be engaged in writing tasks in spite of their growing awareness that they lacked the necessary skills for conventional writing (Harste, Woodward & Burke, 1984). The children continued to refine their conceptualizations of what writing looked like and what it did. They began to organize their drawings and print in more conventional fashion. They began to make judgements about the lengths of their writing in relation to what they wanted to say. Again , these children's writing behaviours were very similar to the behaviours reported for young English-speaking writers. 107 T w o c h i l d r e n were observed exper iment ing w i t h w r i t i n g i n d i f ferent languages (see F i g u r e 4 , Chapter 4) . These ch i ldren w h o were g r o w i n g up w i t h t w o different w r i t i n g systems, p roduced let ter - l ike forms that resembled the orthographic system o f both cultures. B o t h ch i ld ren were able to articulate the d i f ferences between the two systems par t icu lar l y i n regards to d i rect ional or ientat ion; fo r example , Ch inese characters were writ ten vert ica l ly f r o m right to left w h i l e E n g l i s h letters were writ ten hor i zonta l l y f r o m left to right. W h a t this data demonstrated was that l o n g before f o r m a l inst ruct ion began, y o u n g ch i ld ren were act ive ly m a k i n g sense o f the w o r l d , i n c l u d i n g the w o r l d o f pr int (Y . G o o d m a n , 1985; Harste , W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1984). C h i l d r e n ' s ear ly w r i t i n g samples were examples o f h o w ch i ld ren made "o rgan ized" language dec is ions and that these organizat ional dec is ions were s o c i o l o g i c a l l y and contextua l l y rooted ( H a l l , 1987; Harste , W o o d w a r d & B u r k e , 1984; Tea le , 1982). B y the e n d o f the K indergar ten year, a l l the ch i ld ren had establ ished correct letter forms and correct l inear and d i rect ional orientation for E n g l i s h orthography. In the K indergar ten year, the ch i ldren in this study appeared to have f o l l o w e d the general path o f deve lopment descr ibed by researchers invest igat ing y o u n g E n g l i s h -speak ing wr i ters . T h e most obv ious d i f ference between L I wr i ters and L 2 writers was i n the language w h i c h the ch i ld ren used when read ing their w r i t i n g . M a n y o f the ch i ld ren k n e w o n l y a few E n g l i s h labels at the beg inn ing o f the s c h o o l year. S o m e o f the ch i ld ren repeatedly drew those i tems for w h i c h they had names. Other ch i ld ren d r e w pictures and scr ibb le -wrote , then proceeded to read i n their f i rst language. Regard less o f what and h o w they wrote, a l l the ch i ld ren in this study were ga in ing important ins ights into what pr int l o o k e d l i k e and d i d . 108 D u r i n g the K indergar ten year, it became evident that for the E S L ch i ld ren i n this study, wr i t ing was an ora l language act iv i ty . A g a i n , this was consistent w i t h the f ind ings reported by researchers w h o had invest igated the w r i t i n g processes o f E n g l i s h -speak ing ch i ld ren (Graves , 1983). T h r o u g h the ch i ld ren 's d rawings , the teacher-researcher was able to infer the ch i ld ren 's areas o f interest and to b u i l d m a n y ora l language act iv i t ies and games around them. T h e ch i ld ren and the teacher also were able to establ ish c o m m o n grounds on w h i c h their conversat ions were based. In terms o f E S L methodo logy and p r o g r a m m i n g , this aspect o f w r i t i n g cannot be ignored . T h e G r a d e O n e Y e a r W h i l e the first leve l o f wr i t ing was character ized by pretend -wr i t ing w h i c h ranged f r o m sc r ibb le -wr i t ing to letter str ings, the second leve l was m a r k e d by the ch i ld ren ' s g r o w i n g insights into the alphabetic nature o f wr i t i ng . F o u r ch i ld ren began G r a d e O n e at L e v e l 2 (see A p p e n d i x A ) . A t this l e v e l , the ch i ld ren began to f o r m the concept o f let ter -sound correspondence as they tentatively used s ingle letters to represent words or parts o f words on the basis o f the in i t ia l o r f ina l sounds o f the unit. T h e y p r o v i d e d a part ial m a p p i n g o f words by omi t t ing the v o w e l s and us ing one or two consonants that demonstrated letter -sound matches (see F igu re 11 , Chapter 4) . A letter -name strategy was a lso very m u c h in ev idence as words were be ing represented by letters o n the basis o f their letter -name (e.g. R = are). In i t ia l ly , the letter -sound matches were f e w and very tentative. H o w e v e r , as the ch i ld ren f o u n d that their efforts in w r i t i n g were rece ived and va lued , they deve loped the conf idence to cont inue. T h e y gradual ly represented more and more o f the 109 perce ived sounds i n the words they used. B y the t ime the ch i ld ren reached the th i rd leve l o f w r i t i n g , they were representing a l l the sound features o f the words be ing spe l led i n c l u d i n g vowe ls (see F igure 2 9 , Chapter 4 ) . T h e E S L ch i ld ren i n this study showed m a n y let ter -sound matches w h i c h , due to their p ronunc iat ion o f m a n y E n g l i s h words , were not as c o m m o n amongst E n g l i s h -speak ing ch i ld ren . H o w e v e r , w i th the increased exposure to books and to pr int , the c h i l d r e n began to demonstrate a surpr is ing ab i l i t y to reconc i l ia te what they heard aud i tor ia l l y i n their speech w i th what they came to k n o w about pr int i n their env i ronment . T h e ch i ld ren i n this study cont inued to m o v e ever c loser to convent ional E n g l i s h orthography. They demonstrated the same strategies and f o l l o w e d s imi la r routes to w r i t i n g as those ident i f ied for E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g c h i l d r e n . T h e appearance o f short vowe ls s ign i f ied a ma jo r step towards convent ional E n g l i s h orthography. T