How do explicit teaching and word processing contribute to facilitating the transition from elementary to secondary school writing?



The explicit teaching of writing strategies has been recognized in numerous works as one of the most effective teaching methods for writing in terms of student performance and motivation.

But no research to date had tested its effectiveness with Québec teenagers to corroborate the findings of many American studies.

Explanatory sheets and new tools were designed for the explicit teaching of writing strategies.

Our action research showed a positive effect of explicit teaching in secondary cycle 1 for only one criterion: criterion 1 (understanding the communication situation). The other differences observed in secondary school (criteria 4 and 5 - syntax and spelling - and overall score) were related to the use of word processing in the experimental group.

With regard to understanding the communication situation, students using paper and pencil benefitted from explicit instruction compared to those in the control group. With the students of elementary cycle 3, significant results were seen only in the case of syntax: students using pencil and paper improved more than those using word processing. These results, which followed several days of explicit education training, raised questions about the effects of this type of continuing education.

In our action research project, we worked with a team of teachers and educational advisors to build tools and a system for the explicit teaching of writing strategies that integrate Information Technologies and Communication for Education (TICE) for elementary cycle 3 and secondary cycle 1.

We developed explanatory sheets for each strategy to provide teachers with planning guides as well as detailed teaching instructions. In addition, we designed all our tools to be consistent with the Quebec Education Program and the Progression of Learning for French.
 

Main researcher

Érick Falardeau, Université Laval

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: March 2019