The role of discourse knowledge in writing among first-graders
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The role of discourse knowledge in writing among first-graders

Huijing Wen & David L. Coker Jr. (2020)
Journal of Writing Research, 12(2), 453-484

Theoretical models of early writing support the importance of discourse knowledge to writing (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987; Berninger & Winn, 2006). However, there is limited research on the relationship between discourse knowledge and writing among beginning writers. This study explored whether fall, spring, and change in discourse knowledge predicted first-graders' end-of-year writing. Three hundred eighty first-graders were given a discourse knowledge interview in the fall and spring assessing knowledge of writing production procedures, substantive processes, story elements, and writing motivation. Additional fall assessments included handwriting fluency, spelling, reading, and vocabulary. Students' narrative and descriptive writing was assessed at the end of the year. Hierarchical linear modeling showed that fall discourse knowledge and knowledge gain variables were not consistent predictors for writing outcomes. However, a more consistent relation was found between spring discourse knowledge and writing achievement, where production procedures predicted writing in both genres while substantive processes and story elements only predicted narrative writing. This study extended findings from earlier research by examining the discourse knowledge and writing achievement of young students.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2020.12.05

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