h e ch i ld ren first made let ter -sound matches o f the consonant sounds that were reasonably d ist inct ive and stable (see T a b l e 3 , Chapter 4) , then advanced to less obv ious sounds (see Tables 4 & 6 , Chapter 4) . Short vowe ls were not represented by letter -names nor d i d they prov ide any other c lues as to the w a y they shou ld be spel led . Nevertheless, the ch i ld ren o rgan i zed a consistent strategy w h i c h c lass i f i ed the v o w e l sounds o n the basis o f their pe rce ived p lace o f art iculat ion in the mouth (see Tab le 5 , Chapter 4) . T h e ch i ld ren 's strategies revealed a surpr is ing ab i l i t y to hear and m a k e judgements about speech sounds, thereby c o n f i r m i n g Henderson 's (1980) c l a i m that invented spel l ings are intel l igent and systematic creations by ch i ld ren . B y the second month o f the Grade O n e year, t w o ch i ld ren were s t i l l ident i f ied as first leve l wr i ters , s ix c lass i f ied as second leve l writers and t w o as th i rd (see 110 A p p e n d i x A ) . O n e c h i l d , W e n d y , was d i f f i cu l t to categorize at this t ime because she was w r i t i n g and reading words w h i c h she f o u n d around the c lass room. She first began c o p y i n g words in K indergarten but made no references to them w h e n " reading" her wr i t ing . T h i s was not u n c o m m o n amongst y o u n g ch i ld ren at the first leve l o f wr i t ing . H o w e v e r , in September o f the Grade O n e year, she began to c o p y o n l y the words w h i c h she was able to read and made no other efforts to wr i te beyond her l ist o f k n o w n words . Th is cont inued unt i l m i d - N o v e m b e r when she began w r i t i n g sentences and f r o m necessity , w o r k e d out a strategy by w h i c h she was able to represent the words she c o u l d not copy . P o s s i b l y , W e n d y ref ra ined f r o m w r i t i n g freely unt i l she f igured out an ef f ic ient strategy w h i c h enabled her to do so. The ch i ld ren 's deve lopment in w r i t i n g was h igh ly i n d i v i d u a l ; the avenue to w r i t i n g for one c h i l d m a y have been by c o p y i n g words found at home or in the c lassrooms; fo r another, it m a y have been through us ing k n o w n letters to create meanings . T h i s var iance in h o w strategies were e m p l o y e d w i th in a general path o f w r i t i n g deve lopment was also reported for E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren ( K i n g , 1985). T h e ch i ld ren ' s gradual ref inement o f strategies brought them c loser and c loser to the convent iona l f o r m . Factors w h i c h s ign i f i cant l y in f luenced a c h i l d ' s progress i n w r i t i n g through L e v e l s 2 to 3 fe l l into two categories. T h e y were : 1) the strategies used w h e n c o m p o s i n g and 2) the concepts in p lace at the t ime o f the product ion . Three strategies stood out as be ing par t icu lar ly usefu l in he lp ing the ch i ld ren gain cont ro l over the w r i t i n g process. O n e ef fect ive strategy was seen i n the reduct ion o f messages once the ch i ld ren began to m a k e their let ter -sound matches. Th is gave the ch i ld ren better contro l over their w r i t i n g and made rereading easier. W h e n the I l l ch i ld ren were able to read their o w n wr i t i ng , they were then able to val idate their new hypotheses about written language. O n the other hand , those w h o d i d not reduce their messages struggled w i t h their rereading and frequently f a i l e d to locate their letter -sound matches. T h i s was not surpr is ing since the c h i l d r e n i n this study often changed the w o r d i n g o f the messages without chang ing the content. D o b s o n , (1983) and Hurs t et a l . , (1983) also reported this in their invest igat ion o f y o u n g E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g writers. O n e c h i l d i n part icular exper ienced great d i f f i cu l t ies i n establ ish ing this strategy. If the c h i l d had not been observed m a k i n g let ter -sound matches w h i l e wr i t i ng , this invest igator w o u l d not have k n o w n at w h i c h point she began to conceptual ize the alphabetic p r inc ip le . It was a l o n g t ime before this c h i l d was able to locate her letter-sound matches since she a lmost a lways reworded her messages. There were m a n y var iables w h i c h m a y have affected w h y she exper ienced more d i f f i cu l t ies than the others. O n one hand , her o ra l language gains were notable and she was successfu l ly learn ing to lengthen her verbal utterances; on the other hand , this m a y have conf l i c ted w i t h the need to reduce her messages w h e n wr i t i ng . She a lso stood out as the o n l y c h i l d i n the study w h o showed very l i t t le interest i n w r i t i n g , and d i d not even learn to wr i te her name unt i l m i d w a y through the K indergar ten year. In addi t ion , she was the youngest c h i l d i n the target group. If this c h i l d had entered school at 5.1 years o f age w h i c h was the mean age o f entry for this study, she m i g h t not have been as not iceable. H o w e v e r , it must be remembered that the t w o most advanced ch i ld ren were also younger than the mean age o f the group ( A p p e n d i x A ) . O n e o f these ch i ld ren reported m a n y home experiences w i th books . T h e parents o f the other c h i l d d i d not read to her, however , books were read i l y ava i lab le at h o m e . B o t h ch i ld ren were o lder 112 s ib l ings . W i t h i n this study, it w o u l d appear that age and l inguist ic deve lopment m a y not necessar i ly be the greatest factors i n w r i t i n g deve lopment although their inf luences cannot be o v e r l o o k e d . Harste , W o o d w a r d & B u r k e (1984) suggested that exper ience rather than age and maturat ion is the greater factor in l i teracy learn ing . T h e point to remember , however , is that a l l the ch i ld ren i n the study cont inued to develop as writers i n