Slow writing - Improving writing skills

Submitted by: Alexandra Ruivo
Abstract: Slow writing: Improving Writing Skills
Languages Didactics – Portuguese LI PhD student

Keywords: languages didactics; writing; literature;

How can a personal journal contribute to the improvement of writing skills of elementary school students? This on going research focuses on the language teaching through comprehension of literary texts in the classroom, by means of a specific writing strategy carried out in a portuguese public school with students aged 12 to 14.

The practice of writing in a school context demands from the teacher an attitude at the same time decompromising as well as rigorous. As modern individuals, used to speed writing in social networks, where texting messages implies a new syntax, where visual icons contribute to text coherence and to intentionality in the communication, students tend to look at the task of writing in the classroom as a useless activity, with no practical or immediate purpose. It is of utmost importance that teachers create a clear objective for writing, and encourage students to take time trough the whole process, from planning to texting and proofreading.

A group of Portuguese students aged 12 to 14 have a specific practice of writing since they entered seventh grade. They have a little journal in which they write different textual typologies. This writing practice is perfected along the three years of basic education (from 7th to 9th grade) before secondary school. In this journal with a yellow cover they are asked to write letters, interviews, summaries, opinions, poems, invitations, descriptions, narratives, newspaper articles. Writing tasks are always contextualized, the objective of communication clear, and at the end of the proofreading task students share their production with the class, that has a moment to ask, comment and suggest improvements.

Fonseca, Irene (1992). A urgência de uma pedagogia da escrita. Universidade Católica Portuguesa: Mathésis 1
Pereira, Maria Luísa Álvares (2013). Reflexão sobre a escrita – O ensino de diferentes géneros de textos. Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro