The role of the instructional statement in the writing process

Submitted by: Isabel Sebastião
Abstract: The instructional text is one of the most recurrent and less critically analyzed school practices. This approach contrasts with the little importance given to this type of pedagogical discourse (Duarte et al., 2016), when really the instructional statements are an important axis in the teaching and learning process of language and, of course, of any discipline.
Considering that the instructional statements are part of the instructional discourse, it is important to emphasize that its production has the objective of taking the interlocutor, the student, through the interaction, to perform a determined action. This is a discourse that intends to regulate the activity of the interlocutor, from the process to the action that is practical and mental (Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978; Koch, 2002).
This indicates that the instructional statement must be formulated with precision and clarity so that the requested task is performed consistently (Dolz, Gagnon, Decândio, 2011). In the case of writing, external pieces of information provided by the instructional statement become internal actions that result in the text product (Riestra, 2002).
This communication, which has as corpus the three best-selling Portuguese textbooks in Portugal for the 9th year, has as guiding principles i) verification of the use of linguistic terminology as a learning tool; ii) analysis of how these textbooks present the instructional discourse with regard to the tasks of written production; iii) importance of the role that the instructional statement plays in the planning of the text to be produced and in the construction of coherence.
The analysis of the mentioned data allowed (i) to identify that the instructional statements do not contribute to the comprehension of the writing tasks; ii) diagnose that writing design is not based on the communicative dimension.

Keywords: instructional statements, writing, textbooks.

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Duarte, I. M; Rodrigues, S. V.; Machado, A.; Guedes, Maria M.; Toriz, Helena (2016). A escrita escolar para expressão de conhecimentos e aprendizagens: um caso em estudo. In: José António Brandão Carvalho, Maria de Lourdes Dionísio, Elisete de Carvalho Mesquita, Juliana Cunha e Ana Arqueiro (orgs.), Atas do V Simpósio Internacional de Ensino de Língua Portuguesa e do V Fórum Ibero-Americano de Literacias (V SIELP-FIAL). Braga: CIEd/Universidade do Minho. (pp. 219-232). ISBN: 978-989-8525-49-9 [Suporte Eletrónico]. Disponível em
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Kintsch, W. and T. van Dijk (1978). Toward a Model of Text Comprehension and Production. In Psychological Review, 85, pp. 363-394.