very s imi la r w a y s regardless o f where they began on the w r i t i n g cont inuum upon enter ing schoo l . T h e second c o m p o s i n g strategy c o u l d be observed i n y o u n g wr i ters ' behav iour o f f i rst w r i t i n g a part ial message and then stopping to read over what they have wr i t ten before cont inu ing o n . S o m e ch i ld ren m a y reread their w r i t i n g m a n y times before c o m p l e t i n g their wr i t ten message. T h i s behav iour he lped to consol idate e m e r g i n g concepts and to create opportunit ies for sel f -correct ions and m i n o r rev is ions. T h i s strategy was part icu lar ly effect ive when ch i ld ren began to increase the length o f their w r i t i ng . F o r the E S L ch i ld ren , this strategy a lso supported their E n g l i s h language acqu is i t ion . O f t e n , the ch i ld ren w h o were repeating their messages were also re f in ing their understanding o f E n g l i s h syntax. T h e th i rd strategy was demonstrated when ch i ld ren he ld one aspect o f their w r i t i n g constant to a l l o w themselves t ime to exp lore another area o f wr i t ing . F o r example , some ch i ld ren repeatedly used the same sentence pattern so that they c o u l d focus o n the spe l l i ng o f words rather than on the structur ing o f sentences (see F igure 3 0 , Chapter 4) . T h i s behav iour is not unusual i n language learn ing situations. N e w l inguis t ic understandings are best expressed through o l d funct ions o r forms ( S l o b i n , 1979) . F o r the E S L ch i ld ren i n this study, strategies w h i c h were used in their o ra l 113 language learning were often observed in their writing behaviours. This would also be consistent with how skills learned in first-language learning support second-language learning (Cummins, 1984). Certain concepts made children's access to a phonetically-based strategy easier. Children who understood that words were separate entities and readily put in spaces or space-markers between their words, were more able to locate their letter-sound matches than children who collapsed their letters into one string. This was especially true for those children who continued to hold onto the hypothesis that words must meet the minimum requirement of three or more characters (Ferreiro & Teberosky, 1982). Often too, the children were not consistent about the number of surface sounds they chose to represent. One boy wrote D R T V A D R for "Darth Vader" but only S for "sword". Since he wrote a lengthy piece with no word separations, he had great difficulty indentifying his word units. In this study, once the young writers demonstrated an understanding of the alphabetic principle, they continued to refine their invented spellings until all the surface sounds were represented (see Level 3, Chapter 4). For the most part, the children's progressions in spelling development were easily followed. However, there was one notable exception to this observation. Over a five-month period, David demonstrated the alphabetic principle only occasionally and at irregular intervals. There were long periods of no letter-sound matches in his writing. The investigator observed that during this time, Dav id "wrote" long and involved stories. In his readings, David's language was best described as confused. On the days when he made letter-sound matches, however, David's writing consisted of two or three word sentences which 114 were syntactically correct. When David's speech became more easily understood, he also began writing in full sentences with letter-sound matches for every word. It would appear that, for David, writing presented opportunities to practise what he knew about English speech. He was only able to focus on his transcription skills during writing when he was working with very familiar and well-established structures. When his control over English syntax increased, his writing development forged ahead. Of course there were other factors to be considered in David's case. At the time of the study, David was living between two homes. This created external confusion in his environment which reflected on his behaviour and in his learning. Nevertheless, David's overall progress in writing was similar to the rest of the children in the study and was consistent with the findings reported for young English-speaking writers. Knowledge of the alphabet was another factor which facilitated young children's progress in writing development. The child who knew a limited number of letters with which she could make a letter-sound match was at a disadvantage when compared to the children who knew all the letters of the alphabet. In general, ESL learners were at a disadvantage since many English-speaking children enter school already knowing the names of the letters in the alphabet. However, for most the children in the study, it was not a major obstacle. One child overcame this obstacle by placing a "filler" to represent the word for which he had no letter-sound match. This investigator observed that the "fillers" were restricted to four letters which appeared to be an effective visual cue for unknown letter-sound correspondences. The child rarely attempted to use those letters to cue a word. He merely filled in a word 115 w h i c h made sense w i t h i n the context o f his pictures and what he was able to read. T h i s e x a m p l e i l lustrates the abi l i ty to p r o b l e m - s o l v e o n the part o f a l l the ch i ldren in this study and h o w effect ive they were at d e v e l o p i n g c o p i n g strategies. O v e r a l l , i t appeared that regardless o f h o w i n d i v i d u a l i z e d deve lopment was in terms o f strategies e m p l o y e d and rate o f progress, the path o f deve lopment was s imi la r fo r a l l c h i l d r e n . T h e f indings at a l l levels o f deve lopment i n the this study remained consistent w i t h the f i n d i n g by researchers w h o had invest igated the emergent wr i t ing o f E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren (Dobson , 1983 ; Gent ry , 1982; T e m p l