UBC Theses and Dissertations
Writing instruction and its influence on the reading abilities of selected grade eleven students : an exploratory study Ferris, Judith Ann
This exploratory study examined the effect of a process-oriented writing programme on reading skills during one semester in which students were given writing, but not formal reading instruction. Twenty-five students enrolled in English 11 during the first semester served as the experimental group, while twenty-five students not taking English 11 first semester served as a control group. The experimental group participated in a process-oriented writing programme, Writing 44, for nineteen weeks. Both groups were pre-and posttested with the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level F, Forms 1 and 2 and the Writing 44 Diagnostic Test, Forms C and D, the latter a locally-developed criterion-referenced test of writing skills. Independent t-tests and Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance were used to compare pre-and posttest scores of reading comprehension and vocabulary on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level F, Forms 1 and 2, and pre-and posttest scores of writing on the Writing 44 Diagnostic Test. A Pearson R Correlation was also carried out to examine relationships between reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing. T-tests for independent samples showed a non-significant difference favouring the experimental group in the vocabulary subtest. The Repeated Measures of Analysis of Variance showed no group differences on the vocabulary subtest, but there was a significant time effect (p <.01). There was no significant difference in the comprehension subtest on either t-tests or Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance. Both t-tests and Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance showed the experimental group made significant gains in writing after participating in the Writing 44 Programme for one semester. In the control group, the writing pretest correlated with both comprehension and vocabulary posttest, significant at .05; the writing posttest correlated with both comprehension and vocabulary pre-and posttests at the .01 level. In the experimental group, the writing pretest correlated with both comprehension and vocabulary pre-and posttests at the .01 level. Writing posttest correlations were non-significant. A process-oriented writing programme did not improve reading comprehension for this selected group of Grade Eleven students during one semester, but it did improve writing ability. The distinction is made that while two areas of language processing are related to each other, the relationship is not necessarily a causal one. The implication is that while reading and writing are related, improvement in one area of language processing does not necessarily result in improvement in another. It is recommended that research be carried out in the following areas: !) a longitudinal study of reading and writing; 2) a study in syntactic growth in writing and reading comprehension; 3) a study of the effect of sentence combining and reading and writing; 4) a comparison of the writing subskills scores and reading comprehension scores; 5) a study of the traits of good readers/poor writers and poor readers/good writers; 6) use of other evaluative instruments, such as cloze, to measure reading achievement; 7) a study on how the reading-writing relationship is affected by different kinds of prose and different modes of writing; 8) a study of the effect of oral language on writing.
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