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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The home backgrounds of writers Weathermon, Clifford Jack


This study investigates whether or not some characteristics of students home environments are associated with writing skill. A sample of 160 grade six and seven students who were judged by their teachers as more effective or less effective writers was selected from four elementary schools in a large British Columbia Interior School District. The parents of students in the sample were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning the home situation and experiences of their children. As a way of gathering other important information, a stratified random sample of ten parents was selected from the larger sample to be interviewed concerning other aspects of their home situations. Questionnaire results were presented in tabular form with frequencies and percentages reported for the responses of both groups. Differences between the responses from parents of more effective writers and responses from parents of less effective writers were then analyzed for significance by a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample test. This study suggests that a good environment for an aspiring young writer would be a home in which 1) reading and writing activities take place regularly and are often discussed, 2) parents and siblings regularly model language skills and have positive attitudes toward the acquisition of these skills 3) the educational level and occupational skill level of parents are high and reading and writing materials are readily accessible; and k) a portion of the writer's leisure time is devoted to quiet, indoor, creative activities including reading and writing while excluding large amounts of television viewing.

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