On the boarders between – written with oral communication
Robert P Yagelski
Writing on language skill´s boarder
Language is a multimodal construct which has to be taught in all skills simultaneously. Teachers have to teach in reading, writing and oracy with a huge amount of linguistical and pedagogical awareness. Most of the time they concentrate on one aspect in particular. In international studies however, we assume that a percentage of students is more or less lost without additional support.
How can we find good student’s support systems, which take several forms of language use into account? One opportunity would be to search down communicative practises which will solve central communicative problems (Fiehler et al. 2016). Thereby we would support students in using competencies they already have. Moreover, the school communication would be rather oriented towards a multimodal world (Kress 2016) where students are so-called experts. And we can focus on special central skills attending different tasks to solve in our society (Berge et al. 2016). Which contributions especially well fit in language education, above that we want to discuss.
Therefore, our symposium presents three different papers on the boarder of language use in writing.
Firstly, Robert Yagelsky presents a theoretical paper on the correlation of writing and wellbeing. He will start with common ideas, as how writing works in developing wellbeing for adults and kids?
Especially in this area we can find assumptions that will give teachers instructions for a positive handling of diversity in texts, which is also connected to school’s educational work.
The second paper of Winnie-Karen Giera presents a project combining teaching methods and writing research in vocational education. In this context meaning a group of learners who have already finished their regular school education will be prepared.
And in third paper Astrid Neumann discusses results from a project, with systematically changed linguistic levels of tasks for argumentative texts. She shows traces of that level-tasks in student´s products with profounder insights in their texts.
In the help of these three symposium papers we will draw a picture of theory in practice. Outlaying the process of building hypothesis and proofing this hypothesis as well as depicting theory via quantitative and qualitative methods.
Fiehler, R., Barden, B., Elstermann, M. & Kraft B. (2004). Eigenschaften gesprochener Sprache. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality. A Social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London/NY: Routledge.
Berge, K. L., Evensen, L. S. & Thygesen, R. (2016). The Wheel of Writing: a mnodel of the writing domain for the teaching and assessing of writing as a key competency. The Curriculum Journal. 27(2), 172-189.
Key words: writing, well beeing, SRSD, modelling, lingustic variation
- Robert P Yagelski
According to the Call for Papers for the 2019 ARLE Conference, “It is through the mediating function
of language that identity is built, that action and relationship abilities are consolidated, that
knowledge is developed and communicated.” These connections among language, identity, and
knowing are well established in philosophy (Merleau-Ponty, 2012; Newen and van Riel, 2012) and
have influenced thinking in education. Less well explored is the role of writing, as a technology for
language, in identity formation, knowing, and being. In formal education, writing is understood
primarily as a cognitive process or a social activity. But writing can also be understood as epistemic
(Berlin, 1987) and ontological (Yagelski, 2011). It is a form of knowledge-making as well as an
ontological process whereby we express our very being in the world and thus plays a uniquely
powerful role in identity formation.
This paper will explore the proposition that writing is an ontological act in order to argue for
a working theory of writing that accounts for its ontological and epistemological character. Drawing
on phenomenology, writing theory (Emig, 1983), and discourse theory (Ivanic, 1999), the presenter
will show how writing is an orchestration of language skills that encompasses oracy and literacy and
involves both body and intellect. As such, writing can be understood as a way of being in the world.
Because writing pedagogies in formal schooling rest on narrower cognitive or social theories of
writing, they exclude the transformative possibilities of writing as a means of identity formation. The
working theory presented in this paper thus represents a necessary alternative to the way writing is
understood in mainstream schooling.
Berlin, J. (1987). Rhetoric and reality. Urbana, IL: NCTE.
Emig, J. (1983). The web of meaning. Portsmouth, NH: Boyton/Cook.
Ivanic, R. (1998): Writing and identity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2012). Phenomenology of perception. (D. Landes, Trans.). London: Routledge.
Newen, A., and van Riel, R. (Eds.). (2012). Identity, language, & mind: An introduction to the philosophy of
John Perry. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Yagelski, R. P. (2011). Writing as a way of being. New York: Hampton Press.