e , Nathan & Bur r i s , 1982; Henderson & Beers , 1980; R e a d , 1971). L e v e l 4 T rans i t iona l S p e l l i n g T h e d iscuss ion o n L e v e l 4 w r i t i n g deve lopment was presented separately to h igh l ight the qual i tat ive change i n the ch i ld ren ' s conceptua l i zat ion o f E n g l i s h orthography. Gent ry (1982) referred to the spe l l ing attempts o f L e v e l 4 writers as transit ional spe l l ing . A t this l e v e l , the ch i ld ren underwent a transit ion f r o m rel iance on auditory strategies in spe l l ing to greater re l iance o n the v i s u a l strategies. D u r i n g the earl ier leve ls , the c h i l d r e n re f ined their invented spe l l ing and establ ished n e w strategies w h i c h were ef fect ive enough to d iscourage regressions to prev ious less ef f ic ient strategies. M o v e m e n t between L e v e l s 3 and 4 , on the other hand , i n v o l v e d a shift i n ch i ld ren 's understanding o f convent iona l w r i t i n g and a new conceptual i zat ion o f E n g l i s h spel l ings . T h i s process was very tentative and uneven. 116 Often, signs of transitional spelling were almost lost in a piece of writing demonstrating predominantly phonetically-based strategies (see Figure 42, Chapter 4). Certain features of standard English began to appear at this fourth level of writing. Transition to conventional spelling occurred as the children became more experienced readers. As readers, they became aware of the morphological rules in their reading and began to apply them to their writing (C. Chomsky, 1973). The use of punctuation marks, however unconventional, was also a sign that young children were observing certain features of written language (see Figure 40, Chapter 4). The number of sight words increased; visual approximations (e.g. mlik = milk) occurred more frequently. Overgeneralizations of spelling patterns (e.g. sail = saw) and of silent vowel markers (e.g. nite = night) began to appear. The children regularly misspelled words but their misspelling had the effect of making the spelling of the word "look the way they should" (Temple, Nathan & Burns, 1982). Level 4 of writing development was a time of integrating sight and sound strategies in the spelling of words. While transitional spellers were aware of the features of conventional writing, they had not yet integrated all these features into a systematic understanding of English spelling that worked. In this study, nine of the eleven children were classified as Level 4 writers according to Gentry's (1982) model of spelling development. This percentage of writers in the fourth level of writing by the end of Grade One was consistent with other researchers using Gentry's model (Gunderson, 1989; Dobson, 1983). However, these researchers did not make the distinction between transitional spelling and transitional writing. Their classifications of children's work were based on the spelling 117 strategies i m p l i e d i n the ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing . O v e r t ime, it has become evident that there were qual i tat ive and quantitat ive di f ferences amongst wr i t ing samples ident i f ied as transit ional w r i t i n g . W i t h i n this study, there was a per iod o f t ime when a c lear d is t inct ion c o u l d be made between transit ional spe l l ing and transit ional wr i t ing . T rans i t iona l W r i t i n g In Chapter four , a d ist inct ion was made between transit ional spe l l ing and transit ional w r i t i n g at the fourth leve l o f w r i t i n g deve lopment (see L e v e l 4 : Content , Chapter 4) . It was suggested that w h i l e the spe l l ing strategies and c o m p o s i n g strategies o f the ear l ier leve ls were c lose l y related and interdependent, they were m u c h less so at L e v e l 4 . A s the ch i ld ren became more comfor tab le w i t h their invented spel l ings , they no longer needed to concentrate so intensely o n each w o r d produced. W r i t i n g was b e c o m i n g free o f the fo rced p h o n o l o g i c a l considerat ions o f the ear l ier levels ( Temple , Nathan & B u r r i s , 1982) . T h e ch i ld ren began to wr i te more w i d e l y and freely as their spe l l ing became more automatic . T h e ch i ld ren a lso began to wr i te as readers ( M c K e n z i e , 1985) . T h r o u g h their reading experiences and their increas ing exposure to m a n y k i n d s o f b o o k s , the ch i ldren began to induce the rules or convent ions o f wr i t ten express ion . In terms o f the d is t inct ion made between transit ional spe l l ing and transit ional wr i t i ng , none o f the ch i ld ren i n this study was ident i f ied as a transit ional writer . M a n y , though, s h o w e d signs o f the beginnings o f t ransit ional wr i t ing . T rans i t iona l 118 writing can be described as writing which is in transition between "talk written down" and book-like language. The children's writing samples were examined to determine how much they had shifted from "talk written down" to using written language structures. This shift was one of gradual synthesis and continuous movement. The boundaries between one end of the continuum and the other were elusive if, in fact, they existed at all . A t the same time, transitional spellers who have not yet become transitional writers were easily identified. Calkins (1986) talked about the "general growth currents" underlying the writing behaviours of six and seven year-olds (i.e. Grade 1 & 2). She stated that most children seemed to move in these directions: " a) From writing for oneself toward writing also for an internalized audience. b) From writing for the sake of the activity itself (process) toward writing also to create a final product. c) From less to more fluency. d) From writing episodes that do not begin before or last beyond the actual penning of a text, toward broader writing episodes that encompass looking ahead and looking back, anticipating and critiquing." (Calkins, 1986: p. 67) In this study, the children often used language from books (e.g. "not by the hair