Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 11, No 3 (2014)

Walk the talk – Using a shared terminology within writing education for eight- to ten-year-olds

Cherise S. Kristoffersen
Issued Date: 31 Oct 2018


This article reports on a study with the main hypothesis that active use of a shared metalinguistic terminology will assist teachers and students in their writing development. To test this hypothesis an intervention study was designed involving professional development sessions with teachers over two years. The sessions introduced and negotiated a shared metalinguistic terminology and strategically planned how to contextualize the shared terminology in dialogue with the teachers. The building of a shared terminology was based upon the following traits: ideas, organization, voice, conventions, word choice and sentence fluency. For the purposes of this study, I concentrate on the traits of word choice and sentence fluency as previous research indicates a lack of shared vocabulary in these areas. The quantitative results are from 101 students ages eight to ten producing 404 texts. The texts were scored on word choice and sentence fluency by four teachers. The statistical results indicate a large effect size. In discussing these findings, the contextualization of the shared terminology is considered through interviews and evaluations with teachers. The findings may provide indicators for the use of the shared terminology and for how the terminology was successfully embedded in writing, teaching and learning practices of the classrooms.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.26367


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