Declared Knowledge of Beginning Writers
Most studies of the orthographic development of young writers have largely centred their attention on analyses of written productions. However, an increasing number of researchers are now devoting attention to the information provided by spoken comments made by writers during a production activity. Referred to as metagraphic comments, these utterances give researchers access to young writers’ conceptualizations of written language and the various processes mobilized during a writing task. This article presents the results of a Quebec study aimed at grasping the nature of metagraphic comments and establishing their relationship to writing performance. This research was conducted with 67 French-language subjects who were each given an individual word-writing task at two different moments (at mid-year and year end) in grade one. The analysis of the metagraphic comments, using a grid to categorize them, revealed that young writers have many and varied notions about written French, even at the beginning stages of their schooling. This analysis also led to the observation that comments related to what is thought about language – metalinguistic comments – are much more numerous than those revealing thoughts about cognitive processes at work during the writing activity. Lastly, correlation analyses, which enabled an examination of the relationship between the nature of metagraphic comments and writing performance, suggest that the use of spoken aloud comments during a writing activity does not have the same impact on weak and strong writers.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10674-005-4489-2
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