chapter  15
10 Pages

Instructional focus and the teaching of writing

To achieve proficiency in writing and speaking - the productive language skills, or in reading and listening - the receptive language skills, a child requires carefully-planned instruction and instructional experience. Clearly delineated learning outcomes must be achieved in each language skill area, outcomes so specific that they sometimes require a careful structuring of classroom language activities. For this reason, teachers must be wary of so interrelating all language activities that the requirements of specific skills do not receive attention. Certainly the teaching of reading cannot drive the primary language arts curriculum if children are to progress in writing and speaking. Nor can writing or literature serve as the only focus of activity in upper grade or secondary school classrooms. Witness, for example, the lack of attention to reading, speaking, and to varieties of written experience in traditional high school classrooms where only belle lettres and a single genre of expository writing receive attention.