of my chinney-chin-chin"), but their writing did not reflect the behaviours or attitudes of more mature writers who kept their audience in mind and who demonstrated an awareness of the elements of the various forms of composition. Just as there were overlaps between Level 3 and 4 in children's spelling when they shifted from auditory 119 to v i s u a l strategies (see A p p e n d i x A ) , there were over laps i n the ch i ld ren 's compos i t i ons as they gradual ly evo l ved and m o v e d f r o m one or two sentences to longer , more detai led pieces o f wr i t ing . Semant ic spe l l ing units such as "one T h e P o A t M " (Once upon a t ime) , w h i c h s ignal led fa i ryta les , were signs o f transit ional w r i t i n g i n m u c h the same w a y "ni te" (night) represented a s ign o f t ransit ional spe l l ing . These "s igns" increased unt i l the rudimentary structures o f mature wr i t ing were se l f -ev ident . V y g o t s k y (1978) best descr ibed the growth i n ch i ld ren ' s wr i t ing as " m e t a m o r p h i c " as opposed to stage- l ike. F o r L e v e l 4 wr i ters , lengthier pieces were moves toward transit ional wr i t i ng . F o r e x a m p l e , the c h i l d w h o was prepared to wr i te a longer p iece o f w r i t i n g was more l i k e l y to inc lude more elements o f a story g r a m m a r than the c h i l d w h o restricted hersel f to t w o sentences (see F igures 4 2 & 43) . In this author 's exper ience, it is not u n c o m m o n fo r ch i ld ren to j u m p f r o m a four -sentence story to a four -page story i n a matter o f days , a l though this is more typ ica l l y f o u n d in the second grade rather than the f irst . T h e pieces o f w r i t i n g by transit ional writers were general ly incomplete . These writers usua l l y wrote l o n g elaborate introduct ions and rarely conc luded their stories sat isfactor i ly i n spite o f the obl igatory "The E n d " . C a l k i n s (1986) referred to these ch i ld ren w h o were t yp ica l l y i n Grade T w o , as b e i n g i n " a land o f opposi tes" where extremes i n wr i t ing behaviours were most apparent. S o m e o f the ch i ld ren i n this study had o n l y begun inc reas ing the length o f their w r i t i n g near the end o f the G r a d e O n e year. T h e i r w o r k ind icated the beginnings o f t ransit ional w r i t i n g . T h e i r w r i t i n g behaviours began to s h o w "the growth currents" descr ibed by C a l k i n s (1986) in her observat ions o f E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ch i ld ren . In this 120 study, it would appear that the shift in spelling strategies must be made before the shift in composing strategies can be accommodated. This is consistent with the shifts of priority and focus in all aspects of children's writing development. It must be remembered that this investigation followed the children only to the end of the Grade One year. If it had been possible to follow the children into their second and third year, there may have been at least one student who would not have necessarily conformed to the order of shifts suggested in the discussion of Level 4 transitional writing. It has been this author's experience that there are usually some students who clearly demonstrate more advanced abilities in composing than their spelling abilities would indicate. While these students are not typical, they are not uncommon either. Unfortunately, a large number of these children are referred to Learning Assistance Centres for extra help in the language arts because they are perceived to have "learning problems." However, it has been this author's experience that when these students are put in the same environment as the children in this study, they also flourish and become fluent writers in spite of their spelling handicaps. Clearly, teachers must evaluate each of their students individually and longitudinally, and empower their students to discover their own routes to learning. The Impact of Literature on ESL Learning In any discussion on children's compositions, consideration must be paid to the content of the children's writing. What the children chose to write about was just as important as how they wrote it. Choice of topic reflected the children's interests and 121 their attempts to make sense of their world. For ESL children, it was a means to making sense of a new language, too. What stood out in this study was the high percentage of Kindergarten writing samples which had direct links to book-reading sessions. Non-ESL Kindergarten children's writing efforts were more typically connected to their own identities. Writing was a matter of social learning, of playful exploration and of self-expression; thus, children's writing centred around themselves and their world (Dyson, 1985). On the other hand, the ESL children's writing reflected the world of children's books. In retrospect, it was not surprising that the ESL children in this study should show "book talk" in their writing. Trade books were the basis of their oral language program. Widdowson (1975) encouraged the use of literature in ESL programs. He supported the view of literature as discourse and as a way of looking at how a language can be used to express reality. Children's picture books were particularly accessible since the large picture format transcended the language constraints of print. In this study, there appeared to be two main factors affecting the amount of book-talk in the children's writing. The first related to how the children were "taught" English. Since a major part of the group language activities revolved around book-reading sessions, the children began to pick up words and phrases from the books they shared. The language they heard and practised was almost always connected with books. For example, the story of The Three Bears showed a tremendous influence in the children's English language learning. One child, when asked about his weekend, replied "not too good, not too bad, just right". Another child, in response to the teacher's impatient request to wait just a few minutes until the bell, said "No, I really 122 have a big-size pee". The language in storybooks became their jargon. It was no wonder then that there was such an inordinate amount of book-talk in the children's writing. The second factor was related to the children's free choice of writing topics. In reality, the children's choices were restricted by their lack of English. The children quickly realized that i f they were to talk (and write) about their pictures, they needed to choose a topic which made the best use of their limited repertoire of English words. Not surprisingly, they chose favourite songs, nursery rhymes or stories. One child scribble-wrote to the bottom of the page and sang a complete verse of O l d MacDonald  Had a Farm. A second child, after hearing several readings of Eggbert the Egg (author unknown), drew a picture of an egg and responded to Eggbert's question, "What w i l l I be?" She wrote a string of letters and read "I be a snake". Yet another child in Kindergarten pretend-wrote: "Father find the 'ten-up' and tried to pul l it and call the Mother and she can't pull it and then they pull it" (The B i g , Enormous Turnip by Alexei Tolstoy). These examples, amongst many others, illustrated how literature supported the children's oral language development and how their reading, writing and speaking skills were developing concurrently. C . Chomsky (1972) found a strong relationship between children's exposure to written stories and their rate of linguistic development. This is becoming more evident in the Kindergarten writing data. Snow & Ninio (1986) reported how reading a book over and over again exposed children to more complex, more elaborate and more decontextualized language than almost any other kind of interaction. The contextualized language of the talk surrounding book-reading events enabled children to understand and to produce the decontextualized language of books which are crucial prerequisites to literacy (Wells, 123 1985; S n o w , 1983). F o r the E S L ch i ld ren , these k inds o f l i teracy events establ ished a br idge between ora l and written language r ight f r o m the beg inn ing . T h e same language strategies were used to m a k e sense o f o ra l c o m m u n i c a t i o n and print. B y the time the ch i ld ren entered Grade O n e , their E n g l i s h language had i m p r o v e d enough to a l l o w a m u c h w i d e r range o f topics i n wr i t ing . There were m a n y more stories about themselves and their w o r l d but the inf luence o f l i terature was s t i l l evident. In this study, the ch i ld ren 's wr i t ing tended to be more l i k e narratives than expos i tory text. M a s o n & A l l e n (1986) c l a i m e d that narratives were easier because they conta ined structures w h i c h were more c o m m o n l y f o u n d i n speech. A s the ch i ld ren ' s E n g l i s h p ro f i c iency increased, they began to te l l longer , more detai led stories. Th i s stopped abrupdy , however , when they began to conceptua l i ze the alphabetic p r i n c i p l e i n E n g l i s h orthograghy (see L e v e l 2, Chapter 4). Nevertheless , their exper iences i n s toryte l l ing he ld them i n good stead w h e n they began to wr i te longer stories at a later t ime (see L e v e l 4, Chapter 4). E x p o s i t o r y - l i k e wr i t ing came later despite the c h i l d r e n ' s ear ly exposure to n o n - f i c t i o n books (see F igure 3 3 , Chapter 4). P o s s i b l y , this was due to the d i f f i cu l t y o f expos i tory texts fo r ch i ld ren w h o typ ica l l y l ack the necessary content as w e l l as structural k n o w l e d g e for comprehens ion ( B o c h & B r e w e r , 1985) . Ano ther possib le reason m a y be i n the fact that a fewer number o f n o n - f i c t i o n books was be ing read to the ch i ld ren i n compar i son to the number o f narrative books . T h e ch i ld ren i n this study var ied gready i n their amount o f b o o k exper ience at h o m e . T h e qual i ty o f interactions over books a lso d i f fe red . H o w e v e r , there appeared to be no appreciable d i f ference i n the ch i ld ren ' s o v e r a l l ab i l i t y to br idge the gap 124 between ora l and writ ten language. T h e ch i ld ren w i t h more b o o k experiences tended to be further a long the wr i t ing c o n t i n u u m but a l l the ch i ld ren in the study demonstrated the same abi l i ty to m o v e a long s imi la r cont inuums. T h e f ind ings i n this study c lear ly support the important ro le o f l iterature in l i teracy and language learn ing w i t h i n an E S L program. H a l l (1987) re inforced the current v iewpo in t that exposure to books read a loud p r o v i d e d ch i ld ren w i t h access to a var iety o f styles o f wr i t ten language use and to the convent ions i n v o l v e d i n ta lk ing l i k e a book. It w o u l d appear that the w r i t i n g samples in this study have demonstrated the strong connect ions between b o o k - r e a d i n g sessions and the ora l language development o f y o u n g E S L ch i ld ren . L i m i t a t i o n s and Impl icat ions It was not the intent o f the author to m a k e any conc lus i ve statements based sole ly on the f ind ings o f this study. Cer ta in l y , the s ize o f the sample group alone w o u l d m a k e this inadv isable . Nevertheless, g i ven the substantial support o f current research in y o u n g ch i ld ren 's acquis i t ion o f w r i t i n g , the present study prov ides a strong argument for researchers and educators i n the area o f second- language acquis i t ion to cons ider ser iously a pos i t ion o n language learn ing , o ra l and wr i t ten , w h i c h is more i n l ine w i t h emergent l i teracy research. Graves (1981b) ta lked about h o w good research needs to c o m e f r o m four levels o f invest igat ion . H e emphas i zed h o w case-studies ( leve l 1) and s m a l l group studies ( level 2) are essential prerequisites o r co - requis i tes to larger -scale research ( levels 3 & 4) . D a t a co l lec ted i n long i tud ina l and smal le r - sca le