A study examined the attitudes of Indigenous students from the south-west of Western Australia towards their first and second dialects, Aboriginal English and Standard Australian English, and the attitudes they attributed to parents, teachers and peers. The findings indicate that context and location were influential factors. Age and gender differences were not apparent. The students also attributed negative attitudes to significant others with regard to their use of both dialects.
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We know that children learn better when they are supported during new learning by someone who is more expert than they are. At a multi-cultural school in one of the five most “at risk” areas in Auckland, peer tutors were able to learn and operate paired writing techniques, with the teacher as coach. Improvements in unaided writing were clearly evident for both the tutored and the tutors.
How can research findings can be used to develop specific teaching approaches? This UK article concentrates on the potential of shared and guided writing for improving syntactical structure and grammatical awareness within particular genres, especially in the 7–13 age-range.
In a study based on a survey of Year 11 students, boys reported a higher level of negative writing satisfaction and less writing enjoyment in the English classroom than girls did. Boys and girls preferred different writing genres. While students did not see writing as inherently gender-biased, they did seem aware of differential outcomes in how boys’ and girls’ writing was regarded and valued by others. There was also a clear indication that boys’ writing styles were not the ones preferred in curriculum discourses.
Two strengths of the ARBs are their links to national curriculum statements and the range and control they give teachers and schools over what is to be assessed. They include a set of 96 writing resources for English, covering poetic and transactional writing. In view of positive feedback from ARB users, it has become apparent that schools can use the scoring guides when there is a need to make levels-based assessment of their own poetic and/or transactional writing tasks.
To identify the specific needs of students with respect to literacy in the content areas, 21 students from Years 9-13 were interviewed about their views of themselves as readers and writers, and how their skills affected their learning. While a number of students identified themselves as competent, many felt that they lacked the motivation and skill to use written text effectively. In the light of this data, the authors advocate the need for the inclusion of strategic literacy instruction across all curriculum areas and sectors of the education system.
The difficulties many students experience in learning to read frequently relate to a lack of strategies and confidence. Learning to read is readily accepted as one of the most complex behaviours we will ever strive to master. Reading underpins much of a student’s education, so experiencing difficulty in this area may lead to negative feelings about school, may reduce self-esteem and may even impact on social behaviour in some cases.
This is the second of two articles in this issue of set based on some of the major findings from the survey of classroom assessment practices in English and mathematics at Years 5, 7, and 9 carried out by NZCER in November 2001. The first article briefly described the methodology and outlined the assessment tools and strategies commonly used by teachers. This article examines the section of the survey which asked how useful teachers found the tools and strategies for providing information for teaching and learning, for students, and for school management.
In November 2001, NZCER conducted a survey of the English and mathematics assessment practices of teachers at Years 5, 7, and 9.
Spelling is an important aspect of literacy – but not something that children can “pick up” during reading or writing. Here are some practical suggestions for combining spelling with writing in the primary classroom.