- Winnie-Karen Giera
This dissertation project was designed as a long-term intervention of eleven weeks with pretestposttest-control group design in whole classes (N = 103 students). It was conducted with ninth-grade
students (n = 77), and with trainees in the hotel business (n = 26) to fill an empirical gap about affect,
behavior, content learning, metacognition in writing business letters during a pre-vocational writing
project with "self-regulated strategy development" approach (Graham & Harris, 2017). The students'
writing products and processes were monitored and collected by four kinds of assignments (548
letters), as well as tape recordings of peer feedback (09:12:13 h), six different questionnaires (1,269
questionnaires), modelling videos (76 min.), and keystroke logging data (pauses, writing time,
The general research question is: How does the literacy skills of general and vocational school
students develop through SRSD, using business? These data were evaluated qualitatively and
quantitatively (frequency, correlation analysis, regression analysis, analysis of variance, t-test,
In this presentation I will present a part of my results in the research fields behavior and content
The results show, that participating students write business letters at the beginning of the writing
project predominantly at a medium level with regard to the variables overall impression (text
quality), language pragmatics, linguistic systematics, number of words, which they slightly increase in
the course of the writing project. Students of the writing project have at the end of the writing
project more textual knowledge about business letters than at the beginning of the writing project
compared to the control group.
Graham, S./Harris, K. R. (2017): Evidence-Based Writing Practices: A Meta-Analysis of Existing MetaAnalyses. In: Fidalgo, R,/Harris, K. R./Braaksma, M. (Hg.): Studies in Writing Series: Vol. 34. Design
Principles for Teaching Effective Writing. Leiden: Brill, S. 13-37.
- Astrid Neumann
Writing skills are closely connected to reading (Shanahan 2016). And reading abilities are to be
shown in written or oral products. But measurements often depend on written tasks (Berkemeier
2010). The results of the PISA studies have shown that 20-25% of German students can merely
decode basic information. Moreover, it has been noticed that the variability of skills further depends
on social and language background than in other countries.
Regarding to writing argumentation skills this lack has also been found in greater studies. Students
do more integrate their prior knowledge than reading material in that kind of tests (Böhme,
Schipolowski 2016). Our research group developed a model of language variation via frequency,
variance and complexity of linguistic forms (Heine et al. 2018) to vary tasks. We expect that students
supported by linguistic more simple tasks will solve it better.
We wanted to figure out how students use different levels of language in similar writing task. Our
1) Easier language tasks present superior argumentation texts.
2) Weaker competent students further profit from linguistic easyer tasks.
We tested 926 7th or 8th graders in northern Germany. Students had to write one of two different
options of argumentations that were randomly differed in language. Every text was rated doppleblind by 5 points on a linguistic and textuality scale. 25% of the texts was analysed qualitatively to
search traces of writing tasks. Every student answered a C-test to divide linguistical competent
We found with MEAN=2,7 (SD=1,0) in textuality vs. MEAN=2,8 (SD=1,0) in linguistically well tolerated
quality of texts. But only weakest linguistical students profit from simple linguistic tasks.
In qualitative analyses we found 1841 paraphrases or citations of task materials in students’ texts.
Differentiated in linguistic ability by c-tests, as stronger lingiustic students are as less citation they
use. Paraphrase seems to be a learning transform in that age.
The results have shown that we must develop a broader view on student’s writing products.
Qualitative analyses outlie the differences in various levels of competencies. These analyses will help
us to support students more adequately while learning from sources.
Berkemeier, Anne (2010): Das Schreiben von Sachtextzusammenfassungen lernen, lehren und testen. In: Pohl,
Thorsten/Steinhoff, Thorsten (Hg.): Textformen als Lernformen. Köbes. S. 211-232
Heine, Lena/Domenech, Madeleine/Otto, Lisa/Neumann, Astrid/Krelle, Michael (2018). Modellierung
sprachlicher Anforderungen in Testaufgaben verschiedener Unterrichtsfächer: Theoretische und empirische
Grundlagen. In: ZfAL, 69-96.
Schipolowski, Stefan/Böhme, Katrin (2016): Assessment of writing ability in secondary education: comparison
of analytic and holistic scoring systems for use in large-scale assessments. In: L1 – Educational Studies in
Language and Literature, H: 16, pp. 1-22. doi:10.17239/L1ESLL-2016.16.01.03.
Shanahan, Timothy (2016): Relationships between Reading and Writing Development. In: MacArthur,
Charles/Graham, Steve/Fitzgarald, Jill (Eds.): Handbook of Writing Research, London, New York: The Guilford
Press, pp. 194-207.