studies usual ly point the w a y to 125 d i s c o v e r i n g n e w var iables not seen i n the larger data gather ing. H o w e v e r , these var iables m a y , i n turn, be the focus for larger group studies later. A l s o , the product analyses o f larger groups can be further invest igated for their process impl icat ions i n case-studies o r smal le r group studies (Graves, 1981a, 1981b, 1980 ; K . G o o d m a n & Y . G o o d m a n , 1977) . A s a teacher-researcher, the author was i n a g o o d pos i t ion to observe how the c l a s s r o o m sett ing in f luenced the ch i ld ren 's learn ing and h o w a l l the part ic ipants w i t h i n the c l a s s r o o m env i ronment affected each other. G raves (1981a) w a r n e d that research about w r i t i n g must inc lude the f u l l context o f human behav iour a n d env i ronment before its f ind ings can be translated into c lass room pract ice. T h e results o f this invest igat ion have s ign i f i cant impl i ca t ions for E S L m e t h o d o l o g y . T h e f ind ings showed that these E S L c h i l d r e n were able to d iscover the E n g l i s h w r i t i n g system for themselves and that they c o u l d d o this regardless o f h o w m u c h or h o w l i t t le E n g l i s h they had. It appears that these c h i l d r e n acquire their new language, o ra l and wri t ten, i n the same w a y and under the same condi t ions E n g l i s h -speak ing c h i l d r e n learn their f i rst language. Th i s w o u l d seem to g ive credence to the L 1 = L 2 hypothesis and suggest a re -evaluat ion o f h o w ch i ld ren t radi t ional ly are taught a second language. T h e impl i ca t ions i n terms o f learn ing env i ronment and the roles o f teachers are ev ident . A n env i ronment w h i c h encourages and prov ides the t ime for students to f i n d their o w n route to learn ing is c r u c i a l to m a k i n g s c h o o l success attainable fo r a l l students. T h e f ind ings supported the picture o f an E S L c h i l d as an act ive "constructor o f language" rather than as a passive recipient o f E n g l i s h structures and vocabulary . 126 Traditional programs which teach "simplified" sequences and subskills go against the order of events found in this study. Children who were expected to compose a message and then transcribe it onto paper began learning a written language through the whole act of writing. The transcription skills were learned in the process and only later, were analyzed in their part. This would suggest that skills lessons in phonics, printing and spelling would be much more meaningful and effective i f they were taught after the children have demonstrated some knowledge of them. This kind of instruction occurs within what Vygotsky (1962) described as children's "zone of proximal development", or the area between what the learners know and what they come to know with assistance. Teachers need to find out what the children already know in order to tell where effective instruction can start. E S L teachers, in particular, need to capitalize on the knowledge that E S L children bring to the task of learning a language. It would seem that children's learning flourishes when they are allowed some degree of control over their own actions and when they can interact with adults who are receptive, who are less concerned with lightness and wrongness and more likely to respond in ways that stretch thinking. Literature played a key role in this investigation. Although the stated intention of the study was to examine how E S L children learned to write, the literacy events and the demonstrations of literacy within the learning environment were forces to be considered. The children showed in their writing the extent to which books influenced their speech development and their "talk written down". A s the children's writing progressed, they easily incorporated many conventions of written language. The development in one area of language supported and reinforced learning in the other. 127 DeStephano (1978) argues that ora l language, reading and w r i t i n g are "outputs f r o m a cogn i t i ve l y managed set o f c o m m u n i c a t i v e competenc ies" and that one enriches the other through the m a n y experiences i n a l l . T h e connect ions between the reading, w r i t i n g and speech deve lopment o f E S L learners became evident i n this study; however , further research is needed to articulate the nature o f these connect ions where second- language learners are concerned. T h e f ind ings so far , indicate that a l i terature-based language p rogram for E S L ch i ld ren should be ser ious ly cons idered i n an E S L c u r r i c u l u m . Fur ther study is also needed to take a c loser l o o k at E S L ch i ld ren 's emerg ing fo rms o f c o m p o s i t i o n b e y o n d the Grade O n e year. T h e interact ive nature o f language deve lopment , o ra l and wr i t ten, and the part p l a y e d by care -g ivers i n that deve lopment must be o f part icu lar interest to teachers. Research w h i c h extends the w o r k done by C a l k i n s (1986) and H a n s e n (1987) w o u l d g ive greater insights into h o w the chang ing roles o f the teacher affect the wr i t ing processes o f E S L students. Teachers need to m o v e f r o m the perspect ive o f " teaching w r i t i n g " to " teaching wr i ters" ( C a l k i n s , 1985). C o n c l u s i o n T h e results o f the present study point to the s imi lar i t ies between h o w L I ch i ld ren and L 2 c h i l d r e n learn to write when cha l lenged to d i scover the E n g l i s h wr i t ing system for themselves . T h e E S L ch i ld ren i n this invest igat ion appeared to have progressed a l o n g the same general route o f deve lopment towards convent ional orthography as d i d their E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g counterparts i n other studies. A t the same t ime, they deve loped at d i f f e r i n g rates and u t i l i zed strategies in ways that were h igh l y 128 i n d i v i d u a l i z e d . T h e theoretical perspect ive o f w r i t i n g as a deve lopmenta l process was evident throughout the study. T h e f ind ings were consistent w i t h the current research o n l i teracy learn ing as rev iewed by H a l l (1987) , M a s o n & A l l e n (1986) and Teale & S u l z b y (1986) . It w o u l d appear that an accept ing , soc ia l env i ronment as descr ibed by these researchers is c r i t i ca l to successfu l language learn ing , o ra l and wri t ten, and to learn ing i n general . It f o l l o w e d , then, that a teacher's most important ro le is to set up the "prepared env i ronment" w h i c h w i l l a l l o w learn ing to occur natural ly (Montessor i , 1948). Teachers have a respons ib i l i t y fo r c reat ing a c l a s s r o o m context w h i c h offers as m a n y opportunit ies for learn ing as poss ib le . A t the same t ime, they need to b u i l d i n m a n y subde constraints so that students w i l l be gu ided by the obv ious aspects o f the s i tuat ion ( N e w m a n , 1987). F o r e x a m p l e , w h e n the ch i ld ren i n this study were presented w i t h books w t h l i n e d paper, they were a lso be ing extended a speci f ic inv i ta t ion to wr i te . Regardless o f the manner i n w h i c h a c h i l d responds, the teacher expects that the c h i l d w i l l eventual ly c o m e to m a k e sense o f the pr int and the demonstrat ions o f l i teracy i n his env i ronment . T h e nature o f adult interactions a lso appear c r u c i a l i n i n f luenc ing ch i ld ren 's learn ing and language development . T h e teacher f o l l o w s the ch i ld ren 's lead and acts as a fac i l ia tor and a col laborator , thus a l l o w i n g the students a greater cont ro l over their o w n learn ing . N o t o n l y does this e m p o w e r learners to th ink and act, but it a lso ensures a more success -or iented env i ronment fo r a l l students regardless o f abi l i ty and prev ious k n o w l e d g e . 129 In this study, there were no general intelligence scores, detailed information of parental background or first-language assessments on the children available. Information concerning home literacy events, including book experiences, were attained through informal conversations with the children and their parents. The child who had the most book-reading experience at home was the most outstanding student overall; that is, she progressed more rapidly through the earlier levels of writing development. However, there were other children who reportedly had few or no previous home experiences with books who, despite a slower beginning, were catching up by the end of the first grade. The children did not necessarily progress at the same rates nor was it consistent within an individual child. Some children seemed to develop faster than other children, and faster at some times than at others. Generally speaking, however, it would appear that the children who demonstrated the most advanced concepts about writing at the beginning of the study were also the more advanced students by the end. Throughout the investigation, the children were actively engaged in their task of learning to write. 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(Mean age = 5 years 1 month at school entry) ** Age at entry l e v e l = 5 years 6 months *** Age at entry l e v e l = 4 years 8 months A P P E N D I X B L e v e l s o f W r i t i n g D e v e l o p m e n t L e v e l 1 (Precommunicat i ve ) scr ibb le shapes l inear i ty mock - le t ters numbers r a n d o m letters unstable d i rec t ion prints o w n name L e v e l 2 ( S e m i - P h o n e t i c ) s ing le letters - k n o w s must be spec i f ic d i rect ion cont ro l led complete message represented s e m i - s y l l a b i c , let ter -name strategy short v o w e l s not represented L e v e l 3 (Phonet ic ) a p p r o x i m a t i n g short vowe ls sight words appear ing most surface sounds represented as perce ived L e v e l 4 (Transi t ional ) beg inn ing to represent v o w e l s convent iona l l y beg inn ing o f in f lec t iona l patterns (ed, ing) beg inn ing to use si lent v o w e l markers , usua l l y unconvent iona l l y increas ing use o f v i s u a l patterns nasals represented w o r d separation establ ished L e v e l 5 (Correct) v o w e l markers in f lec t iona l patterns der ivat iona l patterns adapted f r o m D o b s o n ( 1 9 8 3 : Tab le II) based o n G e n t r y (1982) APPEND IXC 143 RECORD OF WRITING GROWTH Name  ML PRODUCTION: cursive-like  letters (Q - capital  - small  asks/koks for help  name  a/v copy - try  relates messaoe  any single 1. for word  alphabetic appears  ALPHABETIC  specific sinqie 1. to w.  sounding aloud  spelling alouci  rereads in process  begin. & final l.'s  most consonants  lono vowels  segments - orouoinos ' - syllables  - single words  short vowel rep.  * of approx. si w's - try  -_£ most surface sounds rep'd  TRANSITIONAL  short vowels consistent  inflected patterns (ed.ino)  s of vowel markers  self-corr. - (G.Se.Sv)  COMPOSITION  l8bels  journals  Story  REREADS - match oral to writ.  finds initial match - try  W - part : relocates - J  -JM rereads  self-corr. - 6fSe,Sy - •  -_m improves product - O.Se.Sy  edits during reading - G.Se.Sy  RECORD OF WRITING GROWTH APPENDIX D Name 144 Date  Writing Process - no writing  - direction  - scribble :  - svmbols  - letters - capital?  __ - small  - numbers  - dlff. print from drawing  - relates message while writing  - composes aloud while writing  - rereads in process  Source of Message - no message  - uses illustration only  - illusr. & print unrelated . - uses illustr. but Id's print  - uses print  Quality of Message  - labels : - fragmented :  - speech-like descrip. of illustr. •  - elaboration of illustr. : - oramm. acceptable . - semant. acceptable  Matching Oral to Written Language ' - oral to Illustr. only  - dips into print  - begins & ends w. print  - word to a symbol unit  - word to specific letter  - word to word  - reads with finger - adjusts or corrects  Comments upon;  - letters  - words  - punctuation  Dobson & Hurst (1987) 

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